Friday, August 18, 2017

My responce to why I am so......me.

Im a shit ton to handle and I know it. I am the most loving and scary person you will ever know. I don't mind that. I will defend those I love with every thing. Those I love, I love fiercely and fully.

I am tired and most the time I have enough energy to make it through, but I swear that the trials and stupid bullshit I have gone through for the last years have to be some sick scientific experiment someone is conducting. My best hypothesis is that their experiment must be testing the ability for the human bodies ability to handle stress before breaking.

I do just fine and am able to handle anything you throw my way. But being that kind of "Can handle anything Shera/Cat Woman/Wonder Woman/Isis God" takes a lot of energy.

Id rather spend my energy helping those I love than to deal with the time and energy that it takes to lie and be polite/politically correct.

So for those of you I tend to offend with my overly direct, non beat around the bush behavior, language, or honesty, I am not sorry.

I have to wake up knowing I have to be a human Magician. Not enough time to do blaa blaa blaa, I got this. Not enough hours in the day? I got you. Not enough money to do whats needed? Let me get creative. Yup, just wave the magic wand and pull a magic rabbit out of my ass. What ever needs to be done I can do it. What ever Question someone has, I have the answer or can find it. Does someone need help doing something? Cool, done.

The amount of time and energy required to wake up and be everything for everyone, everywhere, while being me, and doing myself. That stuff takes a lot of damn energy. So I dont have time to sugar coat myself for you.  I dont have time for niceties. I dont have the energy to lie to you.

Do you know how much mental and emotional energy it takes to lie? There are very few people on this planet that are worth lying for and honey, tell ya what. Odds are you are not one of those people. You do not merit the value of a lie on my emotion bank and the energy that it takes to let you lie to me is just as high.

Don't feel like if I hurt your feelings with my opinions or feelings or that I am being brutal and unkind I know the truth can be uncomfortable for people. Especially those that have gotten so into the habit of lying about everything to everyone to either be polite or nice, to be sensitive so as to not hurt someones feelings. What ever your worthless reason I can see right through you. If you think I am uncomfortably honest with you imagine how uncomfortable the people that are close to me feel who I am way more brutally honest with. At least you know, no matter what, I am the one person you can rely on for the truth.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Insanity of life sometimes


My life is a roller coaster that I would like to be a kiddy car ride instead. Within two weeks of leaving the trail this year thinking we would rejoin our friends on the PCT this is what we have done and why we wont be returning.

I raised my kids hopefully with a great love for their siblings. I didn't care terribly much if they had great regard for me, dad, grandparents, or anyone else so long as they had great love for their siblings. A lot of that came from the intense wish that my brother and I were closer. I love my brother and always will but we go years without talking unless he happened to be at my parents house when I go over there. Even then he doesn't seem to like me much if at all. He really has a thing for my third and current/last husband though. He loves my kids too and has always had a super soft spot for my youngest and only girl. I am sure part of it is because she is a girl but she can always make him smile and laugh.

About two weeks ago, after getting done delivering some late papers(my daughter and I deliver newspapers in the wee hours of the morning) my daughter came home and rushes upstairs after I had been asleep for about 2 hours hysterical and half screaming crying about uncle David, he has been in a motorcycle accident.

I jumped up thankfully having chosen to sleep in clothes the night before or I likely would have hoped in the car and driven to the hospital in my birthday suit.

I tried asking more questions and all my daughter could say was she couldn't understand Nana but she got the name of the hospital and that David wasn't good he was being rushed to the hospital.

We grabbed the baby and my middle son and I drove as fast as I could without putting others or our occupants in danger and drove to the hospital.

Ally and Austin were not in stable emotional condition and wanted me to go faster between crying and speculations about David.

Shit has hit the fan and all I can think is make sure everyone knows what they need to know, gets where we need to get and does what needs to be done. Ally, stop and breathe, call papa and make sure he knows. If you couldn't understand nana, we need to make sure that papa knows what happened to David. Call my husband and let him know where we are going and what we have found out so far. Find the quickest route to the hospital and then into the ER.

Hop off the freeway, pull into the ER entrance and WTF do you mean to valet park you want 3 dollars? Fuck who has three dollars hurry go through your pockets and the ashtray and find three dollars. Grab the stroller, grab the baby.....did anyone get the stupid ticket from the dumb valet?

Forget it who cares. rush through talk to four people who seem to have no clue how to help us and find that David is there. No one really has his name in the system he is still listed as a john doe.....OMG that can not be good.

Go back to security to get a badge/pass to be able to go back into the er to see him and the doctors. Up walks Papa, he isn't holding it together. This dumb security guard wants ids for everyone to issue ids. Why the hell do I need an ID FOR ANYWAY! Why in the world did he have to go to the hospital in the stupid Ghetto? Why the hell did he have to end up in Hill Top Tacoma?

Ally looks at Papa and asks what he knows has he talked to anyone at the hospital, what did nana say could he understand her? He starts to ball and says that the hospital called him and told him that David was basically dead but they were keeping him alive long enough to let us come and say our goodbyes. Who the fuck says that to family even if it is true?

That was the hardest and most difficult thing I have heard in years.

WTF do you mean that he is basically dead? Where is MOM is she here yet? We heard the police were driving her. Seriously we are the first people here?....okay we have our passes now can we go see him? NO?!? WHY?!?What do you mean that you want us to go and sit in the waiting room?

Finally someone comes back and says they have a waiting room for us to go and sit in. He doesn't look good and we can't see him yet. He is alive and they are trying to stabilize him for an airlift to Harbor View. They will let us go and see him one or two at a time before he leaves. but things don't look good and his odds are bad they are really bad.

Mom and John go first and it seems like they are gone forever. They come back just bawling. Can we go see him? What do you mean they are prepping him to leave now I need to see him first. What if he doesn't make it?

Ally and I go back and see him, He looks like a worst nightmare. I tell him I love him and I will see him again in Seattle and to hang on and fight. I have to leave the room I can't hold my shit together.

Mom asks me to call the Wilson side of the family and let them know what has happened. All I have is Aunt Janelle's number so I start with her.

Key the phone tree. Dad is in Mexico, how the hell am I supposed to get a hold of him? And the following relation is what I had the job of relating to each of the family members.

David is bad his chances are so extremely minimal his odds of making it at all are worse than minuscule.

David was on his motorcycle because he went on an early morning ride before work, the weather has been gorgeous here and I could completely justify an early morning ride. A car pulled out in front of him and he went through the window. Speed unknown. 

He had on his helmet and riding jacket thankfully. His ribs are completely broken and have punctured his lungs in multiple places causing the collapse of both lungs. His neck is broken and his spine in large measure has basically exploded. His pelvis had broken in both the front and back opening like a lotus flower. He is bleeding internally basically everywhere, and his Aorta is displaced being the most dangerous and fatal injury he has. The condition of everything else is unknown and uncertain.

I have to relate to each family member in succession this story through tears and remembering to breath. Mom is over on the wall having a cigarette and bawling like a baby and repeating "parents aren't supposed to outlive their children" 

The hardest conversation I had most definitely took place with Davids dad Larry. Larry raised me and is the only dad I knew for years.

I ended up calling his wife's Facebook so I could talk with him and tell him everything that john and my mom didn't. Listening to his anguish over his sons condition was seriously the hardest thing to hear.

Since we headed up to Seattle and got there after he was already rushed into surgery, so we waited, and waited to see what the surgeons would have to say about his condition. Fully expecting that the next time we talked to someone they would be telling us he had not made it.

That day they removed his spleen and a large amount of his intestines, removed his ribs from his lungs and re-inflated his lungs, put a rod through his hips to hold them together. And managed to repair his aorta. As they came and told us each piece, they made sure not to give us false hope. The doctors informed us that there were other more serious issues they had to fix before fixing his aorta how in the hell can something be more fatal to him than his aorta? If it moved at all or decided to rupture there would be absolutely nothing they could do to save his life, he would be gone. I don't think I have ever seen my mom so despondent. All she could say was "Parent's aren't supposed to outlive their children".



That is the roller-coaster that we lived on for days. 8 or so hours a day David would be in surgery and his life would be in limbo and we would sit and pray and cry that he would live through surgery and then the night.

My mom and step-dad stayed at the hospital, they managed to get a hold of Davids girlfriend and she was now at the hospital looking like her whole world had collapsed. The second day Larry, Davids father and the man who raised me managed to arrive from Mexico after some touch and go issues with border patrol trying to get back into America.

We are now 2 weeks out from the accident and massive amounts of surgeries. Davids prognosis has improved greatly but, we have not gotten to the point where they care about his extremities, so we are not out of the woods yet. My parents will be taking him home and converting their basement into a medical facility for him and they have set up a gofundme for him.

He has gotten pneumonia and is being treated for it. They have taken out his ventilator and he has been able to speak. He is very confused and the drugs they have him on help to control his pain have created hallucinations and an inability to sleep, he is delirious and angry. The doctors are hoping with changing up his medications to change some of the inability to sleep and the hallucinations. So there, things are looking better.

This came on the heels of my grand-daughter being born with ruptured intestines and having surgery at 12 hours old in the middle of June. They proceeded to keep her in the NICU for  a little over a month.

I proceeded to spend less time at the hospital and more time at home unpacking my daughter's house because days after Temperance being born we moved them from an unsanitary home in an apartment complex where they refused to repair a hole in the ceiling that was leaking water onto their hall floor rotting the carpeting and it had been that way for six months, the apartment complex refused to repair it.

As my granddaughter was released from NICU my grand mother went to the ER, she was delirious and confused and her leg was a weird color. Come to find out that she had sepsis and was about to die. My mother, aunt, and uncles spent shifts at the hospital trying to help my grand mother make it through. She eventually made it and got to go to a rehab facility.

Within a few weeks my brother was in his car accident, then a week later my son-in-laws, fathers dog attacked me with no warning or provocation tried to take my hand off of my arm causing nerve damage and we don't know what else. A week later on my son's birthday he was at the skate park and thought he broke his leg, he didn't, but his kneecap ended up on the wrong side of his leg.

So the hike we started in April from Mexico to Canada won't be finished this year. While I wish I could hike, I know that the trail will be there year after year. I can go back at any time and hike with my husband. I miss the people I met and spent time with on trail. I plan to go and do some trail magic for them when they get near my home and maybe that will make me feel better. But, my family needs me no matter what I think of them at times, I need to be here with them. I wish all of you that are still on trail safe and happy trails.

Love and good thoughts,
The Stoddards



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Whitewater preservation

So we made.it.up to whitewater and the idea is to stay the night, get up fuck off for the morning (basically wade in the wading pool), and then hit the road and hike in the afternoon tomorrow.

Just an fyi mom asked us if we could switch him temporarily his tent which is a 2 man tent for Thomas bivy sack and around Kennedy meadows we could switch back. Thomas agreed so we left the kids tent we borrowed at Hill Billys house until we get off trail.

So we set up the tent which is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. You have to climb inside the tent to attach the poles before it is set up or anything and hook them into the inside of the tent. Who in the hell wants to climb inside the tent then back out again to set up a damn tent. Well, obivously someone, just not me. We set it up with the ground cloth and staked out the corners. There is only room inside for Thomas and I so we placed our packs outside.

The wind is starting to pick up so I'm in the tent and Thomas is out bsing with Josh. I made sure that our packs were secure and closed up. The wind is really starting to blow hard. Frog rolled in with a couple and is setting up camp also.

OMG WTF I swear to god I didn't sleep last night almost at all I swore to god I was gonna wake up one of the hundreds of times and either be hurtling through the air or sitting on top of a witch with ruby slippers. Last night Thomas went out and tied in all the guy lines to attempt to hold the tent down.

Ok this tent is a mountain hardware and I know they have some great tents and for me this would not be my tent of choice. Inside there is this warning that says maintain ventilation or suffocate and flipping die!

So, we left the little top flap, vent thing open. The air would come rushing in and fill this stupid ass tent up like a hot air balloon! And then the thing would try to catch air. I swear to god if I was in here by myself this stupid thing would have been sky bound. You could feel the edges of the tent pulling up at the sides trying to life yoh up all night.

And looking it all up now the wind was 50 plus miles an hour gusting to like 75-80 all night. And the wind has slowed a little but not much. I figured that when the sun came up the wind might die a bit but no luck.

The young couple that came in with frog is helping him go through his pack and figure out what he can get rid of and it's the sum of a couple gallon Ziploc and a couple lbs. He says he may end up selling his catalyst and get a smaller pack. If he does I'll buy it from him it would be perfect for us.

Well, we played in the water, took a nap, and ate now it's time to hit the road jack. Hike hike hike, climb climb climb.

Hours later we are 9 miles in my knee hurts and now I wanna sleep. So, sleep time it is. Josh and the girls are still with us we will get going together tomorrow. We stopped 2 miles from the water source so we will have a short jaunt then march on after refilling our water.

It's hot but not as hot as it has been. Onward toward big bear we continue. We need to get moving or we will be out of food before we get there. I think I need to quit letting Thomas determine the schedule. He wants to travel like a snail.

Figuring it out

So I sit here this morning and am attempting to get a hold of a ups store. I need to get this tent sent back to Tim and get to smashing some miles.

A wonderful lady with the help of her sister got us a tent on trail. It wasn't the one she intended to send us but it's lighter and smaller that the Taj Mahal. In fact its a bit too short. I'm slightly concerned for the water proofedness but we will see. There is places where the hooks are pulling on the tent material and the fact that it is barely long enough for my 5'5" frame to lay flat in. I'm concerned that when I'm asleep I may end up pushing on the tent and damaging it.

Right now its finish breakfast which is uneddible, drink some coffee, figure out why the funds transfer didn't work to get me money, pack up, get the Taj Mahal sent off and start to hike.

Coffee should be done now, I'll write more later about how the plan turned out. Knowing me nothing like what I just got done laying out. LOL!

 So yesterday didn't go as planned. They still haven't fixed my bank account yet. But I was waiting on money to get transferred to me. It didn't show up, so a wonderful trail angel mailed my package home for me. It was the sweetest. Deb you rock.

I ate lunch and we decided to stay until the next day because as soon as I ate I got a pretty good sized head ache. And we decided if the money did come in then we can grab some ready to eat snacks.

Today we got up and no money. It's a bummer but what ever. It's hard to resupply with no money. But I'll figure it out. We just will push on and when it's fixed it's fixed. No point in crying over spilt milk.

We got packed up and headed out around 11 and went up deer trail. All up hill and thankfully not too hot going. It still made for a hugely long walk.

We had gotten started out off town around 11. All the hiking was in trees it was temperate and comfortable. We didn't stop too much just up hill all afternoon. We crossed over so many water sources that weren't even listed so today there is no fear that we run out of water. 

We went up deer trail and it passes by San Jacinto peak. Thomas and I had decided that we didn't feel like summitting. We had a few minutes of oh carp did we just hike the way we would be obligated to summit. But we didn't,  the trail just paddled of off where we were.

Around sunset we were directly below the peak. I want to say we were about 9200 feet there was an absolutely stunning sunset and view. We kept hiking into the night I want to say we hiked until midnight.

We were basically at the peak of what we are gonna do for a few days. So we found a campsite that was tucked up next to a boulder and slept in hella late with all the shade and protection from the wind.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tent and Idyllwild

So we put out a 911 to some trail angels and well anyone we could think of.

With a forecast of off and on rain, snow, and hail we need a waterproof tent. Got a couple of decent suggestions. A gentleman willing to send or sell or whatever us a new tent pole section but the tent is back in Washington with my daughter.

An awesome trail angel Tim has decided to be our night in shining armor and drive us out a tent. It's heavy as hell but waterproof and plenty big enough for the two of us.

I guess the weight won't matter if we are dry and all.

We stayed 3 days in warner springs the last night was to see how the tent was to sleep in. The night before we set up the tent Tim brought us and put our stuff into it. It's huge in there. Basically everyone his inside the resource room and tried to stay warm and dry. The wonderful women that run the resource room regaled us with the fact they were gonna leave the center open overnight so we could sleep inside if we chose. We elected to stay inside to help dry out our wet sleeping bags while slept in them.

Well the weight itself is noticeable especially where we end up needing to carry a ton of water. Finding a camping spot big enough for it is a bit of a beast. But it is like living in the Taj Mahal.

We have plenty of space in here but my poor husband developed a hole in his air mattress and couldn't find it so he has no ground insulation. It can't be fun for him that way thank God he is a warm sleeper. I would loose it.  We have sent it back to my daughter so that hopefully she can find the hole and get it patched up and sent back out. Thinking of that I need to ask her if she got the box with my shoes and the air mattress.

Right now he is using a combination of others discarded mattress pads. He has one that I am assuming is an all season because it has like cotton or insulation in the abroad but it doesn't hold air so he is using a halfy pad that covers his torso area and lends some padding and insulation.

We have a solution for a tent right now we are waiting for it at Idyllwild. We have been in idyllwild for almost a week now. When the tent gets here we will set it up and take down the tent from Tim. We have a means with which to get Tim back his tent. It's slow going with this big one to haul around. On a side note we won't be hiking thru clouds when we cross over San Jacinto. That's past us now and so I am expecting that we will be able to hit the trail ge



t at this tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The layover

So we put out a 911 to some trail angels and well anyone we could think of.

With a forecast of off and on rain, snow, and hail we need a waterproof tent. Got a couple of decent suggestions. A gentleman willing to send or sell or whatever us a new tent pole section but the tent is back in Washington with my daughter.

An awesome trail angel Tim has decided to be our night in shining armor and drive us out a tent. It's heavy as hell but waterproof and plenty big enough for the two of us.

I guess the weight won't matter if we are dry and all.

We stayed 3 days in warner springs the last night was to see how the tent was to sleep in. The night before we set up the tent Tim brought us and put our stuff into it. It's huge in there. Basically everyone his inside the resource room and tried to stay warm and dry. The wonderful women that run the resource room regaled us with the fact they were gonna leave the center open overnight so we could sleep inside if we chose. We elected to stay inside to help dry out our wet sleeping bags while slept in them.

Well the weight itself is noticeable especially where we end up needing to carry a ton of water. Finding a camping spot big enough for it is a bit of a beast. But it is like living in the Taj Mahal.

We have plenty of space in here but my poor husband developed a hole in his air mattress and couldn't find it so he has no ground insulation. It can't be fun for him that way thank God he is a warm sleeper. I would loose it.  We have sent it back to my daughter so that hopefully she can find the hole and get it patched up and sent back out. Thinking of that I need to ask her if she got the box with my shoes and the air mattress.

Right now he is using a combination of others discarded mattress pads. He has one that I am assuming is an all season because it has like cotton or insulation in the abroad but it doesn't hold air so he is using a halfy pad that covers his torso area and lends some padding and insulation.

We have a solution for a tent right now we are waiting for it at Idyllwild. We have been in idyllwild for almost a week now. When the tent gets here we will set it up and take down the tent from Tim. We have a means with which to get Tim back his tent. It's slow going with this big one to haul around. On a side note we won't be hiking thru clouds when we cross over San Jacinto. That's past us now and so I am expecting that we will be able to hit the trail fit at this tomorrow.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Warner springs

Ok we made it to Warner springs and horrible weather is right on our butts. I'm all game after over 100. But, I'm not sure what I want is rain and snow storms for 2 days.

It wasn't as hot coming in the last few miles as it's been overcast. Had some awesome trail angels that gave us some hot dogs and cookies.  They were great. Gave us a ride to the post office and then back to the community center which is apparently the hun hub of the entire "city" if you can call a post office, gas station and a hold shop a city. Well, they did have a school and a fire department. But, I think every pretend city in California probably had to have a fire station and such with the amount that California burns.

We had originally sent two boxes to Warner springs but since we seriously over estimated the amount of food we would initially need we are currently carrying way more food than we are consuming.

Hiker hunger is totally a thing but, it isn't a thing yet and we are eating barely more than we did at home which isn't much at all.

So forward the box on that we initially believed to be 3 days of food which is more like 6 or 8 days worth.

Now we have gone and set up our tent and placed it under the giant tree because when your outside in the cold something tells you that you should be under a giant tree when it's raining.

I am not sure if I have told you before about our tent ordeal. So when we sent the dogs back because dodge wasn't doing so hot we also sent back our 3 person quarter dome tent because one of the tent poles was seriously bending.

Now when it first started bending we placed a splint on it and was all ok it should be good now. Wrong! It was not good it proceeded to bend on either side of the splint. Now the tent wasn't going anywhere that the poles were being exposed to an outside pressure to create bending. Really if it was, more than just the one section of pole would be bending. 

We had procured a small 2 person a frame tent while on trail and used it successfully up until this point, while small it provides a place for the two of us to sleep.

So we figured out last night that it is not water proof and water does come through the tent. So we grabbed the cheap knock off army poncho I ended up with when I thought I ordered an army poncho. Apparently just being camo makes it army. So we kinda rigged it best we could over the tent to attempt to make it water resistant or something.

Not in the least was it anything that had anything to do with being dry.  Clue one Thomas was not in the tent when I woke up.