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Okay, it is truly ironic that the one morning that I am actually able to sleep in during the last oh, week, ten days is the morning that I wake up, for no apparent reason, in the middle of the night. I mean, wide awake, not just awake to use the bathroom and stumble and grope your way back to bed. I mean, bright eyed, bushy tailed, felt like I drank a pot of coffee wide awake. Ironic, isn’t it? On a morning that I need to be up early, I feel like the alarm clock is visiting me from some distant planet, pulling me back to reality. This morning, I am sitting here typing this, wondering what tasks I should knock off the “to do” list. By the time that I actually feel sleepy again, the entire rest of the house will be waking up and then my day is off to a start.
The goats are a happy bunch although we have not seen much out and out fainting. Phoenix, the littlest and the male, has had his legs stiffen up quite a bit and did fall over once but they are a lot harder to startle than one would imagine.
It was nice to know when we let them out yesterday that none of them are ready to bolt and they are all quite happy to hang around and munch on the leaves, both fallen and still on the trees as this photo shows. Apple leaves are the favorite or maybe that is just because that is what we have given them the most.
So, I saw the dermatologist yesterday and to throw even more fuel into my confused little world, he told me that he doesn’t even think its eczema. Great?!! I thought that we had it narrowed down to something, now it’s not even that. He is of the opinion that I am suffering from an allergic reaction to something since my “eczema” is not symmetrical. Evidently symmetry is a pretty important component of an eczema diagnosis. The way he explained it, if you have eczema on one leg, you should have it on the same place on the other leg. The total lack of symmetry (my left arm and my right shin are broken out) is not typical. He gave me another ointment to try which is stronger and suggested a biopsy in a month to determine if it is in fact allergy based. Then we may try a skin patch test of common allergens on my back for a couple days.
So….long and short, yet another version of what could be wrong, but still no concrete answers.
Today, we experimented and let the goats out to roam. I am happy to say that they were quite content to hang out by us. I must say that they are quite the little leaf vacuums, greedily chomping up all the fallen leaves on the ground. I can’t wait for actual fall so see them really in action.
They are becoming more accustomed to us and we to them. They are very familiar with where the food is located and love to sneak in behind you in the chicken coop to steal some hay from the bale.
Well summer is over here at our house. The boys are all back in school as of today. Things are quiet which is good since I should be able to get back to the business of business and get cranking on my next two issues for work. I have my dermatologist’s appointment today so I will see if there is any news on that front. At least there is something for this doctor to actually see, since my leg is still inflamed.
Since I am trying to be good about posting, I will try to do another one later on. In the meantime, I really need to pick some basil and parsley and get the dehydrator going. It is that time of the year.
Happy Birthday Daddy. Today is my dad’s birthday. Although he is no longer with us, he is never far from my heart. I miss him a lot and think of him often. I really wish that he was still around since I am so certain he would enjoy and be proud of his grandsons and love it up here in Vermont.
Our friends Lou and Kirby (yes Lou I am using your name) are coming up again this weekend. They are some of our oldest and dearest friends and it is really very nice to hang out together. No matter how long it may be between our visits, we are able to just pick up without any awkwardness that might happen. That doesn’t happen with all friends and is an indication of a time-tested friendship. We have a sign in our home that Tom and I both feel is fitting — “It takes a long time to grow old friends”.
I think that I am going to have to carry around one of those little tape recorders and look like a dork. Or a notebook and look like a reporter. I seem to have these great ideas of things to write about in my blog when I am nowhere near my computer. Then when I sit down, it is like my mind got erased. Like when we used to walk into CD World with all our lists of CDs we wanted and seemed that we couldn’t think of a one once we got inside the doorway. Writing lately has been like that. Great idea pops into my head, something intelligent, thought provoking or at least pretty cool and wham-o, it is gone when I go to write it down.
I think I need to eat more of whatever vegetable is good for your memory…since mine seems to be slipping lately. If I remember my great, awe inspiring thought for today’s entry, I will be back.
Last night we had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Killington with friends of ours from NJ who are up on vacation. When I was using the ladies’ room (which I use practically everywhere I go – I don’t think that there is an establishment where I have not frequented the bathroom) there was a poster on the wall. Life’s Little Instructions. Doing a bit of research I discovered it was authored by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. He originally wrote the book for his son who was going off to college. I guess a bit of fatherly advice in a bottle. He is quoted as saying: “I read years ago that it was not the responsibility of parents to pave the road for their children but to provide a road map, and I wanted to provide him with what I had learned about living a happy and rewarding life.” Since I thought it was pretty neat, I thought I would share some of his advice here.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Leave the toilet seat in the down position.
Never refuse homemade brownies.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Plant a tree on your birthday.
Learn 3 clean jokes.
Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.
Compliment 3 people every day.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Keep it simple.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Floss your teeth.
Ask for a raise when you think you’ve earned it.
Overtip breakfast waitresses.
Be forgiving of yourself and others.
Say, “Thank you” a lot.
Say, “Please” a lot.
Avoid negative people.
Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
Wear polished shoes.
Remember other people’s birthdays.
Commit yourself to constant improvement.
Carry jumper cables in your truck.
Have a firm handshake.
Send lots of Valentine cards.
Sign them, “Someone who thinks you’re terrific.”
Look people in the eye.
Be the first to say hello.
Use the good silver.
Return all things you borrow.
Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.
Keep a few secrets.
Sing in a choir.
Plant flowers every spring.
Have a dog or cat.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Stop blaming others.
Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Wave at kids on school busses.
Be there when people need you.
Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter.
Don’t expect life to be fair.
Never underestimate the power of love.
Drink champagne for no reason at all.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I made a mistake.”
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
Compliment even small improvements.
Keep your promises no matter what.
Marry for love.
Rekindle old friendships.
Count your blessings.
Call your mother.
Pretty good advice, don’t you think?
Okay, so I have been doing a bit of internet research on Elidel in trying to determine if I should use it despite the black box FDA warning on the package about lymph and skin cancer. The general consensus is that the debate is ongoing and there isn’t conclusive evidence either way. Of course, that isn’t particularly reassuring. I have read that it is prescribed quite frequently and short term exposure isn’t necessarily bad. Well, at least that anyone really knows. Maybe I will give it a try….I think I will sleep on it and decide.
In doing the research however I did come across some interesting information about detergents and eczema. There is a great amount of research out there for infant and child related eczema and its relationship to detergents, not just in laundry detergent, but also in shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, and fabric softener. Evidently to remove all traces of detergent from your home is essentially almost a near impossibility. But the article was quite interesting about the difference between soap and detergent. Just because a product is labeled “soap” does not mean that it is “soap”, in fact most soaps are actually detergents. There are very few soaps out there. Soap is a product manufactured from a vegetable or animal base whereas anything labeled detergent is petroleum based. Those Evil Oil Companies are screwing with my skin!! It is truly impressive how many things are tied to oil/petroleum. In fact, even Ivory Snow (that baby detergent that is supposed to be pure) is no longer detergent-free.
I may go on a quest to minimize my exposure to detergents. Most of what I read did say that an elimination or at least minimal use of detergents in all aspects of your daily routine, can make a drastic impact on eczema flareups. This news is somewhat encouraging.
I am however, not giving up my bleach compresses.
This week was particularly discouraging. My visit to the doctor disclosed good news about my blood work. I have developed nothing tragedic aside from the Mediterranean Anemia that I know I have but every doctor who ever does bloodwork is startled by. Unfortunately, nothing in the bloodwork gave any clues as to what’s up with my leg, which has resurfaced its itchy head this week. Stress? Could be, some work related issues that I have to deal with. I have a dermatologist appointment next week. My doctor prescribed Elidel. I filled the prescription but basically got the wits scared out of me when the First Line of the patient information had in all caps THIS MEDICATION HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CAUSE SKIN CANCER. She says that I should try it for a couple days because that is what the dermatologist is going to prescribe. I personally am particularly attached to my life and really have no desire to take known chances with it. I am perplexed as to what I should do….. I will however continue to bleach my leg, the bleach compresses appeared to be working before. I am hopeful that they will continue and clear it up again.It was kind of nice for the few days that it was completely gone to feel normal again…..well whatever “normal” is.
Okay, for anyone out there that is coming this way, at the top left (just opposite this post) is an online chat window for Meebo. It is pretty cool, you can just chat with me if you’d like, either with your real name or anonymously. I am kind of curious as to who may be reading these, so if you’d like to use the window, I think that would be neat. I am trying really hard to be logged in online while I am here working or home, so if it says that I’m online, I really should be. Help me give it a whirl. Thanks!
Today was a busy day. Tom was away on business leaving me to tend to the kids, the goat kids, the dogs in addition to the usual house stuff and my work. I have just finished up the laundry from our vacation in addition to the regular laundry but I still have not finished up my issue. It is very frustrating, so close and yet…not done. I am still acclimating to TJ’s soccer schedule and we are trying to work out the carpooling situation so at least 3 of us aren’t all running back and forth to school to drop and pick up kids from practice. The boys also had scouts tonight which meant dinner had to be done pronto and we had to be out the door. We weren’t especially good about the getting out the door part and were late getting there. Oh well. In the midst of all this chaos that is life, I always have to remember to take a minute. Take a minute to breathe, to admire the world around you, to enjoy your children and think about how fortunate you are that they are healthy enough to be a pain in the rear sometimes and how fortunate you are to be here to take it all in. Sometimes life gets so hectic that you forget, forget to just “take a minute”. Yesterday I had to explain to my youngest son that sometimes it is just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of someone or something else (such as an animal). It’s an important lesson that all of us have to re-acquaint ourselves with so we can better do all that chaos that is life. I am trying really hard to take a minute and post something every day. Consider it my “me” time.