Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ups and Downs

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 2009

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!


  1. Sorry to hear about your dad - sounds like a feisty guy - just like my own dad. How is he doing? And happy birthday to your son, Ed!
    Funny you should mention about the raw milk.....I remember my grandmother who was a nurse way back when talking about how it was used for something - must have been TB. If I ever find a buck for my little doeling, we may just have raw goat milk around here!
    I just want to thank you for the good advice you gave me for standing up for my son. I'm so passive except when it comes to the kids. Just breaks my heart to think of someone mistreating them -
    I've got my indoor planter thawing out in my backroom - going to plant some spinach in it. Whenever it thaws - I let the fire go out last night and it was 48 in here! brrrrrr!

    BTW - not nice having snow falling on your blogsite!!! LOL!

    Beth aka oneoldgoat

  2. BTW (again) ALL of my kids and my mother are afraid of my chickens!

  3. Hi, Beth! Yeah, I thought about removing the snowfall widget, but I think I'll leave it up a little longer. If they come out with an April Showers widget I'll put that up for Spring. Dad came home today, but there are loads of doctor appointments and tests over the coming weeks, so my sister and I are taking turns caring for him and I don't think either of us will have much free time. I think that whatever chicken breed you first experience has a lot to do with people's attitude toward chickens. For example, one of my sisters was scarred for life when she was 4 by a chicken that pecked her lip, and she wants nothing to do with them!

  4. Happy Birthday to Ed! I'll be praying for your Dad. I like his attitude, and I might have to store away the mink farm info for future use.