Do you remember how cool it was to show off your injuries when you were in elementary school? Someone would get stitches or a broken arm and everyone would gather around as the injured person removed bandages or described how the injury took place. When I was younger I always wanted to break a bone just so I could have a cool cast for everyone to write on. But my parents had kids with strong bones. Out of nine children, only one of us has ever broken a bone and it was my youngest sister Kati just last year.

On the other hand I was a bit of a klutz. I had my fair share of scrapes and cuts. And I did manage to get stitches once from a gash caused by our back door. I got 14 stitches in my foot, but then my dad wouldn’t let me go to school to show it off. He said the doctor said I had to keep it wrapped up because feet tend to get dirty (who knew?) and my dad knew the first thing I was going to do is unwrap it and show it off (duh!). So I didn’t even get to revel in my glory when it was mine to have.

Today though I feel like a little kid all over again. I went rock climbing yesterday and managed to get up the 90-foot wall at Eagle Creek Canyon on my second attempt. However, this wasn’t graceful rock climbing like the some of the climbers who were with us. This was me using any part of my body to hurl myself up the wall. I used my knees, elbows and back as needed. And to show for my triumph I have some pretty banged up armed and legs. I was just proud that I made it up the wall because my first attempt was not pretty (I made it to the first foot hold and fell off).

Oh, and for those of you who are still interested in my reading challenge. I finished book 14 this weekend: Candyfreak by Steve Almond. This book was amazing and made me salivate regularly. I wanted candy more than I have wanted candy in a very long time. Almond writes about the evolution of candy bars and tours a number of candy bar factories. He does not tour any of the big three, however, because they are too secretive and denied him access. The book is basically a nostalgic look at the candy bar industry and shows that, just like in every other American industry, the little guys are being pushed out by the big guys.

One thing I learned is that candy companies have to pay grocery stores a “stocking fee” to put their candies in the register line. The fee is $20,000 or more (I don’t know how often this is paid though). This should explain why we only see Hershey’s and Mars products at the front of the store. No independent candy companies can afford such a large amount of money.

The book itself is amazingly well written. The author is hilarious and the book never gets too dry even when he’s feeding us statistics instead of candy descriptions. I recommend it for a fun read.