Dad and Mom showing Lara and Ed a new Guernsey calf (circa 1991)
We had a bad scare last week with my Dad -- he is is the hospital now recovering from a "rare type of pneumonia" (I take that to mean H1N1 D225G/N because of the symptoms Dad was showing, though I'm not privy to his medical records because of HIPPA laws and can't be certain that it was, in fact, H1N1. Still, I do know from keeping abreast of the latest information about the pandemic that cases of H1N1 in the elderly are being underreported and listed as pneumonia instead of H1N1. See, "In The News" section at http://www.recombinomics.com/ [the story from Iowa]). The doctor told him that he is "a tough old bird" and that he (the doctor) didn't know how Dad even walked into the hospital. His lungs were filled with blood clots and fluid, and he was in heart failure, which the doctor says is permanent. The doctor told us that if Dad made it through that first night, then he had a chance. And I'm happy to say that he is still here. When Dad first got to the hospital, the doctor in the ER asked him what his problem was, and Dad quipped, "Figured I'd stop here before they called the mink farm." Well, not having lived the majority of my life in a rural area, I had to ask my sister, Mary, what that meant. Supposedly when a farmer has a cow that dies on the farm for some reason, the farmer used to call the nearest mink farm, who would come out and grind the cow up for mink feed! Now, Dad is on the crabby side -- a good sign -- because he hasn't been able to smoke his pipe. (He'll be 80 next month and I doubt he's going to quit smoking!) He is very weak yet, and the hospital is still not letting him out of bed, but the rest will do him good. I'd like to find some raw milk for him to drink -- that will heal his lungs up in no time. Did you know that back in the '40s when people with TB were sent to sanitoriums that they were given raw milk to drink because raw milk healed lung tissue? You don't hear about the benefits of drinking raw milk in the news stories chronicling the direct sale of raw milk to consumers issue, do you? But then again, Big Pharma doesn't want you to know about natural remedies that work, especially ones Big Pharma can't control access to.
On the way home from visiting Dad in the hospital, I picked up two 45 gallon plastic garbage cans to store maple sap in and a couple of big bags of organic seed starting mix. I will have to overhaul the basement -- Ugh! -- before I can get seeds started, what with all of Sarah's stuff all over the place. I could really use a couple of shelf units.
On a lighter note, today is my Ed's birthday! He is 23 today; I can't believe it. Ed has always been a good kid, and he is a wonderful young man. Autism has barred him from many life experiences, but through it all he has always been friendly and willing to do most things you try to teach him (he's afraid of the chickens though). Mostly, Ed likes splitting and stacking wood for the wood pile. He does a good job of it, too. Tom wants to make homemade pizza tonight for Ed's birthday supper, and we bought him a nice chocolate cake. Happy Birthday, "E-Man"!
Ed Scraping Bark Off A Maple Pole
We are having light snow today. For this locale I'm thinking that overall we are low on moisture. I feel for the people out East who are getting pummeled with snow storms and expecting close to another two feet of the white stuff. I am reading about lots of high tunnels collapsing under snow and ice weight. I hope all of you affected by these storms are prepared for power outages and have food stored. Be safe and well!