Sunday, December 16, 2012

Celebration, Sickness, Sadness and Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing around here, now that I am FINALLY kicking this sickness in the butt. After the three rounds of antibiotics, along with the antibiotic ear drops (along with dayquil, nyquil, sudafed, benedryl, cough syrup and I can't even remember what else...), my doctor decided to send me to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist. I went to my appointment one day last week and the Dr. said it sounded like I was having an allergic reaction to something and my body just couldn't handle all that was being thrown at me. On Friday, I went in for a full round of allergy testing (60+ injections) and it was determined that I am allergic to, well, everything! I had a reaction to every single item they tested for....grasses (including the hay that we are feeding our livestock), molds (since we've had so much rain lately, I'm guessing that the trees and hay and everything is growing a bit of mold), severely allergic to dust mites and finally...wait for it...cats! I'm ALLERGIC to cats people...did I mention we have 13 cats!?! 4 inside (one that sleeps on me most nights) and the rest are outside. The allergists suggested that I go on a regime of weekly allergy shots; however, before I go to those extremes, I'm going to get through the holidays and determine if it is really necessary. The reason that I am waiting is because the allergist also explained her "bucket" rule to me. Essentially, your body can only handle so many things at once and I think that my body was trying to deal with the stress of having both strep throat and a major respiratory infection...and THEN we added a fresh Christmas tree and real pine garland, along with all of our Christmas decorations coming in from the garage...and my body finally said - that's it! I'm done :-) So, the allergist suggested that instead of taking a sudafed OR a benedryl OR Mucinex - that I actually take all three together for a bit. I'm hoping that if I take all three, it will get me through the holidays and then, once we take the tree down and my system has recovered a bit, I should be able to go off everything and be ok...if not, then I will consider taking the shots. But, I've been on the three different meds for 36 hours and I feel SO much better. I can even hear out of my ears (mostly) again.
So now we are playing catch up with Christmas and trying to get presents and celebrations taken care of as we can. It's hard to believe that Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas will be packing his sleigh and heading out in just eight days. We've already gone to our Beekeeper's Association Christmas Party, we have two more celebrations this week for our Neighborhood Watch Team (one with the Core Team and another with the whole group), I have a client holiday lunch tomorrow, during the day and then my company Christmas party on Tuesday. WHEW! THEN, we still need to figure out all the times to visit with our families. We can do it! LOL
Mark and I celebrated the 16th anniversary of the confirmation of our wedding vows...meaning that we actually had two wedding ceremonies - the first one on July 23rd (this was our actual/legal wedding that we celebrated with Mark's two daughters from his previous marriage) and then we had the large, church wedding on December 14th. As a celebration, rather than the typical flowers and chocolate, Mark thought it would be nice if we put our chickens on order for the Spring. So that's what we did. We ordered 6 layers (Silver laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Australorp, Easter Egger/Ameraucana, and a Blue Andalusian) and 10 meat birds to be delivered the week of April 8th, 2013. I am SO excited about this next step in our farm life. The Spring for us means fresh eggs, home raised meat and...honey bees!!! WOOT!
Here are some photos of what we've been up to recently...

Here is Miss Cora (left) and one of her best friends (Everest) at their Christmas Concert - such great kids.

Here's another photo of Cora's concert - they did such a great job with all the songs.

I just love this photo of all of Captain's newest batch of kittens, staying warm on our patio chair.

We also had the honor of watching Drake (front center) perform at his Christmas Concert. He plays the flute beautifully. Below is a partial video of one of their songs. I'm a proud mama. 
Finally, I hate to end this post on such a terrible note, but I have been so affected by the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. I cannot imagine how a young man could walk into a school a murder 20 children and 6 adults...I think of how scared those poor babies had to be. I am so proud of the heroic measures so many of the teachers took that day to protect their students. I feel so much pain and utter sorrow for those families that are probably curled in fetal position wondering how they will ever be able to move past this horrific situation. I look at my own children and am thankful that they are healthy and here with me. Situations like this make me want to hold them so so tight, smell their warm hair, rub their sweet cheeks, tell them how proud of them I am, tell them how much I love them and how amazing they are...and that is just what I have done this weekend. I've loved my babies with all my heart, just like every other day of their lives.


  1. Well said! Such a busy time of the year - it will be nice to enjoy the holidays and move forward to a new year at the farm :) We're so lucky to be living here and to be healthy. I love you!

  2. At last, a post. Having read what's bee wrong, I cant blame you for taking some time off. Goodness, what a list. I think you are doing the right thing, not taking decision to jump straight into shots. Afterall, you have been dealing with all these things for while now - just overloaded at the momnt. Yes, I too am affected by the shooting. I dont understand your gun culture. I doubt that the right to bear arms was intended that domestic homes have automatic weapons. I am also saddened by the media's emphasis on his autistic state - Aspergers. Not all Aspie's are violent. Though with Tom's special interest being military and weapons it did make me do a double take. This is why I wont allow him to have the .22 he wants for gun club. He will just have to do with the club guns which are kept there. On a good note, his meds seem to be improving his moods and with school over, he seems less stressed. The other one (Hubby) lost his job, so he is a mess. Such an interesting life I lead. Talk soon before Xmas. Hope you stay well. So much to do.

  3. Lynda - exactly...I think I'm just overloaded and I want my body to be able to react...I don't think committing to a lifelong allergy shot is the answer at this point.
    Our gun culture is completely messed up. We've never had guns in our own home, because we had always had small children...never, until last year. Last year, my father gave me his old hunting ensure that me, the family and our animals are protected against "bad guys" and coyotes. Also, if we choose to hunt. I agree that people should have the right to own weapons; however, I don't understand why people feel the need for automatic assault weapons. The arguement is that it is to protect us against our own military/police force; however, to me, it doesn't seem like this would be an issue. The media seems to be glorifying the fact that the mother was a "prepper" and questioning why she had guns in the home with a "mentally ill" child. People are generalizing things too much.
    I'm so so happy that Tom's meds seem to be working for him. Hopefully your husband will be able to find work soon. Good to hear from you :-)

  4. I dont understand the comment - to protect us against our own military/police force. Why? I would have no problem with people owning registered guns for hunting or for those who live in areas where there are say bears, coyote's etc. The only ones with guns here are registered gun club members (guns are locked up in gun cabinets) and farmers who are registered to shoot roos and vermin destroying crops. We had a gun amnesty many years ago and all guns were handed in no questions asked. These guns were then destroyed. It is very very difficult to get a gun now. Just to get a .22 rifle for Tom to use at the gun club required me to complete a course, test, full police check, licensing and then buy from registered seller and it would have to be stored at the gun club in a safe. Plus Tom would only be able to used it under supervision of registered owner. Honest, the motorbike gangs etc get there's on black market from US. Anyway - its a sad situation and I dont know why Congress and Obama dont grow some "balls" and do something about it. Politics stink. Now is the time when there have been two recent incidents and at the beginning of his term.

  5. I agree with you completely. The comment about protecting us against our /military/police force is what other people that the second amendment states. We, the people, need to be stronger than our military, because since we are a democracy, if the military ever became too strong of a presence, we'd be able to stop them. There is a large percentage of our population that simply does not trust our government and they want to make sure that they maintain some sort of control. Also, Congress and Obama are between a rock and a hard place (by hard place I mean the NRA - National Rifle Association) - The NRA here is strong and uses their money to "motivate" certain politicians to look out for the rights of gun owners.
    I agree that we do not need assault weapons, I think we should be allowed to have hand guns and hunting rifles. We should be required to take classes and obtain a license, prior to purchase. We should be required to register the gun etc. When my dad gave me his rifle, I asked our local sheriff where I would need to register the gun and he kinda laughed and where...apparently, we don't have to register hunting rifles. I was very surprised.

  6. Well there you go, what a difference in ideology between our countries. I have heard of the NRA and it sad that one association has so much power - perhaps it is the NRA that the people need protection from. The current situation is not working, so change it. How many children need to die. I know that this boy had mental health issues (like my son does) that is why he needed to be in a safe controlled environment and not able to access weapons. How many others are just waiting for the trigger that sets them off. Sometimes I am glad that we are a little nation (22 million). About the only organisations that we have here that have any power are trade unions and they are pretty controlled and only really affect the construction industry. Our politicians seem to fight like children in Canberra and its all about winning the next election not doing a good job while you are leader. The US is so much larger that your problems are larger also. Oh, but on the plus side, you guys rock the world. I also need to mention that i live in a bit of a bubble of middle class lifestyle. I dont have any exposure to crime, or violence. No one I know even smokes. We dont drink, we attend church and if I saw a policeman I would be respectful and just a little nervous I had done something wrong. There are many here who live in an entirely different world and I am considered naive and just a little gullible. I dont mind. I say this only so you dont think that I think Australia is perfect and the US not. There was a radio comp last week to raise money for underprivileged kids here in Melbourne and each day there were stories told that make your eyes tear. Right here in our city. My husband might be unemployed and my two men might to autistic but there are certainly many others worse off than us. For this I give thanks this Christmas.