Friday, February 22, 2008


Oh boy, I've been tagged... so here goes, for the first time!
Here are the rules:

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name (or pretend middle name!!). If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name.

3. After you are tagged you need to update your blog with your middle name and your answers.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and that they need to read your blog for details).

OK, hope that's all straight. I think I'm going to choose a short middle name ya'll!



I tag:


Thanks for playing!

What a Week!!

I'm not sure much else could have been squeezed into this one week. Let's see if I can document the essence
Here is Missy in a special box upstairs only a few days before getting deathly ill - photo taken by C.
Over the weekend Missy, our grey indoor kitty got sick, or shall I say sicker. She's been very skinny for the last few weeks and I'd been giving her a type of laxative for cats with hairballs. Suddenly though, she seemed to develop an upper respiratory infection and just from browsing the web, I think it may have been something like calicivirus??(cah-LEE-chee...) Anyway, due to her acute thinness, age (13+), and maybe cancer (she seemed to have some lumps in her abdomen), to cut a long story short, she died in my arms on Wednesday morning. That was horrible.

In the meantime....on Monday morning I'm awakened at about 5am with terrible itching on my wrist which in a short while, is seen to be not confined to that one spot but totally systemic, including from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet. Huge ugly red patches covered almost everywhere, with welts and purpley-red, VERY itchy skin. Nevertheless, we took a planned family trip to the Aquarium and had a good time there. Tuesday was not much better, with chills developing etc. Still managed to go with a friend to a fascinating talk by the famed Frank McCourt (of Angela's Ashes fame), in the evening in downtown Chattanooga, and take C to her morning school at CHE, and afternoon Keeper's club meeting - I just dropped her off. Wednesday I was feeling pretty bad, with chills, nausea, some vomiting and would have spent the afternoon in bed (after Missy died in the morning, of course) had not S insisted I go to a doctor and get this thing cleared up, for Pete's sake! So I drag myself off to find a doctor that has an opening (hard to find, it turns out, in this flu season) and eventually get in at a Physician's Assistant's clinic. That revealed a fever, elevated WBC count of 15.8, and a positive diagnosis of Clostridium difficile, etc. Not exactly what one wants to hear but it had been suspected with diarrhea pretty constant for the previous month from that lovely antibiotic the dentist prescribed for the abscessed tooth in January. Moral of the story - TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH - no crowns!! (for interest' sake, you can look up C. difficile on google - you'll be enlightened, I'm sure! - never take Clindamycin, for one thing!). So, I'm on metronidazone or something like that to kill the C.diff. Pray that works! Now, with the itchiness still around, but less severe, we have to find a cure for that little problemHere is C by the little grave site in the woods, feeling sad that Missy's gone. (They buried her Wednesday afternoon while I was doc hunting).

OK, on to other things...C has a cough - mostly in the mornings - feels fine during the day, thankfully. I really don't think I could have taken care of a very ill cat, an ill and itchy self, and an ill child at the same time!! Thank you, Lord, for small mercies!

Thursday and today have been much better, but no rest for the wicked - still have to teach school, be taxi lady for cello group, help fold newsletters for the non-profit I volunteer for, help move in a new library cabinet and move books over to it for said non-prof. group, and all that stuff that doesn't let up for "nobody". But at least life isn't boring and I can truly say that God has given the strength to get through, especially losing Missy. (Who cares about C.diff?). And I didn't even mention that C and I got borrowed violins on Sunday and have been playing them from time to time when life permits. C already plays several pieces by ear in the violin Suzuki book one, and I'm up to about number 11 in the book. Of course, we're just excited by the novelty. I'll talk more about the violins next time....(still taking cello - violin is just a side hobby, ha ha!)

Cheerio, and hope for better news next time!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fresh Air is Good

Here are some wise, inspired words from Ministry of Healing in the chapter Contact with Nature:
Outdoor life is the only remedy that many invalids need. It has a wonderful power to heal diseases....
There are life-giving properties in the balsam of the pine, in the fragrance of the cedar and the fir, and other trees also have properties that are health restoring.....
Plans should be devised for keeping patients out of doors...
Exercise in the open air should be prescribed as a life-giving necessity. And for such exercise there is nothing better than the cultivation of the soil....
In nature may always be found something to divert the attention of the sick from themselves and direct their thoughts to God. Surrounded by His wonderful works, their minds are uplifted from the things that are seen to the things that are unseen. The beauty of nature leads them to think of the heavenly home, where there will be nothing to mar the loveliness, nothing to taint or destroy, nothing to cause disease or death.

I hope you all are able to enjoy the outdoors. Lately I haven't been getting out enough - this cold, biting wind and frosty air is enough to keep me indoors more than I should! C got out this week quite a bit though, and didn't seem to notice the temperature!

We had a child bride this week, thanks to Aunty J who made a lovely wedding dress and veil.

We've had several practice runs though miss bride still isn't satisfied with the flowergirl who WILL drop all the petals in ONE spot.
Enough to make a bride grovel to pick them up for yet another practice!!
Poor B had a cold this week and to top it off, got pink eye on Thursday. It's very contagious so I hope the rest of us don't all suffer the same fate! I've been drinking charcoal this week for a different reason caused by a certain bacteria gone wild. The symptoms seem to be easing up, thank goodness.

A peek in to C's cello group class with Mrs. Burnham:

There's nothing too earth-shattering this week to report. Home-school is going well with more ups than downs. We're about done with first grade, I'd say, so are well into the 2nd grade stuff now. C is doing a bit more reading aloud in our Bible time, where she'll read one or so of our stories. She is used to reading to herself so her fluency is probably needing to improve - I'm sure this will help. Writing is also coming along and we're focusing on keeping each letter the same size.

Caridee has been joining us in the schoolroom, as well as occasionally Bud, Missy and Sunny. Bud and Caridee have a tentative relationship now but not too friendly from Bud's perspective. It's amazing how quick Caridee is to jump out of reach of Bud's claws! She'll stick her nose way in toward him then jump back as quick as lightning as he strikes. Everytime she barks she quickly looks at me to see if I'll spray her. She knows she's not supposed to bark inside the house.

As you can see, I'm scraping the barrel for something to say, so will end now and get an early night for a change. S is over at the Univ. seeing if anyone will be stargazing tonight. I think there are too many clouds! No doubt he'll find someone to chat with though.

Happy Valentine's from this giraffe in Florida! Do you see the heart? That's for YOU! They told us he was even born on February 14. Nice story!! :-)

Hope you all had a great week. Take care.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Monarch Marvel

How nice it is to stop the hustle and bustle of a busy work week and to have a full 24 hours of rest. I can't fathom why it's considered legalistic by many to NOT work! Keeping this day Holy is a blessing for us because we consciously put away things that would lead us away from knowing God more fully. Actually, sometimes there IS effort involved - that of NOT working! But the results are worth it and very beneficial for the soul.

See how our little Cy has grown. How peaceful she looks. C loves to hold her and would hold her constantly if she could.

We've had a lot of rain this week. On Tuesday morning right around 8am we were hit with some mighty stormy weather. Unfortunately for about 50 people in Western Tennessee earlier in the day, it proved fatal. This time of year can be unpredictable in these parts.

On Tuesday afternoon C was invited to a belated birthday party - a dress-up tea party. Great fun and hilarity was had by all - especially as there was a 5 year old brother to chase after them with his stick sword and dinosaur mask. They were screeching and screaming so loudly one couldn't be heard above the din even when in the kitchen.

Wednesday night was Adventureres. I was the worship leader and Busy Bee teacher this week. We studied about butterflies and had to cover quite a lot in the hour alloted us for the class. Here is the interesting story of the Monarch butterfly's life here in North America. I'll mention the cycle of the eastern Monarchs which overwinter in Mexico just west of Mexico City.

We'll start in winter when thousands of them are in the same little area, clinging to tree trunks, branches and leaves. They are in a hibernating state at this time. In Feb/Mar, they start to awaken, find mates and after mating, fly northeast into the States and lay their eggs in Mar/Apr on the underside of milkweed plants. These butterflies then die - they've lived a total of 6-8 months. Their eggs hatch after 3-6 days, grow 2000X bigger as caterpillars/larva for 7-17 days, form a chrysalis and emerge another 2 or so weeks later as the adult Monarch. This is the "first generation".

These butterflies then continue the long trek northeast-wise, laying their eggs in Apr/May. The first generation dies after 2-6 weeks. The 2nd generation then emerges and continues the flight. They lay their eggs in May/June/July (the 3rd generation), and then die themselves. By now, they're probably more than half way across the States, heading east. The 3rd generation makes it all the way to New York/Maine and the northeast. (I don't know exact, specific locations, and remember I'm only talking about the ones that go to the east - others migrate all over the States). They lay their eggs in July/August/Sep? and then also die after several weeks. When this 4th generation emerges, they soon start the incredible 3000 mile journey, going back in a southwesterly direction across North America, arriving 2 months later at the EXACT location their great great grandparents started from 6 or 7 months previously. They drink a lot of nectar on the way, arriving fatter than when they left the Northeast. This fat helps them survive the long winter.

How they know exactly where to go is still a mystery. Maybe they release pheromones along the way, I don't know! Of course the TIMES of the migrations may vary somewhat due to various weather conditions. Sometimes they don't arrive in the northeast til Aug/Sep due to storms or other conditions.

In Mexico they hibernate as adults for 6-8 months before starting the whole amazing journey cycle again. So, next time you in the States see a Monarch butterfly flitting seemingly aimlessly about the garden, remember that you're watching an amazing participant in one of the most fascinating dramas of the animal world.(dramatic music...)

Your children might enjoy this little photo book about the life cycle of the Monarch, and from this link, one could go to a lot more interesting facts about the Monarchs.

Enjoy the Sabbath, and your coming week!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pinch and a Punch!

for the first of the month!

This time last year we had a snowfall and had a snow day. This year it's cold and wet today.

On Monday C and I spent a good bit of the day at the Creative Discovery Museum. The new exhibit was called "Moneyville" and was all about how money is important, the history of it, it's value in different countries, plus some practical games and situations using play money, including making change on a computer game. Although C was at first reticent to play that one, since it was a school day, I made her play at least some, and in the end that was her favorite thing and she wanted to keep on doing it......(Mom says "Yay!"). We also had the opportunity to make our own "money" including a print out of it and a photo of oneself in the middle. Of course, C chose the 1 million denomination every time for her money, so now we're millionaires! Perhaps I'll donate a million to charity tomorrow....

On Tuesday we had our CHE day, studying about the eyes. After lunch we did First Aid at our Keeper's club meeting. It's hilarious to hear the kids' solutions to various medical emergencies! Hopefully we're setting them straight! In the evening C and I went to an "Escape School" programme - not scary at all, says C- at Spalding. I think we learned a lot that hopefully we'll never have to put into practice.

Heard a disturbing bit of news on local radio today - yes, the SS has arrived in the US. Right here in our local city, we are having a training program for regular citizens - your friends and neighbors - to be trained in the ways of the police. They are to be "spies" (though they're not saying that) in your friendly neighborhood and are to report any activity that is suspicious (in their minds). Some will even get radar "guns" to monitor your speed as you drive through the neighborhood and report you to the police who will then write you a friendly warning. To me, it doesn't seem like the old "neighborhood watch" going on here. So, do we live in the US of A or have we somehow become the USSR (of 20 yrs ago) or China? The lines are becoming somewhat blurred to me! Does this not strike you as a bit strange and antagonistic? Am I going to talk as freely to my neighbors any more? Will we be able to trust anyone? Pretty soon it won't only be crimes, but what we believe, or our lifestyle, or the way we're raising the kids....

Deep breath - I'll move on......

At GVE we're learning all about Roman numerals - quite fun - until it gets tedious! In cello, we're working on Berceuse in Book 3 and starting to do a little vibrato - much anticipated.

S did some handiman work around the house yesterday. Fixed a fluorescent light in our schoolroom, fixed a motion sensitive spotlight at the back door, fixed another issue with the heat pump and other various things. Yay!

And that about covers our 'extra' doings this week. The rest is all routine as usual. I am trying out some new recipes that S picked out. Quite good! (I must admit, I've only made one so far.) Anyhoo, IT was excellent, and quickly devoured. There will be more....

This photo is from before Christmas at G and J's.

Is that you, Darth Vader, in the back?

We're waiting to hear how G and J's trip to Indiana went. We hope they found good things. I'm sure they'll let everyone know in their weekly missive.

Prayer is key. It's our connection, easy to lose....."Pray, that ye enter not into temptation".

Have a great week.