Sep 19 2013

Ahoy mateys!

Ahoy mateys!

I couldn’t let today pass without acknowledging National Talk Like A Pirate Day!!! We enjoyed it immensely especially when at The Children’s Place and we spoke like pirates to everyone! We called people “scurvy swabs” which I am sure wasn’t the nicest thing to say but well, we were pirates!

Well, I am off to me bed and I plan to check in on me sleeping scurvy swabs to be sure they be sleeping. I will hold in the urge to yell “Arrrr” as I would like some shut eye as well. Here is a look at me swabs!!! I didn’t make them walk the plank today either…arrr…I am a far too lenient pirate mama!

Too much flash...

Too much flash…


Not enough flash/light….arrr

Jul 18 2013

Still not right…


Well, we are back to the drawing board. I am sill not right. I am having terrible migraines (sneaky gluten) and have extreme fatigue with other days of bounding energy. I want to rip my skin off at times because it itches so much. I have bouts of “brain fog” and cannot believe this is STILL going on.

I have spent the last 6 weeks on an aggressive diet change…it helped some at first. Getting gluten and any possible link to gluten out has been the most helpful. Dairy is probably next because what do cows eat? Yep. You got it…wheat. I increased exercise and guess what no real budge on weight – a couple pounds but I still have inflammation running through my body.

My insulin test came back just barely lower than before. I have been told I need hand surgery to correct my left wrist. I just stubbed my toe SO badly that I thought I broke it – thankfully, I did not. I just jammed the nail from the nail matrix into my toe and caused a HUGE hematoma and I get to wear a cool postop shoe!

Anywho – I just don’t care anymore. I will get my hand fixed but other than that – whatever. I am riding every morning now. If feels great. I am napping when I can and taking something to help me sleep at night. Benedryl cream is doing the trick for my shoulders and life will just go on! If God sees fit to heal me, GREAT! If not, ok.

Sorry for my whining…it gets frustrating. But I will lean on Him.

Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Mar 27 2013

God is so good!

God is so good!

This was blasted out by a friend in my MOPS group and I have no words. Wow. It totally smacked me in the face and touched my heart. I haven’t had the time or energy to really discuss with all you on the internets about my situation but I have had some health issues that are REALLY dragging me down. I am tired beyond tired and am just surviving. Someday I hope to regroup and let ya’ll in on what has been happening so I can maybe help someone else!

But without further ado, here is the post. Please read it. It really is very special.

Jan 19 2013

The Treasure Hunt

The Treasure Hunt

In November 2010, I was adding 5 yards of topsoil to my garden with my at the time 2yo Abraham. I had removed my wedding band and placed it in my pocket to avoid the ring getting damaged by the shovel/rake and also to avoid the inevitable pinching that the ring incurs when using garden tools. Sometime that day in my haste I pulled out my handkerchief and apparently with it flung my 14K gold wedding band into oblivion, never to be seen again. Later that day when I realized what had happened I searched my tracks and was totally unsuccessful. I was upset at myself and for two months went without a ring thinking I’d find it. Nope. I should point out that this ring has been through hell and back and never been lost. I’ve jumped many, many times out of airplanes with it; SCUBA dove with it; etc, etc. It always goes with me, and always comes back!

I eventually broke down and bought a replacement band, this time in Silver since a) it’s my favorite metal b) it was $20 and c) I paid $50 for my original 14K gold band which at the time I went to replace it was $260!! Talk about putting salt on a wound!

I talked to my dad, a geologist, and asked if he had a metal detector anymore. He did, and he let me borrow it. Upon reading the instructions, I tried to use this thing and it was giving me false hits all over the place. As it turns out, this type of detector is for large ore bodies 10′ or more below the surface. Furthermore it gives false readings the more moisture there is in the ground. He had warned me of this when I borrowed it but said it was worth a shot. At this point I went online looking for high quality metal detectors that are designed for beach combers in search of jewelry and loot. They all cost more than the ring, so that would sort of be a lost cause there; sentimental value is only worth so much above sticker price! So I was left with either deal with the loss, or perhaps place an ad on craigslist for someone willing to come over and find it with the proper gear and possibly offer a reward. I wasn’t ever comfortable with inviting a stranger from the internet over to my house to find gold, so I opted to deal with the loss.

Fast forward 2+ years to this past Weds when my parents were over celebrating my wife’s birthday. My dad mentioned how my brother and his buddy Matt both have recently purchased very nice metal detectors and have found 90% silver half dollars and a few other small items worth some money. I told dad to pass the word along that I’d pay a $50 reward if they’d stop by and find it.

This afternoon, after having forgot about the conversation, my brother calls out of the blue and wondered if it was alright for him and his buddy to come down and give it a shot. I was glad and said sure, reminding him of the $50 bounty. They arrived a few minutes before 4pm and I got to business showing them my steps from that 11/2010 day (which were many since I’d made trips all over my 1/2 acre lot with a wheelbarrow. Worst case it was buried under about 8″ of topsoil in the garden, or had been flung even further by a lawnmower the last couple years. I followed around with some hand trowels, a garden shovel, etc and we dug perhaps half a dozen holes along the path that had some good hits but the only “loot” we found was a Pepsi can, a shredded Budweiser can, and a Red Bull can. All were 6″ or more below the surface, definitely not where a ring could have settled in such a short time.

Darkness was approaching, and I borrowed my wife’s 18K gold and platinum diamond wedding ring so we could get a sample of a hit on it to know what to listen for. They had 2 different styles of metal detectors which helped a ton having different methods to screen out junk. The machines make different sounds depending on the metal type. Gold sort of sounded like a fart which was different than any other sound on the spectrum. I could tell the guys were getting tired and wanted to pack it up and sunset was maybe 45min away at this point. They began retracing the path beginning at the garden and working their way around the side of the house to the driveway. I was busy patching the holes we’d dug and playing catch up.

At this point my brother and Matt are stopped and talking along the side of the house, and I walk up and they have a hit and it sounded like a strong gold hit. They ask if it’s possible this could be the spot. I thought it unlikely because I’d spent probably 99% of my day that day around the garden not at this place but nothing was impossible since I had walked through this spot a few times with the wheelbarrow that day. They wanted me to start digging, probably because this was about the last spot they were willing to re-search today and wanted to pack up and leave and I didn’t blame them as the wind was brutal. I had them rescan for the exact spot and I went to work with a hand trowel. We sort of take a chunk of earth/sod out, scan it, if it still hits then you tear it apart into small bits. Much of the time the chunk scans clean and you have to dig another chunk up. Many times a chunk that hits would have nothing in it at all, but by this time in the day they had adjusted the squelch/filters up to hopefully prevent any false hits. So, anyway, I have them scan the first chunk and it still made the gold sound. So I removed my gloves and started obliterating this sod chunk and I’ll be darned if right there about an inch below the surface, intertwined in the roots of the grass was my 14K gold ring from 1997!!! We couldn’t believe it. It was maybe 6′ from my electric meter near some shrubs. For the most part the ring was in great condition. It was bent into sort of an oblong egg shape, but nothing a jeweler can’t repair for probably $30 or so. No scratches or gouges at all!

So the reward was paid, the guys were pleased in their skill and equipment, and I was pleased to have my buried treasure back! A good day indeed.

Dec 28 2012

Still here…

Still here...

Sorry for the lack of posts…life has been…well, in a word, CRAZY. I promise there will be updates…especially now that my cast is gone and I have my left hand back!!! Woohoo!!!

Nov 28 2012

“No shoulder ride?”

"No shoulder ride?"

In late September in the first 1/10th of a mile of a 20 mile long run I stepped on a rather sharp pebble about 3/4″ in size that hurt the ball of my right foot but it felt better quickly so I kept running and went onto finish the best long run I’ve ever had. Upon sitting down to eat lunch afterward, my right foot started getting wicked sore so I iced it for 15min and it felt perfect. Case closed. Then a month later the same spot began hurting for no apparent reason. “Overtraining” I thought. I’d already forgotten about the pebble. I ended up going to see an ortho surgeon at the local foot/ankle center about two weeks before the race because I didn’t want to run the race and make things worse. He said it was either the cartilage band around the base of the big toe, or the tendon that runs under there. Ice, Ibuprofen, and tape it and you’ll be fine. So I did, and everything went great up to the race day.

Saturday 11/3 was the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I started the race and hung at the reserved and proper pace I was easily capable of for the first 16 or so miles. In fact, within a few seconds I was dead on target for my goal finish of 3:25:00.  Then I noticed my “good” foot, the left one, was really tightening up. Very rapidly things fell apart and by about the 16.5 mile mark of the race I sort of fell back from the pack I’d been with most of the race and took a really long walk break to try and flex the foot into feeling good again. I felt great and energetic otherwise. This happens sometimes in training, you just lose your steam for whatever reason (sore muscle, tired, mind wandering, etc) walk a little and you get back into it. No big deal. Except the more I walked, the more my left foot hurt. So I took turns running and walking, mostly walking. At this point I’m thinking about quitting. Except I refuse to do that, I trained very well this year to just give it up, I didn’t feel that bad. Besides, it started sleeting and I wasn’t really dressed to sit in drizzle while waiting for a few hours for the trailing “bus o shame” to pick up stragglers.

As I alluded to in my last post a few weeks ago I decided at this point to just make the most of the experience and put on a smile, be glad I am blessed enough to be running a doggone marathon, and finish the race as well as I could. I ended up mostly walking the last 10 miles with a tad of running tossed in for pride’s sake and to try and keep warm. Nothing like freezing to motivate you! I finished the race in a time respected by many runners as desirable but for me it was defeat.

So, time to fess up. As it turns out I fractured my left foot in the marathon. I see you out there. This is where you non-runners secretly gloat about how pointless running is and exclaim how it just begs to break and damage the body. Not so fast!! Because if running is done correctly it doesn’t hurt you, it makes you stronger not weaker! The arch ache ended after the race, but a pain in my heel picked up the next day and wouldn’t go away for a few days. Marathon +5 days I went for a short 20min run to loosen up and see how things were and the heel pain came back full force and then some. I felt perfect except the left foot. The sharp pebble bruise on the other foot was fine by this point and never did bother me during the marathon or since.

I immediately called the ortho doctor’s office and got in the next Monday. An X-ray discovered an avulsion fracture of the plantar side of my cuboid bone. An avulsion fracture is where a soft tissue like a tendon/ligament/cartilage so fiercely pulls at an anchor point on a bone that the bone peels/splinters off. It was small but bad enough to stop me from even walking without a crutch that we had in the closet. Fortunately my Doctor is not what I’d call a hypochondriac. In fact he’s so nonchalant in a positive way that he makes you feel like it’s no big deal. His best case scenario was that I’d be able to get back to running in a week or two but I needed to chill out in the mean time. Ibuprofen, ice, rest; same old stuff. No cast or braces needed, just take it easy. The bad news is the fracture will never heal. The bone fragment will be loose for the rest of my days. The good news is it shouldn’t bother me, freaky huh?!

So my follow up appointment was Tuesday 11/27 and though I ran a little bit last week and the pain subsided, the good news is I’ve been released and declared good enough to get back to normal life. He agreed that what likely happened is after the pebble bruise from September, my healthy foot subconsciously started doing most of the work in walking, playing, running, etc. That led to the left foot being overtired and during the marathon it just said enough is enough and fractured. So you now see the great news is that had I not stepped on that stupid rock all would be well. It wasn’t overtraining, overexertion, or just the simple act of running that caused the fracture.

On a side note, the Doc noticed in the X ray of the fractured left foot that I have an extra bone in my foot on the inner side of my foot below the ankle. It is about the size and shape of a kidney bean. A review of an older X ray of my other foot shows the same bone there too. So, I have 2 extra bones in my body. Weird! Apparently about 20% of the population have this extra bone. I asked the Doc if it will somehow make me have superhuman powers or anything and he crushed my hopes and said it actually makes me prone to having a certain type of tendinitis. Oh well.

During all of this my family and friends have been praying for my foot to heal swiftly and I’m grateful. The boys took it pretty hard though. The first night after the news of the fracture, Abel asked me to give him his nightly shoulder ride which ends with me plopping him in a heap on his bed. I said, “I’m sorry dude but my foot is broken, so I can’t give you a shoulder ride until it heals.” He was destroyed. While crying he just looks at my foot and accusingly says,”No shoulder ride?” and takes my hand to be dragged off to bed. Every night since then he has asked if tonight was the night for a shoulder ride. Tonight, I was able to say “YES!”

Nov 15 2012

I couldn’t have said it better…

I couldn't have said it better...

and I TOTALLY agree with her in saying get back to being prepared!

Nov 3 2012

I run marathonS

I run marathonS

It wasn’t pretty but I completed my second full 26.2 mile marathon today. I can now assuredly tell you that I run marathonS. I badly bruised the ball of my right foot back in September and for the most part it healed but recovery required that I cut back substantially the last few weeks. Between that and the freezing rain today made for a race that was less than desired.

Oh well. At a certain point I decided that I could get bent out of shape about it and drop out, or just be thankful that I am blessed to able to run (regardless of speed today) and plant a smile on my face, make the best of it and finish no matter what.

I am very glad I opted for the latter.

In running, just like in life, there are good days and not so good days. The difference in the outcome is how we decide to deal with the days as we live them. For me there’s always next time, and at some point I will have a great day on marathon day. Really, I’ve had 2 years of good races so to finally have one not so good day is, in my opinion, a blessing statistically speaking.

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Jul 27 2012

Fruity Idea


Just thought I’d post a few ideas to use some of the in-season delicious summer fruit while it is still on sale.

We make smoothies pretty regularly around here, especially since Abel will not eat fruit to save his life, but will drink a fruit smoothie down in a hurry! We typically just throw various ingredients in that seem like they go together into the blender, liquefy it, and enjoy.

Here are 2 experiments from this week that I thought tasted so great I wrote them down and even gave them [cheesy] names.

The Full Spectrum Smoothie

  • 1/2 pint red raspberries
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup green grapes (organic)
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1 plum
  • 1/4 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

The Red, White and Blue Smoothie

  • 1/2 pint red raspberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 plum
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water

The Red, White and Blue has been my favorite thus far and it has the most amazing aroma, like a bouquet of fresh flowers and it’s incredibly delicious.


Jun 15 2012

Fruit Man: 100 Days & Increasing


I didn’t exactly write it down on a calendar but I do know it was in the first full week of March. We’ll average the week and call it Wednesday the 7th of March 2012. That makes today 100 full days.

But 100 days from what you ask? Change.

No, not the false load of tripe peddled to us as “change” by the sock puppets we call “leaders” in this country. I mean life-altering, beneficial, true change. And not by coercion or mistake either.

I am now 100% powered by plants.

It’s been a slow transition from the standard American diet coming since around February 2011. At a minimum I call myself a vegetarian on all days, with perhaps 4 days a week vegan or fruitarian. Regardless of what you call it I no longer look to animals for a source of food. And remarkably I have been craving free and without regret (mostly, more on regret later).

I’ll break this post into 3 segments: Cravings & Regret; Ok, but why?; What is a normal day’s menu like?

Cravings & Regret

To quickly put it, any meat/dairy cravings you may imagine are immediately squashed by merely satisfying our body’s innate desire for raw, natural, sweet, high carb items. Succinctly put, eat plenty of raw, fresh fruit throughout the day = no cravings. The human body will more or less use whatever we put in it (whether high or poor in quality) for fuel and energy. Cravings of any sort are merely our body’s built in way of trying to compensate for a deficiency. Since I satiate my carbohydrate/protein/fat needs without animals, no cravings.

The “without regret” part above has to do with making life difficult for Anna and planning meals or grocery shopping. Processed food is very cheap compared to fresh fruits (I mostly don’t eat veggies unless I’m doing a rare salad or stir fry) so I’ve jammed a wrench in the grocery budget and bombs away if the kids ever follow my footsteps! To top it all off this all happened during Anna’s pregnancy and I have to tip my hat to her for being awesome and working magic to embrace my personal decision while she’s pregnant. I will not force this on the rest of the household, though I hope to share information with them to make their own decisions. So I don’t regret the choice, just the timing and expense.

Ok, but why?

I have nothing against steak, hamburgers, or hot dogs. Nor pork chops, chicken, nor bacon or eggs. By complete accident in the beginning, and then by pure nerdy curiosity later, I’ve simply just read too many well cited articles, books, and viewed enough documentaries to ignore the facts and so I made the change.

If you can read books like The China Study, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, and 80/10/10, or watch “Forks Over Knives” with an open-yet-guarded mind as I have I think you’d understand and probably even do the same. For additional information there’s Mad Cow disease, Pink Slime, White Slime, increased allowable limits of somatic cell counts (pus) in dairy product, and the FDA approved irradiation of food as a means of allowing a higher fecal content in USDA inspected beef and other foods. For extra credit, or for those still thinking ol’ Aaron is crazy, I implore anyone to read 9 CFR 319.180, the Code of Federal Regulations section that regulates what is allowed in hotdogs and bologna.

Folks, I wish I were making this stuff up. I have an iron stomach and do not mind being elbow deep in baby poop (I’d prefer not to), yet I find our present food supply chain is unhealthy and utterly disgusting.

Lastly, it isn’t exactly headline news, but it also isn’t a secret than veganism and vegetarianism are sort of known within serious athletes as a means of achieving your body’s full potential. Look no further than your nearest Bible as well! Now, I will not go so far as to say that Jesus or the Bible commands vegetarianism. However, take the story of Daniel and his preparations in the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar:

Daniel 1:11-16

11 So Daniel said to the steward[a] whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

What is a normal day’s menu like?

Ever the contrarian, the way I eat is rather unorthodox for Americans, but it works well for our house, so we roll with it. We’re still trying to figure out how to eat normal meals without just eating boring crap like sides of corn, green beans and mashed potatoes. It would be impossible to thrive on that. As I indicated above, I’m mostly a raw fruit guy now. My menu is mostly non-existent, I just graze or grab and go (yes, raw fruit is God’s original FAST FOOD), so here’s a sample of what I might go through in a typical week recently:

  • 1/2 pound or more of whole grain organic pasta (so tasty!)
  • 2lbs of long grain brown rice
  • 10-20 lbs of bananas (There’s about 4 to a pound, yes I eat more bananas than Curious George)
  • 2lbs of Medjool dates (God’s candy!)
  • 3lbs of strawberries
  • 2 whole pineapples
  • 3 oranges
  • 2doz half pints of blackberries
  • 2 pints of blueberries
  • 2lbs of apricots
  • 6 Romaine hearts
  • 1lb asparagus
  • Five peaches
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 whole coconut
  • 2 cans of organic, naturally low fat beans, rinsed to remove sodium

Three or four days a week I’ll eat as low fat, raw vegan (limited cooked food and no eggs, milk, cheese, ice cream etc), the balance of days vegetarian with only perhaps one extremely light serving of shredded cheese (on a pizza for instance), or if an egg is cooked into a food item. From my days working in the produce department at Marsh Supermarket in high school, I really love and appreciate the abundance and variety of fruits the Lord our God has given us. I try to live a high performance life, and fruit helps me achieve that. I don’t really track it, but I probably eat 3,000 or more calories each day, and well over 2/3 of that is from raw fruit.

I eat as much raw fruit and other low fat whole foods as I want and not gain even a tenth of a pound (look up “dietary thermogenesis”). Just ask Anna, I’ll carry a tray upstairs in the evening of food that would make a roomful of Weight Watchers folks faint: A heaping bowl of brown rice, an orange, a giant bowl of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries), maybe an apple, a few bananas, and a glass of water to top it all off. I do this throughout the day too. We live in a society that on average gorges on the wrong types of food, we don’t eat enough overall calories each day to thrive, and we suffer because of it. Not me anymore. The best part about all this is it seems the more daily calories I eat, the better I feel and the more weight I lose. Don’t forget, I’m standing now at over 60 pounds less than 5 years ago, and I intend to never ever go back as long as I my heart beats.

I’m only getting started with this lifestyle change, but I feel just as strong and way more energetic as before. I run 3+ miles a day, sometimes 40+ miles in a week, assist parenting  2 (soon 3!) small children, have a full time job and help out around the house and still have enough energy left to author weird internet posts at 1:30am. Like your doctor I urge everyone, whether you give up animal-based foods or not, to eat more raw fruits, veggies and whole grains. Whatever you’re doing now, triple it and see how much better you feel! Live a high performance life along with me!!