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Thread: Independence Day: July CN Check In

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    Default Independence Day: July CN Check In

    ((((((HUGS TO ALL)))))) ~


    HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!


    Time for our monthly Check In Thread!

    Hope that everyone will enjoy the Fourth doing something fun and relaxing. I’ll make potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and veggie “dogs,” with blueberries, strawberries and coconut cream whipped topping as dessert. Jon and I will watch fireworks on TV, while Jim attempts to sleep. I doubt that he’ll be able to sleep, since it sounds like a war zone here every July 4 (think about where we live and all of the amusement/recreational parks surrounding us).

    Jim is improving, thankfully. Today, he noted that an RA nodule on his elbow is getting smaller and less painful. That is progress, for certain. He decided to take a break from medical appointments, after he received the wonderful news that he doesn’t have breast cancer. Yes. Breast cancer.

    Around the same time as his RA flare, Jim discovered a lump in his right breast. While breast cancer is rare in men, it can occur; in fact we know a man, who is recovering from chemo/radiation for breast cancer. Jim’s age was his biggest risk factor.

    Right before Father’s Day, Jim had a mammogram. An eye-opening experience for him. We thought that he’d have to wait for at least a few days for the results, but his mammo was read immediately. The tech told him that, like most men his age, he has fatty tissue in his breast. No cancer.

    When he called me with the results, I burst into tears of gratitude and relief. It had been a scary 2 months for us, while we avoided the elephant in the room, until the night before his mammo, when we had the “just in case” conversation. That’s when I reassured Jim that I had everything figured out, and he didn’t need to worry. I’m discovering “work arounds” all the time. I have a Plan B.

    We now have our cases of bottled water delivered. We are ordering on line from Costco, with free delivery. I have places lined up for delivery of organic fruits and veggies, even ingredients/recipes for meals. We can do on line banking. Eliminating errands. Less reliance on friends. It is helpful and comforting to have these options.

    Thankfully, Jon’s health has been stable through Jim’s crisis. He had some bleeding from his catheter for no apparent reason last week, but we conquered it quickly with irrigation.

    The heat and humidity here has been uncomfortable. We avoid turning on the air conditioning, because we all get too cold, and we all have painful joints. But the heat/humidity doesn’t help either. We invested in Dyson fans, which are fabulous and totally worth their ridiculous cost in savings on our electricity. Much cleaner too than traditional fans, and they have powerful cooling.

    The drought has claimed our backyard lawn. It’s now mostly dirt. We had dozens of volunteer Mexican Palm trees removed a few weeks ago. Grass won’t grow, but unwanted palm trees will.

    Michael’s waterfall is off, because his pond is essentially sludge. Mud and debris from tree trimming, and the tree debris prior to trimming. It needs to be drained, cleaned and refilled, but none of that is allowed under our current water rationing. We are allowed to water our yards/plants on Tuesday and Saturday. We are not allowed to hose down driveways, patios, our homes/windows, or to wash our vehicles.

    On my morning walks, I can easily identify the homes, which are not adhering to these rules. And our greenbelts, not to mention the adjacent golf course, are verdant and lush.

    Yesterday, the electric company reps placed notices on our mailboxes that we’ll be having upgrades in the near future, which will mean “several days without electricity” from “9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

    I called the electric company, and the rep, with whom I spoke, was absolutely clueless. No idea when this shut down will occur, nor how long it might take, and “so sorry” that we have a disabled son, who needs electricity. And “so sorry” that our upgrade fell, as always, during the hottest summer months. AS ALWAYS! DAYS? SEVERAL DAYS?!!!

    My question is this: Is technology advancing so rapidly that every 2 years, the streets of our private community of 350 houses have to be cordoned off, excavated, and our electricity has to be shut off for days, to put in the latest new shiny thing? Really?!

    For 15 years, our city council enforced an illegal water tax to line their own pockets. I’m not buying this “upgrade” stuff anymore. I have observed many of these “workers,” standing around eating, sipping from their thermos, chatting on their phones. There might be 2 men, who actually appear to be working, among 6 men.

    Of course, we have our generator. BUT: Jim is not as strong as he used to be, and his hands are severely constrained with arthritis. That generator is heavy and awkward to move. He has to move it to the side of the house, then bring the hose around to go through Jon’s window. He has to fill it with 6 gallons of gas to last 8 hours. And he’ll have to go out every day that we lose power to get gas to get the generator up and running.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s hot, and the generator is sitting directly in the sun, unshaded. It’s scary.

    I’m happy that we have it, obviously, because Jon has to have electricity for his mattress and bed. And that’s another thing: Jim is not strong enough to lift Jon out of bed, using Jon’s Liko lift, and putting Jon in his recliner. So we have to have electricity for Jon and Jim. But Jim has to do so much extra work to bring that electricity to Jon.

    We just did not need this added stress right now. I was going to make appointments for Jim’s other tests, as well as my dental visit, next week, but until we know when this black out is going to occur, we can’t plan anything. We have to be here, together, to deal with the power outage.

    I finally called and left a message for Jon’s IHSS Ice Queen, in response to Jon’s doctor asking me how to answer the questions on the form she sent to him. A. The doctor has no idea how long it takes to hang a bag of food or administer meds. He doesn’t do it. He doesn’t live with us. So, I will be answering the questions, instead of the doctor. Does that make sense? B. These are Paramedical Services, and Jon receives ZERO hours in Paramedical Services, so the questions are irrelevant. I was nice about it. And I asked her to call me after the holidays to discuss it. And when we discuss it, we will go through Jon’s services, category by category, and I will explain to her why he has hours in each category.

    I am getting so tired of training social workers! But someone has to do it to spare those, who have no idea about how the System works. And that is the majority of the people, who are served by and work for this program.

    It’s July 3rd, and fireworks are exploding all around us. Are we celebrating July 4th in New Zealand? Because there, it probably is July 4 right now.

    I don’t know about you, but I need to go here:



    With a steady stream of smoothies coming my way ~



    If you have a moment, please join me. We can talk about … shoes … or something …

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    ((((((HUGS TO ALL))))))

    HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

    And the rockets' red glare,
    The bombs bursting in air ...

    I think that we are literally living in a re-creation of the moment those lines were written. We have had continuous fireworks around us since 3 p.m. It's now 10:30 p.m. It likely will not end until after midnight (or even later).

    I went to bed at 2 a.m. this morning. First thing I heard, as my head hit the pillow: a firework explosion. Fifteen minutes later another one. Jim said one went off at 4 a.m., but I was so exhausted, I didn't wake up from it thankfully.

    Jim got up at 9:30 tonight and wondered if he had been transported back to London during the Blitzkrieg.

    I'm talking non stop popping, cannon bursts, and explosions for 7 1/2 hours.

    I am a patriotic American. The flag is out in our front yard. I vote in every election. I pay my taxes. I always stand, with my hand over my heart, and sing the National Anthem, no matter when or where I hear it.

    But 7 1/2, going on 8 hours, of fireworks is just ridiculous and unnecessary.

    These are professional fireworks displays. I'm not including the foolish folks, who buy "safe and sane" fireworks and set them off in our neighborhood. Or the really foolish kids, who set off illegal fireworks in our neighborhood. We've endured their disruptions for 2 weeks.

    I grew up with fireworks, and as a child was always entranced by them. Even as an adult ~ when the golf course across from our tract, had a fireworks display years ago, I rolled my boys out to our front yard, where we had a fabulous view.

    But we don't need 8 to 10 hours of firework shows! And we don't need "safe and sane" (which they are neither) fireworks in the hands of drunken neighbors.

    I can sum it all up in two words:

    DROUGHT FIRE

    I can only imagine that all of our firefighters are on alert tonight. Just waiting for something to go wrong. So far, thankfully, I've heard no sirens. Mind you, they could easily be drowned out by the incessant thunder of bombs bursting in air.

    I can only think that if our local elected officials were a bit brighter and less dependent upon kickbacks from assorted lobbyists, we'd have fireworks limited to the hour of 9 to 10 p.m. Anything before or after would be illegal.

    Alas, it is now 11:00, and more fireworks are being detonated. These big booms are reminding me of our earthquake last year. That is not good. It needs to stop. I feel so sorry for any Vet, who is listening to this all day/night. I've known several Vietnam Vets, who find fireworks to be unsettling.

    Tonight, as the fireworks persist, reminding me of war and times of conflict throughout my lifetime, I pray for P E A C E.

    An end to war.

    P E A C E ~

    To all of you ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Haha, loved your NZ comment. Sounds like you did celebrate the 4th of July in NZ time! Of course, it's not something we celebrate here but happy 4th to all who do and Happy belated Canada Day as well! I hope you get a break from the fireworks soon. We get them around Guy Fawkes Day in November. They go on for weeks around here - not fun at all.

    So glad to hear the lump wasn't cancerous. I hope you somehow get some rain soon! Sorry to hear about the added stress of the electricity situation. People really don't think of those with extra needs during such times, do they! How frustrating for you. I hope it's as least disruptive as possible.

    I'm doing well. I've been working full time for about a month now and have settled in well. I enjoy the work, and having evenings and weekends free as I've said before! Thanks for your suggestions on hobbies. So far I have been just taking it easy and seeing where the weekends take me. I figure I have the rest of my career to take up hobbies! I have had some really interesting cases at work already and some very grateful clients, which makes me happy. Some annoyed/difficult clients too but those are part of the job!

    I head away for my first "business trip" next week. I have been asked to speak at a forum focused on the system disabled people use to employ support people over here. I am going to work with a law firm in another city which specifically focuses on disability issues for a few days. I enjoy working with them so it should be good! Then I am going to stay the weekend and catch up with a friend who lives there now. :)

    James and I are heading to Australia for a holiday in a few weeks which I am really looking forward to. First break I have had all year! I will get to see my family too, which will be nice. It will be the first time I've seen my siblings in over six months.

    While you are roasting, we are freezing! Snow is forecast for the third time in around a month this coming week! The other times it has just ended up sleeting with a few flurries, but they are predicting a more severe storm this time. NZ is very unprepared when it comes to snow - the whole place shuts down. So I hope if it snows, it does so hard enough for us to get a snow day! Otherwise it is just plain unpleasant trying to get on and off the bus and to work in such cold weather. I did buy myself a very warm jacket the other week - it was very expensive but necessary.

    Speaking of earthquakes, one piece of challenging news I did receive recently was that my parents' investment property is going to have to be entirely rebuilt. They bought a townhouse to rent out about 2 years before the quake happened and it was badly damaged in the earthquake. 4.5 years on and they finally got a decision. This affects me because I was planning on moving into it next year but will have to find alternative accommodation now. As I'm sure you'll realise, finding accessible accommodation is not easy! I am going to email all the networks I can and ask them to keep an eye out. I looked at housing listings online and noted a couple which may be suitable. It is too early to consider moving now, but I took down the agents' contact details anyway just in case they happen to still be available closer to my contract end date. Just another challenge to conquer, I suppose!

    Til next time!
    Enjoying the excitements of life. Looking forward to what's to come! What a ride!

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    ((((((Erin)))))) ~

    So glad that you're feeling good about your work. That's an excellent sign. And you're already going on a business trip and networking. Wonderful!

    You are wise to just enjoy your free time. You've been working so hard for so long on your degree. You really need some "down" time to relax and just "be."

    And it sounds as if you'll be having that when you visit your friend and travel to Australia with James and see your family. How is your Mom?

    I don't envy you the freezing snowy weather, and I can imagine how that kind of weather is difficult to maneuver for you. If it has to snow, then I'll pray for enough snow for a Snow Day for you!

    I'm sorry that your parents' townhouse has to be reconstructed, and that it's taken so long for that decision to be reached. I think it's a good idea to start looking now for options, just to see what is available. If there might be waiting lists for places you like, then you can put your name on them now. Are there Realty websites for New Zealand (like Realtor.com here in the U.S.)? Maybe Google "accessible housing" and see what you find?

    It was eerily quiet here today. Like every round has been spent, and the war is over. Finally. We had 9 straight hours of non-stop fireworks. Jim said it continued until 4 a.m. intermittently. That is just preposterously excessive.

    We live in proximity to D-land, so we hear fireworks every night at 9:30. Ten minutes. Wakes Jim, then he goes back to sleep. But 9 hours? Really really too much.

    The impending electrical outage irritates me, and I'm trying to remain calm about it. The attitude is "Well, you have a generator, so quit griping!" Yes, well, no consideration is given to the fact that we're seniors, that we're 24 hr caregivers, that it's disruptive and a burden to us to have to do this for one day, let alone several days.

    I'm a nervous wreck when the generator is running. It's gas. It's hot. I fear explosion! Irrational, probably. Jim would say I'm being over-reactive, and it's perfectly safe. Nothing is perfectly safe. Especially not a generator sucking 6 gallons of gas in 8 hours while sitting on the side of the house.

    We're old. Jim's eyesight is going with a cataract in his left eye. His hands are crippled. He has lost all muscle tone. It certainly is not perfectly safe.

    I suggested that we try to find a small canopy to put over the generator, when we use it, to shade it from the blazing direct sun. Jim thought that was a good idea, so we'll see what we can find to serve that purpose. On second thought, the generator has to have air circulating all around it, so a canopy might not be a good idea after all.

    If you heard the sound of a screaming woman there in New Zealand, it was me. I'm okay now. No worries.

    I'll just meander over here



    Grab one of these for you and one for me

    And we'll enjoy the sea breeze for a few minutes, before you begin your travel adventures ~

    Safe travels! Be sure to visit us again to tell us all about it!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    So glad for all the good news here. Rose I'm so glad that Jims health is improving and of course no cancer! What a relief that must be. we had a lot of noise on July 4th too. Fireworks were legalized in our county for a short period of time. Our main road looked like south of the border for the past month with all the fireworks tents set up. Can your generator be moved to a shady spot? If so maybe someone from the fire department or police department, or even the electric company, could lend you a hand. They sometimes will help with lots of things if you ask...
    CPchick, Happy to hear about your job! I hope your travels are safe.
    Mary Grace

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    ((((((Mary Grace)))))) ~

    So glad to see you after your fabulous vacation!

    Private fireworks were illegal for many years in our city, because our fire department had to respond to so many fires and accidents caused by careless, usually drunk, revelers. Then, a new set of city council members decided that we should sell fireworks to raise money for charities (cloaking it in the charity garb). While they were at it, they decided to stop sobriety checks downtown. Impinging on personal freedom was their battle cry.

    We're in a 4 year drought (the worst in 1200 years). Thankfully, no fires resulted in the non stop 9 hour fireworks nightmare. We were just lucky.

    There are plenty of teens in our neighborhood, who import firecrackers, which are illegal. They put them in covered boxes, and when they explode, the noise is deafening. And they get away with it, because it's difficult for the police to track down the offenders.

    Our generator has to be moved to the side of the house, so that the gas exhaust exits toward the street, and not into Jon's window. There is no shade on that side of the house, and mid day til dusk, the sun is directly overhead. We've looked on line for canopies, but they are all too large for the space. Fortunately, the forecast predicts low to mid 80s for next week. That will help a great deal.

    Busy Week Ahead for Us ~

    Monday ~ Nurse visit: cath change, trache change, new dressing for coccyx wound.

    Tuesday ~ Toenail Gals visit

    Thursday ~ Our Wedding anniversary! Jim will pick up a meal for us at our favorite local restaurant. We'll have a "romantic" lunch. And count our lucky stars that we're still here.

    Friday ~ Power Outage. The guy I met on my walk was wrong. It is not the 20th. We received a notice that our outage will be on Friday, July 17.

    Thank you for your suggestions to find help for Jim in positioning the generator. I might be able to persuade an electric worker to help us. But I think we'll ask our family friend, who is Jon's age, to stop by. He called yesterday to ask if we needed anything. We forgot to mention the generator. So I know he will help Jim.

    Hope you, Kathleen and your family have a wonderful weekend! Here's your smoothie ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Happy anniversary Rose & Jim!

    So glad to hear Jim is cancer free! And also that you have some Plan B set up in case anything should go wrong ever. Hopefully you will never need to put that into place!

    That sucks about the fireworks. It seemed like there was less of that here this year. Usually we get some noise since we are close to the lake and the sound seems to travel from all around. I think it helped that it was on the weekend this year so all the noise was on the 3rd & 4th and then done (at least here!). We had a great 4th of July....went to my parents' house for the annual cookout. Lots of family came and they have a neighbor that shoots off nice fireworks (the illegal kind!). My Dad does the legal ones....they live on a dead end so we just do it right in the street and we sit in the driveway and watch. Those are just the little ones that stay on the ground. The kids love it though! This is a pic of the kids at my parents' house: 7 July 047a.jpg

    I also had a fun trip to the beach with my boys and my sister & her son. Her son is right in-between Brandon & Tyler so they all play together nice (he is the other boy in the above picture). Caitlin stayed home with Brian since we have tried taking her to this beach in the past but it is not any fun for her. She does not do well in the heat at all. It was a perfect beach day....though I ended up with a nasty sunburn. I put on sunscreen, but took off my sundress to swim so where the spray didn't hit....RED! It is finally healed but still a bit sensitive. Lesson learned!

    I've been trying to cram in all our summer fun before Caitlin's surgery. We had a mega-appointment day on Monday in preparation for it. 5 appointments in one day! I have never had more than one in a day before (this was driving down to Milwaukee-2 hrs away). It was actually very nice to get it all done though! Left our house at 7 am (for the 9 am appointment) and got home around 7pm. We saw: Special Needs clinic, xray, ortho surgical team, anesthesia, and neurology. They also did a lab draw to check her baseline data. The xray is terrible! It was 60 degrees in January when we scheduled this surgery....on Monday, it was 74 degrees. :( All I could feel was relief that we are having it done though. I can't imagine not having the surgery scheduled and seeing it be so much worse. It was nice to have reinforcement that I made the right decision in scheduling this surgery. Friday, July 31 is the surgery date so send positive healing thoughts our way that day! xray combo.jpg

    Caitlin's last day of ESY (extended school year) is tomorrow. I love that she has that, but am ready to be done with driving around town every day. The boys had summer school for 4 weeks, but ESY is for 6 weeks so I have spend a LOT of time in my minivan this summer. Brandon is doing wrestling training and band lessons once a week through the school and both he & Tyler have piano lessons too. At least those I cut back on in the summer, just doing 5 lessons over the 3 months....taking a break for C's surgery. I haven't been on my computer much though! And I last was at the gym in May. :( I kick around the idea of getting up early and going to the 5:30 am classes but my natural way is "night owl" so that hasn't happened yet. I have gained 15 lbs stressing about the surgery, but I am not going to worry about that too much until the surgery is over with. I am a stress eater. I just hope I don't put on too much while we are at the hospital. They are actually building a Subway in the skywalk (tunnel connecting parking ramp to hospital) there so I am hopeful that it is open by the surgery date. I asked a nurse and she said it is opening soon so fingers crossed! I can do the subway diet, lol! :)

    Hope that California will get some rain soon! Here in WI, we are doing pretty good for a change. I do water my trees with the kids' bathwater though....I think of you in CA, Rose, when I am hauling the buckets of water outside. I figure I paid for that water once, I might as well use it twice! LOL! With the rain we have had, my trees that got hurt from the wicked cold 2 winters ago are finally coming back to life and our garden looks pretty decent. It usually is a money pit for us. I also wasn't on my computer much since I was hauling 20 yards of mulch into the backyard. I still actually have a small pile in the driveway yet, lol! It got too hot so I quit for a few days. It sure made a nice difference though. It is weird to think that there used to be nothing in our backyard. Been here almost 12 years now and that difference is amazing! I planted all these trees... 7 July 200.jpg Our yard is "L" shaped so it also goes around the back of the house too.

    Oh one other big thing here...Tyler got his palate expander put in! I was so afraid how it was going to be for him and also worried who would turn the key while I was gone with Caitlin. (since I don't picture Brian being very patient about the key turning) It all worked out though! Tyler's is closer to the roof of his mouth than Brandon's was so you can hardly tell with his speech that it is in there. He is finally back to eating good now too. There was about a week of lots of smoothies and yogurt for him! The key turning involves him laying on the end of my bed and me holding a flashlight and the key turning tool...trying not to poke him in the roof of the mouth with it! I did that to Brandon the first time I turned his at home...I felt so bad! But Tyler's has been a breeze! And even better, I only had to turn it once a day for 16 days. Tomorrow is our last "turn"...yay! I was so relieved to not have to worry about that while I am gone with Caitlin. Brandon, I had to turn his every other day for a few months. Each turn is one quarter of a millimeter. Even better is with his palate being wider now, Tyler's other front tooth is finally coming down! Right now he only has one big front tooth. It is hard for him to bite and chew stuff since he is also missing a bunch of other teeth on the bottom yet. They look like checkerboard teeth with some here, some missing. If that big one doesn't come down, he was going to have to go to an oral surgeon and have it "helped" down so I am very glad it is coming in now.

    I think that is about everything going on with us! Probably won't be online much until I am at the hospital...I will update a LOT then of course while we are waiting and recovering.

    Wishing everyone a peaceful week!!

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Happy very very belated 4th of July. I'm so sorry I have not been around. I'v just been busy with family and a new film screening. I'm so glad Jim does not have breast cancer! One of my cousins just died of cancer so you are so lucky.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/cripsnotcreeps.php

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    Hi!

    Just have to put up pics of Caitlin's new haircut! I don't normally ever go this short, but it is in preparation for the surgery since I won't be able to wash it for 2 weeks after. I did order an inflatable thing to wash hair while she is in bed so I may be able to get around that restriction! I really hope so since poor Caitlin inherited my oily hair. I took her to the "fancy" place where I go as a special treat. It is just down the road from our house and there is an ice cream shop right next door so we had a treat after for being good. :) 7 July 254.jpg7 July 259.jpg

    Lisa O.
    Last edited by andromeda31; 07-20-2015 at 02:33 PM.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Hi Everyone,
    I'm sorry I'm late to the party - Happy Belated 4th to all my friends in the US! Rose, I am so relieved that Jim is cancer free and so upset that you have to endure not only endless explosions (4am?!!!?) but an intolerable power outage. If you are speaking to any authorities, you can tell them that you have a friend (ME) who lived in Moscow during the Soviet era (1978-80) and had to endure power outages to 'upgrade and clean the pipes' for six weeks every winter. So, why is a power outage necessary in our day and age in order to upgrade, I ask? It's crazy! OK, end of rant - grrrrrr.

    All is well around our place. Our Natalie got her one year US visa to work as a graduate of a Master's program at a US university, so that's exciting :). She's in Philly now looking for a job - I'll keep you posted on how it goes! Nick is doing well. Another young man moved in to the residence (we don't know how long he will be there, but I hope he stays a long time!) and Nick just loves him. He's Indian heritage and he's FUN! He and Nick share a passion for world wrestling entertainment so they are really enjoying hanging out. I've been at the cottage up north, but I went down to town last week to spend a few days with Nick - he's doing well. Unfortunately, so much fun with his new friend means increased pain (more morphine PRNs and increased seizures) but Nick prepared to pay the price. His life is good.

    Jim and I have been up north and we go down to visit Nick and to Montreal to see my Mom. It's been a nice summer and I'm feeling more relaxed up here. Being in nature is good for my soul. My cousin came for a visit from Portland Maine and brought 8 lobsters. That was fun! It was like that scene from Annie Hall with all of them crawling around on the floor!
    I send my love to you all - you guys are the best. My most loyal, dearest and longest online friends xoxo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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