Tag Archives: volunteer

Our Life

It feels like we are drowning again.  John and I have been on catch up ever since the trauma of Riley’s birth and the challenging life it left in its wake.

John did an amazing job as The Bootstrap Boogie volunteer photographer last Saturday evening.  Our computer is now filled with revelers in our barn and on the mechanical bull.  We expect to discover some of the shots in the Naples News this week.  Now we may need to redefine “tired” when it comes to John.

There has been plenty of stress and not the least of it being health.  Riley had a long challenging weekend – no one needs those details.  Not long ago John suffered a bad ear infection which we treated with antibiotics.  We thought it was taken care of… We also kept him from his passion during the healing process and he has not been diving in over two months.  Sunday evening his one and only filling fell out which was very strange.  Monday morning, while waiting for a flat repair he decided to walk over to the dentist…. missing work all the while.  He then discovered the infection and spread throughout his sinuses and was destroying his teeth as well.  He has now had a root canal and will be having a crown, another round of medication, and we hope that no other teeth meet the same fate.

In the meantime, I am struggling with the demands of taking Riley so frequently to meet with medical specialists.  Monday was the Pulmonologist.  It took the entire morning and as you can expect that was all driving and waiting.  Tomorrow is the Opthalmologist, but I find I must cancel.  I cannot manage it right now.  It’s all about tracking and covering every one’s butt.  But, it’s at the expense of Riley’s energy, my time and energy, the wear and tear on the jeep and of course the incredible cost of gasoline.  Do these sound like legitimate excuses.  Likely not.  But at some point we should get to live our lives rather than shuttling around to doctor’s offices.

Not feeling so special today… Stacie

Not Alright With Me…


Funny, I felt my stomach tightening just pulling into the parking lot for Vacation Bible School.  Handicap Parking is always filled with unauthorized users.  This person likely was picking up children learning the same lesson I just heard all the way home.  “God is watching all of us.”

“So”, I wonder “Am I a bad Catholic for resenting this violation?”  Perhaps… but if I do not object to this abuse no one else will.  I find this at each and every school we have participated in since Riley landed in his wheelchair.  I should have left my note… unfortunately, it was extremely hot and our air conditioning is broken so I did not write the traditional note and approached only this vehicle and not the other two violators.  Shame on me for allowing this to happen I suppose.  It is not alright with me and I am not done yet.

This is my discovery today… http://www.handicappedfraud.org, a website for reporting the Handicapped Parking Fraud.  I wonder if it works.  I hope it does.

Meanwhile, time for me to wrestle with my religion… oh wait, first Riley needs lunch, then therapy… then a snack.  Ok, I’ll wrestle with it in the next life and for the most part leave it to the other bloggers.

We are all special… especially those who have the deserve the handicapped parking over Riley… Stacie

6/15 update… There were three violators yesterday and a different three today one of which remained throughout the day.  My church and the volunteer coordinator wants the volunteers and parishioners to park as they will and requested me to leave it alone.  This is the same attitude I have encountered at each and every school, church and organization we have been involved with.  No, special needs does not get the support.  You may want to believe they do but it is a misconception.

Wednesday at NEC – by Donna Lee

After receiving a call for help, “Leaders needed on Wednesdayafternoons”, of course I replied positively.

No volunteers, the kids don’t ride. Its as simple as that.
It’s a very tiring work afternoon, no rest, even a potty break is quickly taken and back to the ring. The riders are mostly independent and it is a pleasure to watch them tack the horses and ride with ease, some with no side walkers.
I prefer side walking because of the interaction with the riders. It is such a pleasure to be able to converse, laugh, joke, and listen to their hearts and words of wisdom. as a leader, you concentrate on controlling the horse. Well, it is very difficult for me to keep my big mouth shut and find myself chatting, laughing andgetting teased by the riders, especially when Ted nips at my arm, sending Vanessa into rolling laughter. My motto is, “if I make you laugh, I am happy”. Fortunately (and unfortunately) we are so understaffed on Wednesday afternoons that I am not “busted” for conversing with the participants.
I leave the ranch exhausted but my soul is light and totally bursting with pride from all the great riders, the commaraderee of the volunteers who always seem to pull it off, no matter how understaffed we are. Watching Sara, our scholarship girl from the Derby Fund Raiser, tacking Dotty totally solo, watching John, our Special Olympic’s champ,  prepare Ted for his lesson and our leader, Debbie, and her calmness preparing Buddy, knowing that we will manage and all the riders will have a great afternoon.
Wishing everybody a great weekend,




Wild Side

Coincidentally timed with my intention on remembering life and marriage before children.   A new cooking show debuted this past week: “Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen”  episode Walk on the Wild Side.   The kitchen happened to be catering a fundraising event for the rescue and rehabilitation organization.  The show brought images of the Wildlife Waystation flooding back to John and myself.  I have not had the privilege of being on the ranch in over eight years.
Every Saturday, John and I made the journey from our Playa del Rey condo to the Wildlife Waystation in the Angeles National Forest.  I thrived our volunteer experience there…. it was often hot brutal work (especially for John), and every moment was precious.  As I sit here I can see one of my favorite pictures of a napping Idaho lion from one special afternoon John and I spent adding landscaping to his section.   Very few have the opportunity to experience this amazing volunteerism and I was fortunate enough to share it with my life partner.
The Wildlife Waystation blessed our lives and I miss it every day.

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