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Randsco News

It takes time to create blog entries and not everything that happens, merits an entry. So, we've created this 'news' section, to keep readers up-to-date with our misadventures and accomplishments. Read about it here FIRST, before it makes it into a blog entry.

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Bike Crash Update

May 27th, 2011  · stk

NewsBrief: [Bike Crash Update] It's been nearly three weeks since Alex broke her arm in a freak bicycle accident. Here's an update on her progress ...

After 20 Days

Alex with her broken arm in a cast

Hutton House - Twenty days ago, Alex crashed her new bicycle into a ditch near the house. It wasn't a particularly steep ditch, nor was it filled with big boulders (like further up the roadway). She just landed awkwardly and then the bicycle landed on top of her.

When she walked down the driveway, she said, "I think I broke my arm!" as she sobbed.

She hadn't a bruise on her, nor a scratch. Dad thought for sure she was OKAY ... till he felt her arm.

"We better take off your jacket," he said.

Sure enough, it looked like Alex had dislocated her elbow. Rachel rushed her off to the Urgent Care facility in Ladysmith where, as a precaution, they took an X-Ray, before any attempts to put it back in place.

An initial look at the X-Ray seemed to indicate that Alex had only dislocated her elbow, but upon closer scrutiny, they decided it might be broken, as well. They recommended that Alex head up to Nanaimo Regional Hospital, in case surgery was needed.

After visiting the Emergency Room, doctors in Nanaimo decided that it was indeed a break and because there were operating theatres available, that the operation would take place that very day. She was admitted, prepped for surgery and underwent a general anesthetic which put her out cold. It was only afterward, that we learned that a closed reduction (relocation of the elbow, without cutting any skin) was successful and seemingly snapped the bone back in place too.

This was good news, as it meant that Alex wouldn't have to "go under the knife".

Her arm was wrapped in a fibreglqass "half-cast", which held her arm in a bent position. The cast was wrapped and held in place by a long Ace bandage. Alex was groggy, after the surgery, but her spirits were good. She was sent home after several hours of observation.

The cast was on for a week (and then left on during the weekend, as we embarked upon our annual 'Fire Hall Fishing Derby' camping weekend, up at Nanaimo Lakes). Better to have the cast on, protecting Alex's arm whilst playing and then off at night, whilst sleeping.

Alex didn't seem to be in much pain, but as one might expect, she didn't have a great range of motion with her elbow, either.

It's now been nearly three weeks since her accident and she's been out of the cast for some time. She's been instructed to try to straighten her arm as much as possible, but it pains her to do so and she still has limited motion. (She can barely touch her shoulder with her right hand and still can't straighten her right arm ... missing about 20-degrees of movement).

She had a follow-up visit to the doctor just after one week. The bone fragment that broke is roughly in the same position as it was after the closed reduction ... sitting just a tad further away than it was originally. The surgeon says this shouldn't cause much problem and will probably result in a slight thickening of her elbow - nothing more.

Alex has another follow-up visit this coming Tuesday and we'll be eager to hear what he says about the (continued) limited range of motion. Alex doesn't like trying to straighten her arm - "because it hurts," she says and hasn't been working at it as diligently as she could, as a result. Because she'd predominantly left-handed, having her right arm out of commission doesn't seem to bother her too much, as she carries it around like a broken wing.

Anxious parents want the assurance that she won't have a "broken wing" for life and are eager to see her healed with a full and complete range of motion.

Meanwhile, in other news ... both Rachel and Scott reported spotting loads more grey hairs on their heads this past week. Neither know why this might be. Any ideas?

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Updated: 22-Jun-2011
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Bicycle Crash

May 7th, 2011  · stk

NewsBrief: [title] blah blah •

Bad Day for the Oop

The Hutton House - Alex took a tumble on her new bicycle (which has gears and front/rear hand-brakes). She went into a steep ditch not too far from our driveway.

Mom and Dad weren't there to witness the event, but heard a crying Alex walking down the long driveway.

"I think I broke my arm," she says.

Alex looked fine. No cuts, scrapes or blood anywhere. But when Dad felt her arm through her long-sleeved jacket, he was immediately concerned.

"That doesn't feel right," he said to himself.

He quickly exposed the arm, by taking off the jacket. Sure enough, it looked like Alex had dislocated her elbow.

Mom took Alex down to Urgent Care facility in Ladysmith. She's down there right now getting X-Rays - to make sure there's nothing broken - before they consider putting her elbow back in place.

Poor Oop. :(

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Updated: 27-May-2011
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Five Tips for Hiking with Kids

April 25th, 2011  · Nicole

In her first article for randsco.com, guest author Nicole provides five tips for hiking with kids. Just because you have young kids doesn't mean parents have to put away their hiking gear. Hiking with kids is a great way to combine family time, healthy exercise and teaching children about the natural world. Learn more!

Five Tips Help Make Hiking with Kids FUN!

It is definitely heart-warming to see kids bathing in bubbling brooks, climbing over rocks or boulders and appreciating the flora and fauna as they pass them by. Hiking and camping with your own kids is a great way to teach them about the beauty of nature, cooperation and healthy living.

If you’ve been taking your kids on hikes and would like to make it an even better experience (or want to and fear that they'll whine and complain) - this article will arm you with five ideas that will increase your chances for a successful outing!

5 Quick Tips for Hiking with Kids

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Updated: 18-May-2011
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A Tandem Touring Kayak

April 3rd, 2011  · stk

NewsBrief: [8th Boat Added to Fleet] Scott & Rachel bought yet ANOTHER boat, a tandem touring sea kayak. This brings the number of boats owned or held by Randsco to a mind-numbing EIGHT! Are they crazy or what?

Eighth Boat Added to Randsco Fleet

Powell River, BC - Reporters learned yesterday that the Randsco executive staff took an unscheduled trip to Powell River Kayaking, on the Sunshine Coast, to pick up a twenty-one foot tandem kayak. This addition ups the total of boats owned or held by Randsco to - a whopping - eight!

"For a desert rat," said Scott, "this is far more boats than I thought I'd ever have!"

The new boat is a Current Designs Libra XT kayak, a high-volume, double (or triple) passenger touring kayak. It's overall length comes in at a garage-stuffing 21 feet 8 inches and the fiberglass model - which is the one the Kimler's purchased - weighs a back-breaking 92 pounds. The upper deck gel coat is a pleasing light blue color ("Caribbean Blue" according the the Current Designs color chart).

"Ewe," said Scott, "Doesn't that sound fancy?"

"It's not a fast boat," said Rachel, "but it will hold a ton of gear, is really stable and - best of all - it can seat three people, so we can take Alex out for some kayaking fun!"

The center hatch serves a dual purpose, as it can be used to stow gear (with two paddlers), or can be used to seat a third paddler. It even has a molded fiberglass "seat" built right in, for this purpose ... which was one of the selling features for Scott and Rachel.

"As Alex becomes more proficient with paddling," explained Rachel, "we can move her from the center hatch to the forward seat. Then we can take two kayaks with us on our family trips: a single touring kayak and this Libra XT double."

Rounding out the stats on the Libra XT, the boat has a 32-inch beam, forward and rear hatches. The forward hatch has a 22 gallon volume and the rear hatch has a 27 gallon volume. The maximum load rating for the Libra XT is an astounding, scale-straining 850 pounds! (You really CAN take the kitchen sink!)

The Libra XT has proven itself with many tour operators because of its safety, seaworthiness, comfort, carrying capacity and quality construction. Indeed, Scott & Rachel bought this boat from such an operator - Adam Vallance, the owner of Powell River Sea Kayak. They picked up this used kayak at their location in Okeover Inlet, a beautiful location and great launching spot for the Desolation Sound Marine Park - a kayaking destination paradise.

"We'll have to do some kayaking here," said Rachel, as they loaded their "new" kayak onto the Subaru station wagon.

This brings the number of kayaks owned by Randsco to five. Two recreational kayaks at the floating cabin, two single touring kayaks and - now - this triple touring Libra XT "bus"!

"We have too many boats," said Scott, "We must be out of our minds!"

The reviews by paddlers about the Current Designs Libra XT are much what one would expect. "The stability is amazing," wrote one reviewer, "we never tipped [and] it holds a TON OF GEAR ... almost 220 pounds worth".

"Comfortable ... very roomy ... tons of storage capacity."

As one might expect, some people complained about the speed of the boat. One couple said they averaged only 4 to 4.5 mph in the boat. Some don't like that there isn't drainage around either cockpit or hatches.

We are looking forward to family kayaking trips in our "new" Libra XT. Keep an eye out on Randsco for our shakedown cruise in this boat that some call a "touring Cadillac" (and others call an "aircraft carrier")! LOL

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Updated: 7-May-2011
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BC Nursing Crisis - Five Years Later

March 15th, 2011  · stk

Five years ago, we wrote about the nursing crisis that British Columbia anticipated. How did British Columbia respond? How is socialized Health Care working out for residents of British Columbia now? Find out in our "BC Nursing Crisis" update ...

BC Government Cuts Health Care Despite Shortages & Overcrowding

Back in 2005, when Rachel had just over a year to complete her BSN degree, we wrote about the BC nursing crisis facing the Canadian Province of British Columbia. This bode well for job placement and when Rachel graduated from the UofA in 2006, many of the BC Health Authorities were hiring nursing graduates. (She accepted an offer from VIHA and has been gainfully employed there since).

Fast-forward to 2011 and the latest issue of "BCNU Update" (a BC Nurses' Union publication) describes a very different experience for those now graduating with a BSN degree. Despite an acknowledged and continued shortage of nurses, BC Health Authorities are facing government cut-backs and many recent nursing graduates are finding it difficult to find full-time nursing jobs. In an effort to make ends meet, many newly educated nurses are having to accept work outside of health care - namely in the service-sector - serving coffee Tim Horton's doughnut shops or selling paperback books at Chapters. Sadly, it's their only employment option.

BC Nursing Crisis

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Updated: 28-Apr-2011
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