Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Year Has Passed

Matt & I with his Grandfather. 2009
As the anniversary of my bicycle accident approached I wondered what the day would be like. I found myself reflecting on the last year. I feel physically; I have recovered so well thanks to a great combination of support, and fantastic doctors: Dr. Galpin, Dr. Clarke, and Dr. Vallejos. I also found myself looking back at the life of Matt's grandfather who passed away this year. Although I knew him for a short time, I am inspired by how he lived his life. Worked hard to provide for his family, and loved the simple things in life. He was pruning his avocado tree weeks before he was gone. What he has taught me is to live life simply, and to simply live my life.

It ended up being a nice day seeing friends, exercising, and relaxation. Matt and I went down to Kanaha Park, and Matt participated in the Christmas 5K put on by VIRR. I walked the course with Matt's sister Jessica and her husband Morgan, and their two dogs. It was a fun walk followed by an excellent pot luck. The rest of the day was spent at home playing the card games gin, and uno.
lilies in the dusk moonlight tonight 12/17
I am so grateful for all the support since my accident. My gratitude for Matt, and his family, my family, friends, teachers and parents at Fun, 2, 3, and Haleakala Waldorf School is hard to express. I am part of a wonderful community, and I am thankful for it.
After a full week of work, I walked up to a lily patch near our house. What a beautiful Maui evening. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Glorious Cake

This is the awesome brownie ice cream cake Matt & I created to celebrate my birthday. Ice cream cakes are the best. It was fun and easy to make. Recipe on upcountryrecipes.com coming soon. Yum!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mellow Birthday

What a day! Excellent food: fresh cream cheese,  loquat & strawberry crepes for breakfast, my cake for lunch, and a beautiful fresh pesto carbonara for dinner. Thank you steve & doreen for your monster basil in your yard! This followed by our Mission to Marzipan ice cream & brownie cake (also stuffed with fresh strawberries!) I am full!
Thanks to you mama & papa for your fun (& practical! love it!) gifts.

My birthday celebration started Monday with Morgan & Jess. We had a fantastic dinner, dessert, and some good beer too. I started to burn this apple candle they gave me the next day.

This morning Matt gave me these flowers. I also got this sweet card from Matt's grandmother.

Then it was off to the beach. We stopped at Matt's parents place to feed the kitty and Matt found these beautiful roses.

Then a fantastic sunset to bring in the evening. Now some fresh pesto on pasta & delicious cake for dessert.

What a great birthday! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What's Up?

Hello there!
How are you?
I am doing really well. Recently I started a long term substitute position at Fun, 2, 3 Preschool for my friend Vicki. It is great being back with the little one's. I have taken on the morning shift, and I really enjoy being with the children up until lunch daily. We are learning about colors currently, and it is a lot of fun. I also get to take the children up to the Kula Hospital to visit with the residents, and do projects together every Thursday. Working with the elderly and the preschoolers is very special. In fact it brings me to tears every time. I am so thankful to be able to help out Vicki, the children, and myself all at the same time.
A beautiful rainbow over Haleakala Waldorf last week.

After School Care at Waldorf is going a lot better these days. While I was injured with my foot problems (not related to my bicycle injuries) I wasn't able to play with the children for fear of never recovering. Now that I have taken the time to heal, I am back playing dodge ball, kick ball, and simply just running around with all the children. I love being active with the children! It is a blast. Homework help has become a regular part of my duties, and I enjoy being able to connect academically with the children. Substituting has also become a big part of my schedule. Getting into the classrooms is always a pleasure. I have great position(s) at the school, and that I am truly thankful for.

Matt and I have been working very hard on selling our house full of his inspirational and stunning artwork. eCrater, and holtongallery.com have been the main online venues we are using. Working together is not easy, but it is always rewarding. Matt and I have had a hard time finding a partnership in the inner workings of Holton Gallery, but with productive dialog we have come to a great meeting place.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10.10.10

What a date! What does it mean?
All I know is that it will be awhile until we will have a date like this again. Next year in November, and the following year in December, but then it won't be again until the year 3001.
Is that right? That just blew my mind.

Today I was re-introduced to the musings of songwriter Spike Jones. If you have never heard of this artist, or have and haven't heard him in awhile, you have got to check this out:



I love this sort of silly stuff when I'm in the right mood. Thanks mama for reminding me to be sure and laugh! As I continue to deal with my accident, emotionally and physically I sometimes feel down. I know this is natural, and I am not the only one; and laughing certainly makes me feel good.
Have a great rest of your Sunday, and may the week be one filled with more than a few laughs!

P.S. Do we need to come up with a party plan for 11.11.11 or 12.12.12 or what?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall is Here

I love the change of seasons. It has been raining over the past few days, and the sunsets have been moving towards the tip of Lanai on the horizon. My exercise routine of pilates, running, and cycling came to a halt about a month ago due to plantar faciitius. This condition is common, and treatable, but as a result of the injury to both of my feet, it is hard for me to be on my feet for more than three hours at a time. My condition is improving, but is at least a month out from complete recovery. It has only interfered in my work, in that I can't run around with the children and engage in active games. We have been playing tons on Candy Land though! If you have not played that board game in awhile, or ever, you have got to check it out. It's really fun.
This injury has been a challenge, and I have not found the same rosy outlook I had 10 months ago when I fell off the bike. It is hard waiting for this recovery, although the progress I have made in terms of soreness, swelling, and general pain walking has subsided by over half. I have added swimming and continue to do light pilates to help in the rehabilitation process.
How can I be down with a kitty like this?
Life is good in Kula. We just had a friend visit, and the chickens are giving us eggs galore!
Now to those pretzels we just made; please check out our recipe blog: upcountryrecipes.com.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oona a Retrospective



Last week I went out first thing in the morning to water the back yard, and saw what I thought was a relaxed Oona with her little head coming out of her hutch. After a few moments it was obvious that Oona was no longer with us. We had Oona for three and a half years, and she gave me so much.
It's funny how animals that we have leave such an impression in my heart.  I think about Oona all the time! Matt found her in his parents yard, sitting in the rain all by herself. She was no bigger than a coffee cup. We named her after Charlie Chaplins wife Oona. I brought her to my Kindergarten classroom, and she also visited Fun, 2, 3 preschool. Oona spent a lot of time in the house with me during my recovery. Something about her; she made me feel like a little girl. She was so soft too. Especially the fine hair behind her ears.
Whenever I prepare a meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner I think of Oona. She always got the core of the lettuce, top and bottom of the tomatoes, strawberries, and even the occasional pancake, or piece of bread.
Her picture will remain in my locket, and she will forever remain in my heart.
In other news: I started school this week at Haleakala Waldorf School. It has been awesome. We are gaining enrollment in the enrichment classes, and overall the After School Care program is full of fun and games. It's really great to be back with the children. I have also decided to start taking Adult Waldorf Education classes to familiarize myself better with the methodology.
Living on Maui has brought me so much. Aloha.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Moving Up

Yesterday was the Moving Up ceremony for the Fun, 2, 3 preschoolers whom are moving up to kindergarten. It was a sweet intimate gathering with the families, friends, students, and teachers from school. At the end of the ceremony we were treated with the release of Noah's doves. I look forward to still working as a substitute at the school in addition to my position at Haleakala Waldorf. I also want to try to again pursue a substitute position at Kula School. A lot of children I have taught over the last 5 years have ended up going to school there. Teaching children, meeting parents, and having great relationships with other teachers is really great. My life is rich in teaching opportunities.
I am looking forward to starting my dental implant plan in August. If things go as planned, I may be done in the next 8 months. Although the subject of my accident seems to be a subject that comes up time to time in relation to others getting in accidents, or in regards to my progress, I feel like I am moving forward, and getting over all the trauma. Matt and I discus aspects of that day, and time, but it isn't prevalent anymore, and has become a story in the ever changing script of my life. This is an important and pleasant part of my recovery. The ceremony today tied a lot of things together for me today. To watch these children grow, and know that they will achieve in their lives is a process I am happy to be a part of.
Happy Weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Positive Changes

From Making a Sign
My dental plan has changed, but I couldn't be happier about it. Before I was over scheduling a bit, with work, and not taking into consideration the financial hardship I was imposing on myself and my parents. I canceled my appointment in late June for the first phase of my dental implants, and am looking at an August appointment. This has been a relief. This is mostly possible because of my temporaries/flipper. It is so real looking, and works just fine in regards to eating. It has been nice to gain a bit of control of my health care, and not worry so much about calendars.
I have continued riding my bike to and from school two, to three times weekly. That's 30 miles a week! It is fun. Even if the sun is beating down on me, being out on the road is a feeling of relaxation and exercise simultaneously. I have a bit of my endurance back. Feels great.

That sign up there was partially painted by yours truly, Matt did the lettering, and helped build the sign along with Jake, Jeremy, and Jordan ( I never noticed all those "J's" before now). Jordan's' dad is running for Mayor, and we had a lot of fun making it! Except when it broke in half, but the guys put it back together.
Other things on my mind...



WKRG.com News

This looks very hopeful! After such a long time of gushing oil, looks like this cap is actually doing something. On the other hand the devastation to the wildlife in the Gulf is disturbing. This blog has put together all the photos since the leak started on 4/20/10. I took time to look at them all, and it is startling to say the least.

All is looking bright and clear today. I have been working on the formation of the After School Care program at Haleakala Waldorf School, and I am pleased with what has come together so far. I ran into a student I know today whom is excited to enter the third grade. I am so pleased that I will be a part of the 2010-2011 school year. This change in my work situation, given that I will be working a five minute walk from home is fantastic. To be a part of the staff of Haleakala Waldorf, and to be working with the wonderful children there is simply lovely. I really can't wait until school starts on the 18th of August. However, I also want to enjoy my remaining time at Fun, 2, 3 preschool until then, and make the best of the end of the school year there that's coming up. We will be graduating a handful of students ready to embark on Kindergarten. The Moving Up Ceremony is always a sweet event that is attended by families geared with all of their cameras and dressed up, complete with lei's made by the senior residents of Kula Hospital, which is associated with the preschool program.
Change is the only constant.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Progression Running

I have been running once a week, and wanted to share my latest, most successful workout in the last 6 weeks or so. Let me first start by saying 2 weeks after my accident I started to do pilates. I worked up to doing it daily, and found my strength slowly coming back. After four months of pilates, and walking only, it was time to get some sort of cardio into my routine. Running was a natural decision. When I first started running, I was coughing all the time, and in severe oxygen debt. It has taken me around two months to get to this point!
Matt is quite the experienced runner, and has been teaching me all sorts of new things about running. I ran short distance before, and excelled at it. Distance running? Not so much. Matt on the other hand has ran marathons, and has trained with the best. I like his approach to running too: run to have fun, and throw away your watch!
So, to the progression run. I ran one mile and a  half. That's six laps around the track. I started at walking pace, literally, although I was running. So slow. This pace increased as I continued into the second lap. By the third lap I was actually jogging. This felt great! My heart beat was up, but I was siked I was already half way done with the work out. I kept on putting more and more effort lap, by lap, and by the last 200 I was at around a 95% effort. If you are into running, and want to feel that great feeling of running fast, a progression run is where it's at!
So now, I have got pilates 6 days, track workout once a week, and a bike ride at least once weekly too. Feeling really good.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back on the Bicycle

My Retort to the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill:
I'm back on my bicycle.

Today is a special day. The last time I rode my bike, I crashed and broke my jaw (among other injuries). Now almost six months later, I got back on that very bicycle with my new helmet. I walked down my driveway to the Kula Community Center. I rode around the parking lot for about 20 minutes doing a series of figure eights, and going up and down the slight inclines from the lower parking lot up to the middle, and top parking areas.

It felt so natural, easy, and most importantly; it was fun. I remember the feeling of being on the bike, but experiencing it is something totally different. There is a sort of free flowing feeling when you ride on a bicycle. The new helmet is quite comfortable, and is hardly noticeable. This is because the design is a good one, and I think getting used to the full face helmet for the Vespa, also prepared me for this new helmet experience.

I hope to get out on the road soon! The oil spill in the Gulf has got me feeling helpless, and worse; somehow I feel connected to the accident because of my being a consumer of gasoline. By riding the bike today, I feel like I am on my way to lessening my consumption of oil. I am fortunate in that I can walk to substitute at Haleakala Waldorf, and I can bicycle to work out at Fun, 2, 3. I hope to bike out to work before the school year is done in July. I feel great! When I walked up the steps, and on to the front porch, Matt said, "You've been reborn". He's right. My new life is full of more possibilities, a stronger connection to the earth, and a deep appreciation for life itself. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

40 Days Later

This has been clouding my thoughts more frequently, so I felt it was time for me to post this:

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com

This is so disheartening, disgusting, and simply makes me feel that the natural environment in which we live is not meshing well with our increasing appetite for oil. The pristine marsh lands in Louisiana (and beyond I'm afraid) will be forever tainted, and changed. Oxygen levels are lessening in the ocean water, and making it hard for life to breathe down there. Not to mention the images I have seen of the birds, and their eggs, the grass, and water covered in oil. BP, and the government are being held accountable for this disaster, and somehow I feel like no one knows what they are doing. It is scary! Even more reason for me to get back on my bicycle!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Teeth Implants Scheduled

Today I saw Dr. Clarke after my 6 week respite. In that time, I accomplished opening my jaw another millimeter and a half. Not too bad indeed.
So, the appointment has been made for my teeth implants!  I am all set for the end of June, the morning of the 28th. This work is in my gums, at the root, so after the implants are in place the mouth has to heal, and will actully take in the titanium, and make it a part of me. Only after I heal can the porcelain teeth be connected. Crazy. We won't be sure if I need any grafting until the procedure is in process. So it could take "embarrassingly short, to 2 hours" as Dr. Clarke put it. Another 4-6 weeks from then, I will finally have my new set of permanent teeth; complete with bridge and crowns. This part of the plan will be completed by my other doctor Dr. Vallejos. Hopefully our plans will come together nicely, in a good time-frame.
So I am pleased! The timing to use the fact I have no front teeth for Halloween, and permanents by my 34th year is right on track!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back to School

What a welcome! As I walked in the gate, after looking at the new baby ducks, I was greeted with this neat sign. The children, teachers, and parents are all so good to me! I was showered with compliments, and lots of hugs and laughter. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful people around me. After nap, snack and playing on the playground ensued. They call this work?! I love Fun, 2, 3 preschool. It's good to be back.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Bicycle Helmet

Yes indeed, the time has come! It's called the Deviant II
This is my new bicycle helmet, complete with chin bar. I'm down with that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Healthy Body, Even Healthier Mind

First off, this is my soundtrack for this blog. This is a great mix! Dig it!
James Zabiela Mix Of Appreciation 2009 by jameszabiela

OK, now that we have that taken care of I wanted to tell you about my latest addition to exercising. No I haven't quite added bicycling back into my routine, but I have gone back to one of the first sports I fell for; running. I have been going to the track once weekly to practice my form, and to get my cardiovascular work-out. It has been a bunch of fun! I started by running around the property where I live, as we have access to about 300 acres. Matt has created a bunch of loops, and I took a stab at one of his 3 mile trails. At first I was in so much oxygen debt by mile one, I didn't think I could make it two more. I started to walk about half way, and was coughing my lungs out. Now, about 4 weeks later I am running for about 30 minutes continuously, working up a sweat, breathing much less labored, and having fun! I feel great. I like being sore the next day; it proves to me that I worked hard. Here's a funny video of me at the track yesterday...


Feels good getting back into shape. I have really made a decision to be healthy and to work on exercise. Now it's just part of my every day routine. Pilates every morning, track work out once weekly, and now I just have to get to that jump roping. I am a bit uncoordinated at the jump rope! Once I get it down though, I know I will get even more toned, and stronger still. Here's to our health!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pay Back!

"Dear Payee:
                    A refund is being generated to you within 6 weeks due to an overpayment. The details of the refund is listed below."

Don't you just love the sound of that?! It's awesome when receiving a slew of bills, to get a check! When I saw the letter head of Maui Memorial my heart sank a bit. Then upon looking closer at the envelope, I noticed in the little window it said, "pay to the order of"! Neato!
I have been continuing to do my jaw exercises once or twice a week, and eating is getting better and better. 

I ran into the director of Fun, 2, 3 this weekend, and I'm all set to go back to work next month. I will be starting back the week of May 10. So excited! Thank you Vicki!

I also wanted to give a "happy wedding" to my friend Gayle! Also, big congratulations to Seth and Olivia! I hope to see you all soon!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's New?

Turbo curled up and keeping me company!
Ahhh, yes a nice afternoon in Kula. A bit on the windy side, but today it's not raining. We have been getting much need precipitation over the last several days. We need it here on Maui.
Since my time off from the doctor,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Merrie Monarch Festival!

The Merrie Monarch Festival: streaming live on KFVE:http://www.k5thehometeam.com/Global/story.asp?S=12245346 (push play, as the player does not automatically load)!

When I first visited Maui in the Spring of 2005, I was able to catch a few hours of this amazing hula festival. It is amazing display of  culture, music, and dance. King David Kalakaua, who was know as the Merrie Monarch loved the world of art. It is held in Hilo on the big island of Hawai'i.
It is inspirational and truly amazing to watch the participants, and listen to the stories from the islands.

I hope you have time to check it out! It is tonight until midnight, and continues for the next two days. I realize this is more difficult on the mainland, but trust me it's worth it no matter what time it is!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday!

 We had a fun breakfast (thank you Morgan & Jess!) this morning with the family, and after these delicious cupcakes...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Released!

I had a fantastic visit with Dr. Clarke yesterday. I opened up to 31 and 1/2 mm (that's 1/2mm more than last week). This was unexpected,

Monday, March 29, 2010

Support

Since I was in my accident, Matt has been my number one supporter. He has helped me formulate my plans in every way. One subject throughout my recovery has been work. When will I return to teaching, and to what capacity? Right now I have decided to return to Fun,2,3, and substituting at Haleakala Waldorf in

Back on the Saddle Again

Well, one of the saddles anyways.
From mobile uploads

Yup, yup I rode the Vespa last week for the first time in over three months.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Hoop House in Progress

Matt built and I helped erect the skeleton for our Hoop House today!
From Upcountry Recipes

I blogged about it over on our upcountryrecipes.com website if you would like to read more about it. We plan to grow in the hoop house in addition to our gardens. Flowers, and food will flourish in our new green house.

Monday, March 15, 2010

27 Millimeters & Wider!

Yes indeed it's true. I can now open my mouth 27 millimeters wide.
From mobile uploads
Our growing Chickens! (and our former resident rooster)

This is such an accomplishment! My goal is to reach 35 millimeters. I tend to be opening 3 millimeters a week, so I expect to reach my goal in about 2 and a half weeks.
I now have a standing appointment with Dr. Clarke on Thursdays to check my opening progress. Once I reach my goal of 35 millimeters it's not like I get to stop shoving tongue depressors in between my top & bottom jaw, it will just be the opening that I will then have to retain. Looks like that will be my mantra for April: maintain.
Opening my mouth has resulted in being able to eat more and more. I have recently put away my spoon, fork, and knife, and have been biting into sandwiches! Yippie. You wouldn't want to watch me eat, but I am doing it! It's a funny sensation to eat without the feeling of your four front teeth. I have started to use my bottom front teeth to actually bite into things, as an alternative.
From mobile uploads
The new 300 gal. water tank!

I still am so looking forward to my implants scheduled for May. To have some permanent teeth will be a nice alternative to my temporaries. I forget to even take out my flipper sometimes at night, as it is so comfortable. The temps look great. My mouth is feeling better by the day. Everything is falling into place, and I am getting more, and more used to my new bite.
My skin is almost completely healed as well, and the scars on my lip, chin, and by my left eye are becoming softer, and less and less noticeable. I can't help but think of my doctors, Peter Galpin, and Michael Clarke whom have help bring me to this point. Amazing! Matt has also been instrumental in my positive recovery. He makes me smile, and laugh daily! Matt has been by my side, and continues to support me in every way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Later this month Matt & I are having an Open House. It is fun to plan parties. We have not had a party for awhile, so we are looking forward to it! Menu planning is on the agenda, and we already have some great ideas. I hope you can make it!
From mobile uploads
Two of my favorite guys.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pimp My Site


Matt has given my site the beginnings of a whole new look. The top banner is now customized. I really like the graphic design of this piece. It is a shot from the North Shore looking out near Jaws. The hearts and opaque butterfly behind me are special accents that personalize the banner. I also like the slight blurring of the image to give it a sort of sureal feel.
In the right panel next to the entries, he added the My Photos album direct from my android, My Videos from YouTube, and a slideshow from Picasa entitled, Cristina in Hawai'i. This blog is such a creative and educational part of my recovery. Thanks to Matt's guidance, both of our blogs are improving. Check out Matt's latest post about his new piece, Remember When (and new customized banner)at holtongallery.blogspot.com
I am preparing this week to open another 3mm by using my home thereapy: tounge depressors 3 times daily. This part of my recovery is a bit monotonous, however it is much better than the alternative: physical therapy out of the home, and out of pocket to open the jaw. I get rewarded every time I work on my jaw by loosening up more, and thus being able to chew better and better every day. Brushing my teeth gets easier, and everything just feels like its falling into place in my mouth.
We had an amazing roasted chicken & vegetable dinner last night. It inspired a blog on upcountryrecipes.com please take a look. Read all the way down to see a funny photo of Billy and the chicken & a great song by Biz Markie. It's one of my favorites called Chinese Food.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Get Up and Dance!

You have got to listen to this! It's a get up and move sort of experience: Best of Bootie 2009 v.2  by  bootie

I have been listening to mash-up for a few years and it just gets better and better. I have always loved all sorts of music, and this music tends to mix not only beats, and electronica sounds, but classic rock, rap, and pop too.
An influence in this genre besides Matt, is our buddy Moe. He sent me this link just the other day of his latest music projects. Take a look!



My recovery continues to go well. I have opened up my mouth another 3 millimeters this week. Dr. Clarke tells me that if I can keep this up for the next two months, we will be right where we want to be. For the next two months the mouth is continuing to heal. This time is important to take in the entire process of tooth implants.
Yesterday was a great day. I went to the 4th grade play, "A New Hope" at Haleakala Waldorf in the morning. What a thoughtful, funny, and sweet play. I love that special class of talented children. Then Matt and I attended the opening Art Show at Whole Foods, where Matt's piece, "Mucha Moore" is on display. Thanks family and friends for your support! It was a sweet evening. Matt's pikake lei's are adding such a nice perfume to the air in the house.
Here's a photo from Andrea's visit! Good to see you Dre, and nice to meet you Krista! Will I ever get to meet Sir Kernel Mustard?
From Friends visitng us on Maui.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Say Cheese...

What a trip! I have teeth all of a sudden.
It is very nice to have this temporary grill that is so realistic looking!
My thanks to Dr. Clarke, and Dr. Vallejos. You have made my temporary smile simply beautiful.
From Cristina Pineda
This gives me a lot of hope about the finished product!
Dr. Clarke had asked me if I could bring him some photo's of my smile before the accident since he did not know what it looked like. Matt suggested I make an online photo album to share with my doctors with about 18 images of my smiling face. This was such a great idea, and is no doubt playing a big roll in getting as close to my original smile as possible.

I found out that alas, I do not need to get those two root canals. Yeah. This cut's off one month of my mouth rebuilding process. Dr. Clarke told me that he will start the implant process in May. My teeth, are still shifting, and need more time to heal in order for my implants to be successful. So I will be all fixed up by August now perhaps. This is exciting.

Once I got my new choppers, I quickly made arrangements to see the children at Fun, 2, 3, and Haleakala Waldorf School. I visited the 4th and 7th grade at Waldorf on Tuesday last week, and Fun, 2, 3 on Friday. It was so great to be back in the classroom, and sharing my experience with all those awesome children I know. There were lots of questions, a few tears, and a lot of general discussion about my accident, and how my recovery has been going. All of them asked when I would be back, and my only answer was when I am ready. I am on temporary disability until the end of April. I am feeling like May might be the right time to go back to work. I still need much work on opening my mouth. I am about half way to where I should be, and will be seeing Dr. Clarke regularly to check my progress. No poking or prodding, just measuring the opening of my mouth.
I continue to eat soft foods, and chewing is coming easier, and easier.
Matt got to teach at Waldorf last week. He did a lesson on perspective for the 7th grade. He is really a natural teacher! He invited me to come to the class, and participate. It was a great class. We went outside to draw, and Matt checked our work. It was a pleasure to sit on the ground and sketch for 45 minutes. The pleasure and calm that comes over me when sketching is great. Thanks Matt!
How do you like that rainbow outside my front door? My dear friend Andrea, and my new friend Crista are visiting Maui. They got here on Saturday after the tsunami (which by the way caused no damage, and since we live at 2,500 ft. elevation we are the evacuation route). Yesterday we went to the beach in Kaanapali. It was rainy and cloudy all day, so I was able to pop in to the ocean a swim a bit. So nice! The girls went off to Hana today, and we are planning to BBQ this evening. They will be off to Oregon tomorrow. I feel so fortunate to be able to spend time with friends during my recovery. It helps to go out and have some fun every now and then. I also realize, I can't keep pace just yet! That's why I opted to stay home today.

I'm now getting set to do some pilates (go here for my workout videos), and then it's jaw exercises! I just might take a small walk or hike around the property later too, and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having today. Until we meet again...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Smile!

In the two weeks since I posted last we celebrated Matt's birthday (in fact we're still celebrating!), and I have finally received my flipper. I will take some photos soon. It is great. To now have the appearance of regular looking teeth is sweet!

I have already planned a visit back to my preschool where I teach for Friday of this coming week.
Matt's birthday was awesome!
It was all a secret, so I was bursting, by the time we finally got in the car. On Monday the 15th, I told Matt that my flipper had come in (when it hadn't) and asked if he'd like to take me down. He agreed of course, and meanwhile I was secretly packing, arranging for the car, and I even pulled off meeting with the house owner to get the keys. Let me back up. I planned along with my parents, & Matt's parents a two night, three day stay in Hana for Matt's birthday gift.
From mobile uploads
So we got in the car to go get the rental when Matt thought I was getting my teeth, and instead we were off to the beautiful town of Hana on the Eastern side of Maui. It was simply beautiful. Our friends Danielle, and George came out for a night, and the following day, on Matt's birthday February 17th, we woke up, and Matt got a 2 1/2 massage from our friend Linda who came out to do it special for his birthday. We then went to look at the largest heiau in Hawaii, called Piilanihale Heiau. It was incredible.
From mobile uploads
Lots of swimming at Hamoa beach, and just relaxing! It was heaven.
We also recently hung up a piece of Matt's artwork at the new Whole Foods opening on February 24th. They are having a rotating art show, and Matt's friend Lanakila who did all the murals inside invited Matt, along with several other Maui artists. The program is unique to the Maui Whole Foods store. The artists, along with a scholarship fund will benefit from all art sales. Whole Foods is simply housing the artwork in an effort to tie to the community. It is a great project, and we are happy to be a part of it.
So I'm totally siked to have my temporaries! I realized that I am only on month one of a nine month rebuilding process. When I look at it that way, I say I'm doing fabulous!
It continues to be a struggle to eat, and open my mouth regularly. More diligence on my part is needed for me to pry my mouth open! I do exercises with tongue depressors to literally pry open my mouth. This is going OK, but I really have got to push it!
Eating is coming along too. I can now eat rice, fish, eggs, and lomi lomi salmon and poi, without the aid of a blender. All soft foods are cool! Coming right along.
I also recently discovered that I have received financial aid from the state. This is such a blessing. This will allow me more recovery time, as I am constantly reminded, it is needed. Just coming to the realization that I need to keep it slow still is a step in the right direction for me right now. My skin is still healing up, and I have to stay out of the sun until all my skin is healed completely. Time.
From mobile uploads
Slowing it down. It's like a mantra for me really. Just slow it down. I have time to recover, so just take that time. Hmmm...take time on Maui. Sounds good to me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Giddy Up!

Welcome to the QUEST ACE Program. I love the ring of that. Indeed, I am eligible for coverage. What a relief. A giant sigh went across the pacific towards New Mexico, and back again. My parents are so pleased. Now I can again contact the various doctors offices tomorrow, and this time not explain that I am still waiting for my application to process, but that I have been accepted, and just have to enroll. That enrollment letter is going out in tomorrows mail!
I am so thankful for the Outreach services at Maui Memorial Hospital. Without GiGi I would have been waiting a lot longer. My thanks also go to Valencia my case worker at Quest. Ms. Oliveros is another individual I would like to thank. You all have made this long process, not painful! Nice people who want to help, and are easy to work with.
Thank you.
Last Thursday I had a nice surprise at Dr. Clarke's office. Only one extraction! I was told it would be two. I was also pleasantly surprised that my mouth did open up enough to take impressions. This was followed by more good news. My flipper may come back a lot earlier than I was previously told. I might get it this week! Woweee! I can't wait to start smiling again without bringing up my hand to cover it up.
No doctors appointments yet this week, however I will be calling Dr. Yee tomorrow for a consultation. This is the dentist that will preform my root canals.
Got to keep on movin...
In other news, Matt has his artwork for sale in a new shop in Paia called Isle Empress. This will be a feature of the newsletter for Holton Gallery this month. Davida had a sweet Grand Opening yesterday. The shop has great art, amazing jewelry, and cool clothing. Matt's art is beautifully displayed, and he also has some necklaces, and a bracelet for sale there as well. More exposure! Weeeee!
I guess you all must be watching the Super Bowl today. Who's playing again? Let me know how it turns out!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bad Ass Helmet


The last time Matt & I were downtown we stopped by a pawn shop. Matt found a tool he can use for making frames, and I found this killer HJC helmet for the moped! I got it for a fraction of the price of a brand new one off the shelf.

Yeah!

I love the red, black and silver, tattoo designs. The inside is like a comfy couch. I figured, I will be riding Matt's Vespa (it's red, so the helmet will match beautifully!) before I will be getting back on my Specialized bicycle, so why not buy this gem? It is practically new, and had only been in the shop for about 2 weeks.

Presently our awesome mechanic Ed, is working on the scooter, and I told him we don't need it back until March. He is fixing the headlight, and a persistent squeaking sound that was getting progressively louder (a ball barring of some sort).
Ed is so great, he came by and put the Vespa up in his truck bed, and drove it off. He has always been really cool and thoughtful when it comes to servicing the bike. Actually he is cool and thoughtful period. His wife Cathy makes yummy desserts, and I still think of that amazing pan of flan she brought me. Mmmmmm.

The next purchase will be the bicycle helmet with face guard. Since it is made for a bicycle it will be a bit lighter than this beast of a helmet for the moped. I always see people biking down Haleakala (which by the way I would never consider) with those types of helmets on. So the search is on!
Any suggestions of good brands of bike helmets?

The artwork behind me is in our backyard, on the back of our shed/garage. Matt's friend is a graffiti tagging artist, and Matt invited him to do this huge piece a few years ago. I am blocking the taggers name, Arise. I am indeed arising!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No More Jackolantern Teeth!

It has been nice to be home for the last couple of days without any appointments. The next visit with Dr. Clarke on Feb. 4th, will include 2 extractions, and impressions for my retainer. 2 weeks after that (right around Matt's birthday Feb. 17th) I will be getting my flipper. Flipper you ask? A dolphin in my mouth? No silly, a flipper is a retainer I can pop in with my falsies on it. This will be a nice relief! No more jack-0-lantern mouth! Thank goodness I have no dentist issues. I am really looking forward to getting my 2 chipped teeth outa there. Those teeth constantly are rubbing on my top lip, and are quite unsightly. Somehow they bug me more than the gaping hole where my three other teeth used to be...
The same day I will be following up with Dr. Galpin (before hand). He directed me to get my mouth open by the 4th. Seems impossible right now, but I am working on it daily, all day! Talking is good therapy, but I think I cheat when I talk. I don't really open my mouth all that much while speaking. The only way to get my mouth open is to do my yawning exercise, in addition to putting my thumbs on my top teeth, and my index fingers on my bottom teeth, and prying my mouth open, and stretching it good. After 6 weeks of a closed jaw, I am now going the other way. The muscles are stiff, but I am motivated by Galpin, and Clarkes belief that I will be opening wide by the 4th of February. The prospect of getting impressions will only happen if I can do it! So I can do it!

Still waiting for my Quest application. Got my first bill from Maui Memorial from 12/11/09-12/13/09, and it is a doosey! Wowsers! This includes my three day stay, plastic surgery, wiring surgery, ambulance services, CT scans, and other charges. Everything looks in order though, and I only have one question about the bill. I will follow up on it. I have also received the bill for my anethstisia for the surgery on Dec. 11th from the doctor whom administered it. This pales in comparison to the Maui Memorial bill, but is still quite significant. I have contacted the Doctors office, and they too are patiently waiting for my Quest application to process. It is a long process, yes. I know in the end it will all be worth it. I calculated how many business days were between my application date of Dec. 14th. Considering the 4 day week due to furloughs, 45 days is March 1.

All the dentistry on the other hand will not be covered by Quest, so Matt and I are doing our best to raise funds in all sorts of creative ways. Our spare change continues to grow with our multiple piggy banks, and we continue to get rid of things we don't need through ebay and craigslist.

Matt's artwork has always been in the forefront, and since I am not working right now, I am trying to balance resting, and working on Holton Gallery at home. On the computer end of Holton Gallery my focus is on meta tags. This is the key to keeping us on the top of Google search, in multiple categories: Maui Artist, Artwork, Paintings, et cetera. Our goal is to get a sale directly from holtongallery.com, and our listing on Google is crucial to attain this. This along with the production of cards, placing new artwork, and the list goes on, and on... I feel good being productive at home. It is nice to be around Matt, and work together on our business. To watch his creativity flow, and the production of artwork at an astounding pace is rich with learning more about the process. The time it takes. What Matt does amazes me every day. We have been doing this for years, and I feel happy to be here to work on such beautiful artwork.

Just got word today a good friend of mine Andrea, whom has visited before will (hopefully)be back on Maui in late February! Yippie! I am so fortunate to have so many visitors! She found a flight for $310 from Portland. Deals, deals, deals! Very cool.

Some random links I checked out today!

Check this out if you love technology:
If you are a fan of all things Google take a look at Google Goggles here:
Probably the worst name I've herd yet for a device, but still very cool; the iPad:

Today I am getting a Healing Touch treatment from Heather at 2. I am looking forward to a relaxing session! I have never had energy work done before, so I am excited. Thank you Maria and the Haleakala Waldorf community for facilitating this visit.

I recently discovered some awesome cardio workouts on youtube that involve dancing around like a mad woman! It is so much fun! Take a look at Core Rhythms here.
and all the workouts I have used on my youtube playlist here. Got to keep on movin'. Matt has also been looking into a stationary bike trainer that I can put my bike on and ride inside in the comfort of home! Sweet.

Here's to no doctors appointments for a week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Game Plan

Yesterday I got to meet Dr. Clarke. What a nice man! His staff is also very helpful and made me feel comfortable right away. Dr. Clarke came highly recommended by Dr. Galpin, and I learned why this is during my consultation. For the first time I was able to hear about in great detail with x-ray's right in front of me, what happened. Just a head's up, from this point on it gets sort of graphic.
After filling out paperwork, they took a scan of my head. Then Dr. Clarke took a look inside my mouth (extremely gently). We then looked at the scans on his computer. This was really cool. I could see from the top of my skull, from the bottom and both sides on a large screen. I was finally able to see all the fractures (he found one more small fracture above one of my teeth on the top right side of my jaw), and how well they have healed. I can now understand that the impact on the left side of my face is what resulted in my chin splitting in half, and then the three other fractures on the right side of my upper, and lower jaw. The metal plate is in my chin to hold the vertical break in the center of my chin. I somehow thought the metal plate had "rebuilt" my chin; which it does, but not in the way I had previously imagined. He then explained the 9 month process of 2 root canals, four implants, and a bridge. He went into great detail, and his assistant Jennifer was also contributing ideas, and helping to keep focus on a plan. The plan is roughly this:
  • 1-4 months: 2 root canals
  • 4 months: 4 implants
  • 8 months: bridge
  • 9 months: all done!
It feels good to have this simple frame work to work towards.

Quest does not cover dental work like this here on the island of Maui. Incidentally, more paperwork was requested for my application with Quest, and we turned that in yesterday. Either way with a 45 day processing time I am still in the waiting period (day 33). So, seems to me things are going as planned. No work for them today, due to furloughs.

Right now I am focused on my physical later today, and my next appointment with Dr. Clarke in two weeks. Matt's birthday is also coming up soon! Exciting times ahead! I also am adding some simple jaw exercises to my daily routines. I can't open my mouth very much (maybe one finger width), and have to stretch it as much as I can tolerate. So, yes, I am not off the straw/blended food by any stretch of the imagination. Chewing? Not so much. This affects my energy level still, because I am just taking in less. I feel confident in Dr. Clarke's assessment, and feel such a great relief to know the specifics of how I will have this all fixed. Another thing Dr. Clarke's suggested was to stay out of the sun for three months. Dr. Galpin had also recommended a couple months. That puts me to mid-March. Sweet, I can take in all the March Madness NCAA Basketball! Doctors orders.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wires Off Tomorrow!

Wow. It's been six weeks already. Time has flown by, yet I feel like I have been having a long, good, recovery so far.
I just got my time for my procedure tomorrow: 1:00. I am to arrive at Maui Memorial at 10:30, and the nurse said Dr. Galpin usually runs early. This is all good news. I have been chillaxin big time today; watched a few movies, and I am just getting ready to do some pilates.
I want to thank Howard for your call today. It was nice to hear your voice. I also got some
encouraging emails from some parents over at Fun, 2, 3 preschool. It means so much to have
everyone supporting me through all this. Thank you Silvanna, Doug, Monica, Laurie, Michelle,
and Scott. Emily, your new house kicks ass! Can't wait to crash on your couch next time I'm in Santa. Gayle you are so generous, and so sweet. It was great to hear from you Richard the
other day. You are such a dear friend to me. Moni I loved getting your messages as well, how exciting! I also was just texting with my old friend Wes. You are the sweetest. It was a treat to hear from my buddy Moe as well. Can't wait to get the two of you boys out to Maui! I know school comes first, but spring break is coming! Victoria with all you have going on it was spectacular hearing from you, and I love the website! Heather I am excited to meet with you in a few weeks for my treatment, and Linda it will be great to get some work done from you come Sunday.
These pictures are of my wonderful support team here at home. Matt you have been hard on me with talking, and I thank you for it! You are a great blender of all sorts of foods, and so sweet, and funny! The kittens, chickens, and our awesome bunny rabbit have also been the best company!
Alright, I'm going to quit stalling, and get to my exercise! Then I will eat, eat, eat, as much as
humanly possible before my midnight cut off. I love you all, and I will see you all very soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Maxillo Mandibular Fixater


Maxillo Mandibular Fixater= Procedure to remove hardware from the jaw. This is not only a literal mouth full, but we had to call Galpin just to make sure we had it right when registering at the hospital.

Yep, that's the name of the surgery set for Wednesday, January 20th. I will be finding out what time Tuesday night, although Galpin's office said I am number one Wednesday (pays to be operated on by the Chief Surgeon).

Insurance is pending for 45 days, since my application on December 14. This is due to furloughs, lay off's, and heavier case loads. I'm not terribly worried about this, but I do feel like I am a minor character in Hitchhikers Guide to the Gallexy, waiting in one of those offices, with lines, and much paperwork. So what can I do but patiently wait.
Meanwhile next week will be the marathon of doctor appointments thus far. First up is the surgery Wednesday, which by the way only take 15-20 minutes, but I should
expect to be at the hospital for up to six hours. Then Thursday I meet with Dr. Clark, for my first orthodontist appointment. Friday I am getting a physical to see if I qualify for temporary disability. Yikes!

So we passed this sign like four times today, is this a sign of the times or what?! Never saw a Church and a School for sale. This guy was thinkin' he was famous for a little bit!

Saved the best for last. Before Dr. Galpin left the room, he said, "We'll be having you chewin' on steak in no time!"
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Big Day Tomorrow


Well tomorrow is the big day: pre-op appointment with Dr. Galpin.
Appointment is at 10 AM.
Your thoughts will help me through!
Thank you Matt for sticking with me through all these darn appointments!
Lot's of questions will be answered tomorrow.
Thank you all for your support and love! Recovery is going swimmingly. I have been doing pilates every day, and feel stronger and stronger.
Now time for some veggie burgers & a little vino, followed perhaps by a SNL third season. Good stuff.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We Did It!

Yesterday was a very good day. Matt & I went through an hour and a half interview to get financial/medical assistance downtown at the Human Services Bureau. We had all of our paperwork in order, and she has only requested three other items. Phew! It is looking good. I may even get disability, since I am not working right now due to the accident. There are a lot of options, it is just a matter of tapping in. Well we are tapping!After the interview I got a Jamba Juice (thank you Jeremy!), and Matt got a yummy burrito, and we were off to do our art installation at Pacific Source.

Pacific Source provides interior building materials
for contractors, interior designers, and people building homes here on Maui. Their new showroom is really beautiful, filled with mosaic tiles, cabinets, doors, everything you would possibly need to fill your home. Now it has everything including artwork! Matt's work really livened up the space, and it was fun to be out doing what Matt & I love to do together.

After that we drove by the beach to check out some more epic waves. So beautiful. We then
headed home. I hung out for a bit, then decided I wanted to go get my bike. I went up to the house where Jeannette told me my bike was, and was pleasantly greeted by Mrs. Tavares. She is the sweetest! She got my bike out right away, and told me a little more about my crash. Her
son saw it all. Can't wait to meet him! I had to ask her about the mystery man and my teeth. She thought I must know the guy who had my teeth wrapped in a towel, but anyways, she said he handed my teeth to the ambulance crew. Hmmm. Friday I have my pre-op appointment with Galpin, and afterwards we will be picking up the police report. That way I can find out who was on the ambulance crew that day (hopefully) and finally close the mystery of the missing teeth. I am guessing that the teeth that were handed to them may have been shattered and "un-useable".
We shall see...

My visit with Auben was so special. It is as if no time has passed, but we are a bit wiser and older
now. Aubens visit was truly healing. We hung out at the house for awhile and caught up, while petting the bunny, Oona. She rented a Jeep, so we were able to go to some pretty sick spots to look at the waves. Then we BBQ'ed, and then she was off. Can't wait to see her again.

Perhaps a visit to San Francisco is in my future...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Got Some Things from the Accident

Today Jeannette, the 7th grade teacher at Haleakala Waldorf School (new website is awesome!), came by to bring me my helmet, camelbak, and lunch bag. It was so good to see Jeannette, and for her and Matt to discuss the events and how they occurred 4 short weeks ago. Jeannette is really my only connection to the scene of the accident (and her entire 7th grade class) since I have no recollection of it.
This brings up the subject of the darker side of my face meeting pavement...the lost hours. For awhile I told myself it was only the 2 and 1/2 hours before the accident I lost. The truth is I don't have any recollecion of not only the 2 and 1/2 hours before the accident, but also the 36 hours that follow. I have heard stories form people at the accident; Matt, & Jessica. All things I don't remember. I even did an interview with Quest without any memories of doing it. I remember getting an EEG (that technician was so nice), and I remember my last roommate, Nadine, I also remember Louise, and Jessica my nurses, and little bits and pieces. Matt was telling me about the E.R., he said I knew some people there: no recollection. the thing is I was talking this whole time. One of my roommates in college had an accident and didn't remember 6 weeks! Whoa baby! It's weird. I try not to obsess about it. Although a memory did come to me the other night when I was thinking about all this. Since I started riding about 6-8 months ago, almost every time I have ridden, I thought about going over my handle bars, and landing on my face. It was very graphic in my mind. After imagining this I would always ask myself, "Why am I thinking about this right now?", yet I never took action. I think I need to listen to myself a bit more, eh? I know there is a poem in this somewhere...I digress...
Jeannette gave me the address where my bike is, and I hope to go by tomorrow with my friend Auben to pick it up. This visit will also give me an opportunity to hopefully find my front teeth (thanks Jess for the bottom one!). There was a young man there who had my teeth wrapped in a towel, and kept on trying to pass them to someone. No one can tell me who this young man is. I had an EMT friend of mine check with the fire & ambulance crews, and he even checked with the hospital to no avail (thank you Doug & Kim!). Soon the mystery of the teeth will be solved(mysterious music enter now)!
It was sort of weird to get these items back. My clothes inside the pack that I had taken off before changing into my shorts & t-shirt, and the somewhat dented helmet with blood still on it. I am going to throw the helmet away, and get myself a full face one when the time is right. Clothing straight to the wash. At least Matt finally has his camelbak, and florescent jacket back!
I mentioned my friend Auben: I have known Auben Salazar since elementary school, and haven't seen her in over 14 years at least. She is on island visiting another friend of ours whom also went to Carlos Gilbert in Santa Fe. She was one of the first to contact me after the accident with well wishes and mentionings of smoothies. It will be fun to see her tomorrow. We plan on going to Jaws to go look at the second giant swell this winter. Waves are supposed to be 45 feet! Then it's hanging out on the ranch. It will be fun to show her all the animals, and just enjoy each others company. It's funny too, she lost her voice earlier in the week, so we thought we'd be quite a pair! By the way thank you to all of my Santa Fe connections. Weather it is a friend of my parents writing me an email, or a text from a high school friend, it all warms my heart! Que Viva Santa! Also, big Mahalos to my Maui peeps. Leslie you made the task of getting pay stubs painless! Vicki it was so great to finally see you! Janet you are amazing! Joseph it was so great to hear your voice today! Cathy, your flan is the best I've ever had (apologies to The Shed)! Also thank you everyone for giving me the time and space I need to rest.
Here's to one more week until my pre-op appointment with Galpin on the 15th! Cross your fingers I'm OK'ed for the unwiring on the 20th! On my next post I will give some quick instruction on posting comments, as some of you have told me you don't know how to! In the meantime go here. It would be great to hear your feedback (echo, echo, echo)...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yeeeeessss!

Shah Rukh Khan. Baliwood. Swades! One of my favorite movies! I have the chills aready, and only 15 minutes in! Love it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thank You's & More Photos

Aloha, and Happy New Year! Two days in and we've been busy already!
First I would like to thank my dear friend from Flagstaff, AZ, Wendy Jones & her awesome family for your kind donation. I remember days of busing your tables at Beaver St. Brewery, and kid sitting the girls. Now they are in high school, and I haven't bussed a table in years (thank you very much)! Also thank you to Deybra for the protein shake stuff, and the awesome art you gave me. I love my blue angel. Plus a special thank you to my co-worker Janet from Fun, 2, 3. Seeing you the other day was so great. Your soup is still waiting for me to consume it, but I already made banana bread with the bananas you gave me. Thank you to Satica for all the smaller clothing. Love the cords, and those cute cargo pants you just gave me today! You are the best. Thank all you followers of my blog! Too cool. While you're at it go follow Matt's blog over at holtongallery.blogspot.com On his blog he writes about most all of his work. It's quite interesting.

These are some photos from Christmas & New Years. It was great having the family together!

















































A quick note about my insurance. I got a letter today saying my insurance is now on hold because there is a discrepancy between what I told them my income was, and what was on my bank statement (maybe that was the morphine filling out the paperwork).
My dad made calls today on my behalf to Fun, 2, 3, Waldorf, and St. Joseph requesting my pay stubs since October. I thank all of you at all these great schools for your help on this! All paperwork is due by the 11th, so we shall see...


















I would love to see your pictures too if you want to email me! acristinapineda@gmail.com
I love the holidays, yet I am ready to get back to "normal" life. My parents head off today at 3 to Oahu. They will be there until the 4th, then it's back to New Mexico. It was great having them here.
Matt, and Morgan are going on a hike tomorrow starting in Kaupo. It will be great driving out there, it is gorgeous. Another great no sun activity for me, and a great opportunity for the guys. They will be hiking up to the crater, so a few hours later Jess & I will be picking them up at Haleakala. I'm looking forward to it. I look forward to every day!