Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Blog Home

I have a new blog home.  If you are interested in knowing where it is, please post your e-mail address in the comments.  Comments will not be published so no worries about your e-mail address being made public here from me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Been a few days

I'm a slacker.

This past weekend was Oldies in the Ozarks.  Saturday, the children had a blast.  I was working with the others from the fire department at the shooting gallery and the trout fishing was right next door.  The people at the trout took a shining to my children.  (Either that or my children suckered them pretty good.)  My children managed to get the same dead with them that I made.  Help, and you can shoot for free.  They told the children that if they help with ice (too keep the temp down so the fish will bite) that they could fish for free. 

My children were reinforced with an important lesson that we have been teaching them.  You have to work for what you want.  It is not just given.  It is a value that we have been instilling in them and has been backed by total strangers.  They had as much fun, if not more, than those who were going around spending their parents' money.  (And I heard more than once out of children that the best part of the day was "draining my dad's wallet."  Joke or not, it shows a very sad mindset of how many children are raised.)

Saturday night, storms came through and destroyed the shooting gallery.  (As well as tents, a gas station sign, knocked down trees and power lines, etc.)  We were on high alert stand-by for quite a few hours.  Thankfully, the storms passed, the electric company was quick on repairs, and we were able to get a few hours sleep before going back to the festival the next day.

When we got there, the parts of the shooting range that were not destroyed were being taken apart and the event was no more.  So, we ended up getting the rest of the day off.  Sort of. 

I did get my medical bag and it includes a cpr mask, bag valve, glucometer, pulse ox meter, thermometer, bp cuff, stethoscope, and a bunch of other stuff.  I am glad to have it and can replace the "consumables" such as pressure gauze, tape, etc as needed, when I retire (can you retire from a volunteer job?) from being a first responder, the bag gets turned in.

Monday was spent at home (I think.  I don't remember Monday too well.)

Yesterday, I had a few meetings.  One was a staff meeting and we got the schedule worked out for the office.  (Soul Haven)  I also got confirmation for our new office.  We also went over some of the policies and procedures and rewrote it to suit a non-shelter program.

Last night was Ozark Neighbor Exchange and although a part of it did get a bit tense, it was informative.  We got target dates for a few things and other items needed to be taken care of, but will be covered at the next meeting. 

Today we had a meeting with a client and I am excited.

I have a shopping list in my head of things that I need to pick up at the Evil Empire. 

Tomorrow morning, I am meeting with a couple of people to discuss logging on my property and tomorrow afternoon, we are picking up 100 square bales of hay.

I'm ready for a nap.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Long Week and Long Weekend

This has been a long, busy week.  Calls on Monday, a call on Tuesday, trying to get work done at the program on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, followed by my final exam on Thursday night and receiving my certification and getting certified with a glucometer and a glucogon injection.  Very specified training with the injection and very specific instructions that include calling the medical director personally before administering it.  It is optional to carry it in our bag and I am going back and forth on it.  In the end, I probably will because I know the population spread here and response time with EMTs.  (Although I must say I am impressed with how fast Air Evac is.)

Tomorrow and Sunday, we are going to be at Oldies in the Ozarks working with the fire department.  The children are going to be with us and having fun.  We will have to explain to them that "No, Mommy and Daddy were not alive in the 50s.  We are not that old."  I get out of the whole 50s costume that others are going to wear under the guise of "Oh, gee.  I'm sorry.  I have to wear my Fire Rescue t-shirt.  Gee, darn."

I am going to make sure we have plenty of water since it is supposed to be over 100*.  We are going to toss a mattress on the bed of the pickup and bring our canopy to go over it.  That way, there is guaranteed shade and a comfortable place to lay down. 

Although our primary public will be assisting with the fire department booth (shooting for bragging) the secondary will be keeping an eye out making sure people don't get sick in the heat.

I plan on having fun this week-end and introducing my children to the 50s era.

I'm Official!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is it Friday yet?

Ok, so technically I don't have a "Friday."  The past couple of days I have been busy.  Yesterday, I had an appointment cancel and it was a good thing.  There was a wreck.  SUV vs cement truck.  While we were cleaning up that wreck, there was another one and the next county over had to be called in to assist.  Once that was all done, we were debriefing and there was another medical call.  The whole day was shot in terms of doing anything myself. 

I also learned yesterday that we are going to be down First Responders for various reasons.  By my calculations, if things go as described, I will be the only trained full time First Responder.  There will be only one other trained one and he works full time.  We need more trained First Responders.

Today, I called and cancelled an appointment so I can get some stuff done.  The appointment has been rescheduled.  I found some great resources to start up a support group, met with someone from the sheriff's department to talk about Soul Haven and be able to coordinate with them on stuff, and spoke with the coalition about a couple of things.  About five minutes after I got home, I got called out on a First Responder call.

Tomorrow, I hope to do nothing but relax.  Everyone, stay healthy and don't get in a wreck.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A road runs through it

 We are standing in the middle of the road.  Looking to the left (above) or to the right (below) as far as the eye can see and beyond is our property on both sides of the road.  Our house is half a mile off the road.  (No, we don't normally play in the road.  We were going for a walk.)  The picture below, Husband is standing at the opening to our driveway.  And, yes, the girls are barefoot.  I know.  I am a horrible, horrible neglectful mother.  My girls walk around barefoot.  (Yes, that is sarcasm.  In all seriousness, I get annoyed when they are barefoot.  But short of stapling their shoes on them....)

These pictures were taken with my cell phone.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I love my life

No, that is not sarcasm.  That is genuine.  I love my life.  I love my family.  I love my community.  Are there a few knuckleheads that stick their nose where it doesn't belong and try to stir the pot?  Of course.  But, you get that anywhere you go.  However, in small communities, they make themselves known pretty easily. 

As for my life and day to day stuff, we spent the day yesterday in Springfield seeing a specialist only to be told Charlie has flat feet.  There are no extra bone.  There are no bones fusing together.  The growth plates are all normal.  He just has flat feet.  That is why he is destroying shoes and appear to be walking on the insides of his feet.  The specialist said to buy him good, sturdy, high top shoes or boots with a solid high arch.  Then he looked down, saw Charlie's shoes, picked one up, stuck his hand inside, and said "This is perfect."  So, once again, we spend the day at the doctor over an issue that we have already taken proper corrective measure on, and are sent on our way with no need to go back.  On the one hand, it is annoying to have a day disappear because of sitting in a waiting room or driving 100 miles one way to see someone.  On the other hand, it is nice having that reassurance from a specialist in the field telling us "This is what is going on.  This is what you need to do.  Keep doing it."  I was also reassured that there is a good chance he will outgrow this since he is still growing. 

Today was supposed to be illicit drug training, but it had been rescheduled.  So, we spent the day setting up the paintball target range sponsored by TAVFD for "Oldies in the Ozarks."  As I watched my children help with set up and watched the firefighters work around them and include them in the work, I was once again amazed and thankful to be living in this community.  These aren't just people doing a job.  No one gets paid.  These are people doing this because they care about the fire department and they care about the community and they care about people.  All people.  My children are not getting pushed away just because they are children.  They aren't "in the way" (although I know a few times they were.)  They are welcome, they are put to work, and they are made to feel valuable.  Even if their only job was holding strands of rope to tie down the tarp, that was an important job.  They were included in teasing and jokes and they teased back.  They go up and will slip their small hand into a large, calloused hand of some gruff guy.  They trust.  They have never been given a reason to not trust.  Knowing only safety, security, and love, that is what they expect from everyone.  They have never known any different.  I pray they never learn any different.

I was dropping a key to the Soul Haven office off at a volunteer's house and we got to talking.  I have three meetings on the 23rd.  I have a Soul Haven staff meeting followed by a La Leche League meeting and that evening is Ozark Neighbor Exchange.  Yes, it will be a busy day, but each of these things are important. 

The staff meeting is a monthly meeting (although this month it got pushed back a couple of weeks) and it keeps everyone in touch with what is going on, cases, and how each one is doing along with any other issues that may arise.

La Leche League is also important.  Moms need these meetings.  It helps them connect with other moms and gives them a chance to talk, ask questions, and learn not just about breastfeeding, but about themselves as mothers and as women. 

ONE is also important.  It is fairly new and it is basically people in this community striving for this area to be self sustaining.  Buy the wheat from the local farmer.  Don't have it shipped in from Montana.  The cattle that is raised here?  Butcher it here and sell it here.  Don't ship it off to some far off slaughter house and have it sold across the country while the beef we buy here comes from California.  ONE also does barter and skill trades.  There are some sessions I am going to sit on that I know a bit about and can share (such as seed saving) and there are other sessions I am going to sit in on because I want to know more about it (such as seed saving.)  Yes, I repeated myself.  I am not heading up any workshops to the surprise of some people.

I actually had someone ask not if but "Which ones are you heading up?"  I told her I wasn't and not because I wasn't asked, but because I don't have time.  She was kind of stunned.  I said no to something.  That's not supposed to happen.  I am supposed to go in and head up and lead and take charge.  That's my personality.  Well, I am trying to reign that in.  Besides, I have three other things that require me at a moment's notice to drop everything and run.

Fire/First Responder
Crisis Call for Rape or Domestic Violence
Breastfeeding Help

While I am getting better at delegating, I still need to watch that I don't try to do it all.  Even something as simple as going to the thrift store for towels and bedding and stuff, I have a hard time delegating.  "I can do this."  It feels strange to say "Since you are going to Gainesville before me, could you stop at the thrift store and____."

Anyway, I am really starting to ramble here and probably not making sense.  So, to sum things up, Charlie has flat feet, the fire department is setting up a shooting range for children and adults alike to shoot, and I have three meetings in one day on the 23rd and hope I remember them all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

One more week

One more week and I will have my certificate showing me as a Certified Emergency Medical Responder.  I am excited.  I have my certificate showing I went through Chemical Suicide training, then I will have this, and in September (it was supposed to be tomorrow, but has been rescheduled) I will go through training for illicit drug use.  I still want to do haz-mat training and rapid vehicle extraction training.  Next time they come up, I will definitely sign up.  Last night, we learned rapid triage using START and JumpSTART methods.

Today, Charlie has an appointment in Springfield to have his feet and walk looked at.  Hopefully, he is fine and I am just being hyper paranoid and he is just being lazy with his shoes.  But, I'd rather have him checked out and if there is an issue and he does walk on the insides of his feet (as his last pair of shoes showed) then it needs to be corrected.

We came up with an idea for the flooring in the kitchen and I think I like it.  (It was my idea to begin with.)  Use the million small rocks we have around, clean them, pour cement, put the rock over the cement, and once it's dry, cover with a clear coat to make it smooth and easy to clean.  

We have the garden plot lined out for next year and are spending from now until planting season building it up with compost, horse and goat poop, old hay and animal bedding, paper, feed bags (made of paper), etc.  Paper and feed bags break down.  It is a decent sized area and is going to be my canning garden.  My eating garden is going to be closer to the house. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why I Love My Friends

Remember Troll (Oregonfriend) with the dire warning that I am placing my family in danger of dying from some horrible illness because we had squirrel with our dinner? 

Remember her saying (constantly) about how she knows what she is talking about?  (I know of what I speak.)

I have to applaud her and her wisdom.  She is such a fountain of knowledge.  Without her, people all over the world without access to Google would surely die a horrible, horrible death.

And this leads me to why I love my friends.  Human Ape is a dear friend of mine.  I have known her since the end of my pregnancy with Bethany.  We met and hit it off.  Although our spiritual beliefs are vastly different and my lifestyle is her worst nightmare (her own words) I consider her one of my dearest friends.  She has the guts enough to tell me when I am acting stupid, has been a rock for me when I was having the year from hell, and we have shared more coffee than I can count.  This is not just someone I know online.  This is someone whose kitchen I broke down and cried in when people close to me died.  She also knows when people are trying to give me crap for the sole purpose of their own personal amusement.

So, when Human Ape had a minute, she did a quick search and found the fountain of Oregonfriend's education and experience.  Oregonfriend left out the fact that she googled it and it was in answer to a question that someone asked.  "My uncle shoots and eats this all the time."  Apparently, looking at said uncle and the fact that he is still alive to do this repeatedly is lost on the person.  There is also a whole host of information in the comment section about how lean wild rabbit and squirrel are. 

So, according to Oregonfriend (based on her repeated comments over the past few years), eating lean meat, fresh eggs, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grain breads, and legumes are not a healthy diet.  I am guessing the ramen noodles and hot dogs we had for lunch a few weeks back would be more to her liking.

Anyway, Oregonfriend has been outed (again) as someone who likes to run off at the mouth with no genuine basis of knowledge in what she is talking about.

Stay classy, Oregonfriend. 

And, Human Ape, thank you for the wonderful gift of outing her for me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why I allow idiocy through

I have decided to take a few minutes to explain why I allow idiocy through. 

"Oregonfriend" has been a reader and commenter (criticizer) for a couple of years now.  She, and others like her, comment to try to get me riled up through mean comments and try to put me on the defensive. 

What needs defending?

In her mind, anything outside of suburban America is a recipe for disaster.  She, and her buddies, have made comments that are outright lies, made false accusations, and try to piece together half sentences to justify their meanness.

Some comments have included things like me lying about my husband being diabetic.  (Reading comprehension is lost on these people.)  Accusing me of lying about Husband being bit five times in a few days by a brown recluse spider last year. 

Then there's the idiocy where they put in their own brand of understanding.  Raw vegetable plate means my children only get celery sticks.  Honey for wound treatment (a valid medical treatment) means I am going to the grocery store instead of using raw honey direct from the bee farmer.  (FYI, raw honey does work and is excellent for moist wound healing.  Another FYI, some hospitals use maggots and leeches on their patients.  I do not.  I don't see myself handling leeches and any maggots I might happen to come across on a very rare occasion is chicken food.)

Oregonfriend makes the comment quite often that she knows what she is talking about.  She knows all about domestic violence and how the system is severely broken, yet waves an accusing finger at me for daring to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and make the decision to live.  She implies that I did nothing to try to fight for my other two children stating that she would have worked three jobs if it were her.  (I was working four at one point and ended up in the ER because I was literally killing myself working myself to death.)  She would have done "anything."  I did do "anything."  It was when I became a stripper out of desperation for money for attorney fees.  (One of the four jobs.)

Oregonfriend claims that my pioneer lifestyle is going to get one of us killed.  I will not say that this is untrue.  Anymore than I will say crossing the street is going to get someone killed.  People die crossing the street.  People die driving down the road.  (As I have witnessed being called on scene.)  People die in boating accidents. 

Oregonfriend claims that I am pretending to be an EMT.  I am NOT an EMT.  I covered this in the last blog entry.

Oregonfriend claims that how we live is dangerous and my children will grow up not being able to function in society.  They will grow up knowing how to feed themselves and their families.  They will grow up knowing the value of hard work.  They will grow up with an understanding that honesty, integrity, hard work, and self discipline are valuable.  All of these traits will carry them farther in life than anything else we can give them.  What they learn here growing up will carry over into whatever aspect of society they want to live in. 

So why do I allow for her comments?  Because sometimes stupidity just needs to be pointed out and laughed at.  Because she is a good reminder to me that there are mean people in this world whose sole purpose in life is to try to make others hurt.  Because in a way she reminds me of my mother in law.

My mother in law was not happy unless she was complaining about something or criticizing someone.  My mother in law and I butted heads a lot.  But I loved her dearly.  I learned to ignore the criticism and listened to what she was saying underneath.  "Pay attention to me."  It was how she expressed the fact that she needed focus and attention so she would feel loved.

So, I allow "Oregonfriend's" comments through to tell her that yes, we will pay extra attention to you today so you can feel some love.