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The past few days have been pretty crazed and I have been admittedly, pretty mopey. I think that in trying not to think about things, I have been thinking about them even more. My concentration sucks and I really feel very detached from everything and everyone. Poor little me. To make matters worse, my itching is driving me insane, although just about the only spot that is not itchy and I really need and want (god that is sick) it to be, is my shin. I want to have it get inflamed, get the biopsies done and get the whole deal over with. Finality… in one way or the other. My nerves are getting the better of me and my mood. Tom has been a doll and he has distracted me doing his best to keep me laughing through all of this…or at least not crying.
Anyhow, enough of me and my poor pathetic self. We are supposed to get snow, evidently, the first real storm of anywhere between 3 and 8 inches of snow tonight into tomorrow. A little white magic to change the world outside my window and my mood would be delightful.
At dinner tonight, we were discussing those family members that we miss. A few weeks ago, my oldest son literally grabbed me in the middle of little country fair and dragged me over to a booth of baked goods. “Smell.” He directed. “Doesn’t it smell just like Nanny’s house?” Wow. Talk about a blast from the past. Tom’s grandmother, to whom he was referring has been dead for some years now, but it was nice to know that the boys still think of, and remember her. LIkewise, we were discussing his uncle and my aunt, and how each of them would have enjoyed Vermont and our children and our friends and neighbors here. Tom’s Uncle Duane was very much like my father and quite honestly, the two of them would have gotten along great and both we would have had to evict physically from our house since they would have loved it so much here. Another person I think of often and miss, is my Aunt Mary. She was a lively, fun person and we always looked forward to her visits and her delicious pies during the holidays. She would show up in a car literally with the backseat filled with pies of all different types. Yummy. No one has been able to re-create those or her delicious stuffing, although we all have tried mighty hard. She would have loved my boys and I know that they would have adored her. It is funny to think of those people who are gone in body but their spirit lives on in our memories. Brings tears to my eyes since these thoughts have often, of late, crossed my mind.
Okay, so I am the first to admit that following my appointment with the doctor and the news which is pretty scary, I didn’t feel at all like going anywhere or doing anything. We had, however, to go to NJ for an orthodontist appointment and a party at my sister’s in NY for my nephews. Thankfully it was a chaotic, hectic day where there was little time left to ponder on things. The boys slept at my sister’s for which I am very grateful and Tom took me out to dinner (sushi) which was nice and distracting as well. Saturday was errands in NJ and the party and then the trip home. Today was spent in a houseful of kids since we had four extra to work on a school project. So, thanks for the chaos of the weekend, it helped to not think about things.
Enigma: a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation. That in a nutshell describes the pathology report of my biopsy. I was so ready to have closure and what I got was this slap in the face. The doctor sat me down and said that it could be a really rare form of skin cancer or an autoimmune disorder that is incurable. In either event, Thursday sucked. I have to have two more biopsies done since they need more tissue to make a firm diagnosis (however – they might need two more after that) and depending on what the biopsies disclose, a chest x-ray. However, and here is the really sucky part, since the inflammation on my leg is not as bad as it was two weeks ago, (and you would assume that was a good thing) I cannot have the follow-up biopsies of the inflamed tissue until it is, well, inflamed again. So, we sit and we wait.
We woke this morning (or more appropriately were woken by our youngest son) to the news that it had snowed. The first snow of the season. Timmy was pretty excited and I must say I still share in that magic of the first snow. While it is mainly on the grassy surfaces, it still transforms everything into a winter wonderland. Some say, “Snow? I hate snow” Me, I love the snow, to me there is absolutely no reason to have cold weather unless we are going to have snow. Here are some pictures of the world outside our window. Interestingly, the snow (that stuck) was actually only above 1000 feet. We are located at 1600 feet (I know this from my canning since altitude plays an important part in not poisoning your family and friends) and while we have about 2 inches of snow on the ground, there is NOTHING down in town, which is only 6 miles down the hill. Brotherly love at work, TJ woke Tyler by placing a snowball on his face. Now, that’s love!
The goats and the chickens weren’t particularly excited about the snow. This is all of their first experience with the white stuff. The chickens were all gathered against the coop and the goats, well, they must have been saying “what happened to all the grass?”
Okay, it’s rainy, it’s dreary and it’s supposed to snow. I uploaded these pictures of Tom and the kids (Phoenix, Creme and Sky Blue) to brighten my day and hopefully yours. Aren’t they all just so adorable?
This article appeared in our local paper, The Rutland Herald and was in fact, quite disturbing.
|State urges Vermonters to be prepared for pandemic
October 20, 2008
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
|COLCHESTER — The Vermont Department of Health is urging residents to prepare for what officials believe will be a worldwide flu pandemic by stocking their pantries.
Public health officials say that during a flu pandemic families won’t be able to go to work, school or the store.
Health Commissioner Wendy Davis says people should buy things like dried foods that have a long shelf life.
In 1918, a worldwide flu pandemic killed millions of people.
Davis says it’s only a matter of time before another pandemic spreads across the world.
Burlington is one of nine communities around the country taking part in a pilot project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get ready for a pandemic.
This, coupled with a comment from a neighbor about a possible resurgence of the Spanish Flu from something she read from the CDC, put my fingers to the keyboard to find out more. And find out, I did. Several things, some of which were quite disconcerting. In New Jersey, a law was just passed mandating flu vaccines for children under 5 attending preschool or daycare. Mandating. That is a strong word as it relates to the flu vaccine. Makes me glad that I don’t live in NJ anymore. The CDC has in fact recommended flu vaccines for all children between 6 months and 18 years of age. Normal, healthy kids, not just children who are considered “high risk”, although I do have one of those. My youngest son, Tim has asthma and has gotten a flu shot for years. My other two boys, neither of whom suffer from any “high risk” conditions, have never gotten a flu shot.
Why? Why all of a sudden is this of utmost importance? The news is replete with articles from all over the country urging parents to get their perfectly healthy children vaccinated this year. While I am not the conspiracy type, I do have to admit that living with my adorable Mr. Paranoia for all these years does rub off on me. We went through childhood without a flu shot, my other non-high risk children for their 12 and 13 years have survived without a flu shot, so now why this sudden urge to vaccinate healthy children, coupled with this article? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
It certainly makes me wonder and give the whole thing a second thought, particularly in light of the fact that thermisol is found as a preservative in most flu vaccines. Okay, I admit that this makes me nervous. While years ago, call me stupid, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to the vaccines administered to my infants; age and experience have made me more cautious and much more protective. I am no longer willing to “turn my kids over” to the pediatrician’s wishes, especially in light of the fact that Tom and I have a nephew who is autistic. While I know the controversy surrounding thermisol in vaccines is inconclusive from a scientific point at best, I also know that I have a sister who believes in her heart of hearts that little Damian “was different” after he was given his MMR vaccine. A mother’s instinct is nothing to be messed with and that is enough to give me second thoughts.
It has been a busy week. I had an issue to get done and it is EARLY! Hooray for me! Now I just have another to get done before the end of next week and I will be stylin’. The boys have had something or other going on almost every night, so this weekend has actually been kind of relaxing, although still jam packed. I jarred 8 bottles of salsa this morning, we insulated the goat house and have walls up over the insulation and went to a soccer game, as well as guitar practice and a trip to the store for errands. Tomorrow we hope to finish up the goat abode, wall the rest of the coop so the chickens can have free range in there for the winter and I need to dig the rest of my potatoes and gather the cabbage to make my sauerkraut. We want to make sure that the animals are good for the winter, since it is coming fast. Tonight it was 34 at 6:30 and the temperature is dropping fast. Last night it was in the low 20s with a frost that could be mistaken for snow this morning. Hats and gloves are already mandatory equipment. We have a fire going in the woodstove and it is nice and toasty in here.
Between the insulation and the normal state of itchiness that is my life lately, I just about lost it tonight. If you saw my face, you would understand why I was on the verge of tears. Red, itchy, damn— I really am approaching the end of my rope. I wonder if I might be the very person to be driven to the edge of her existence by this maddening itchiness and constant redness. I really, really, really (did I say really) hope that when I go to the doctor again this week, he has some news for me. At this point, I really would take any news, to at least know what the heck is doing this.
Today we lost a member of the family. Not a human member, but a member just the same and we are sad. This morning we found one of the chickens dead in the coop. I know that there are some that would laugh that I am pausing to remember a chicken, but she was a good chicken, and she will be missed. More importantly, her death is symbolic of how precious life is and how quickly it can be gone. I think that everyone needs a wake up call now and again, when we think ourselves invincible and we think about material things that are so inconsequential in the great scheme of things and we afford them such a great place in our world. Life is precious. We forget that, regardless of who or what we do or do not believe in, life is a miracle and a gift. It is fleeting and it should be lived to its fullest. I don’t ever recall anyone lying on a deathbed and wondering whether their business would be okay when they are gone, or gloating in the their material accomplishments. All too often, people, usually too late, regret that they have not lived their life and enjoyed it. Some of them, close to me, forget that life is very special and very precious and should never be lived as an afterthought. After work, after business, after things….. Each life is special and precious and unique….even a chicken’s.
This weekend was the Columbus Day holiday and we were invited to attend our friend’s 10th anniversary party and vow renewal. In fact, we were asked to “stand up” for them. When I was first asked about this a couple months ago, I was disturbed. I had never really given much thought to vow renewal, in general it’s something that people who are my parents or grandparents’ ages may consider on a noteworthy anniversary, a 25th or a 50th. In my mind, the thought of vow renewal did not go hand in hand with anyone our age or younger. In fact, to me it rather seemed as if “weren’t you sure the first time around?” That being said, it was a nice little ceremony, they each wrote their own vows and they seemed quite happy.
Having done a lot of divorce work in the past, it’s common that neither side is really happy and things are never truly and equally divided in a divorce not for lack of trying. That being said, it seems as if this Cambodian couple came to a unique answer to their divorce dilemma. They simply sawed their house in half. Not only that, but the husband removed his half of the house to an undisclosed location. Very King Solomon-like indeed. Check out the story at bbc.com. There is a picture too!
Had the biopsy today and hopefully within a couple weeks I should have some clue to what’s up with my leg. Fingers crossed they can be somewhat definitive in what it is … or what it is not and we can move on from there.