Thursday, August 28, 2014

_The Hancock News_ Column- August 6, 2014*

After much thought and deliberation, I’ve made a decision that will greatly impact myself and my family. Please know that I have struggled with this and have not entered into it lightly, but for the sake of my health and mental well-being, it must be done. Starting next year, I will boycott the month of July.

The last two years, July has been brutal to me. Last year I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in July and had to begin a strict diet that did not include homemade vanilla ice cream, all-you-can-eat buttered corn-on-the-cob, or fresh peach pie. The schedule of pricking my finger to test my blood sugar about a zillion times a day would have been easier if I didn’t have the audience of my children fighting over who got to “help.” 

Then on the first day of our family camping vacation, we had some difficulty finding a suitable campsite. By the time we had pitched our tents and hiked to the bathroom more times than necessary, it was late, and the kids were begging for sleep. Without having even enjoyed a cozy first night campfire, we fell exhausted into our sleeping bags.

I awoke a few hours later to what felt like labor contractions. Given that I was still only six months along, this was not good. Morning’s first light saw us packing up and heading to the emergency room. After tests, an ambulance ride to Morgantown, and even more tests, my appendix was removed. Some vacation.

This year July picked up right where it left off with a triple whammy. First, I hurt my neck when I greeted one morning with a yawn and a stretch. I went crying to my chiropractor. Next I dropped my end of a wooden beam on my foot and screamed my way to the emergency room. Luckily, it wasn’t broken, but the bad contusion took weeks to heal. While hobbling about the yard and pulling weeds out of the overgrown raspberry patch, I managed to mess up my back, too. I couldn’t even stand up again without using my daughter as a crutch. The ice pack was my frequent companion for the rest of the month.

So that’s why I’m skipping July. It’s just too dangerous. Maybe, just maybe, if the children really butter me up, I’ll take a break from the boycott to celebrate the Fourth, but the rest of the nasty month will be ripped from my calendar. Gone. My poor aching body simply can’t risk another month like it.


My helper through the pain this July was none other than our dear chiropractor, Dr. Rishel. This recipe is from him, one of his favorites for using summer garden veggies. He told me how to make it but didn’t give me specific measurements. I’m approximating how I made it, but I’m sure you can adjust it easily to your family’s size. I also suspect you could throw in other fresh vegetables you might find ready in your garden.

One Pot Summer Veggies

4 potatoes, cleaned and cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 zucchini, cut into chunks (similar size as the potato chunks)
3-4 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until almost tender. Next add the onions and zucchini and cook until potatoes are done. Drain the vegetables in a colander. Return vegetables to the pot, and stir in the butter. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

*To be honest, I'm guessing when this was printed. It was sometime in early August.

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