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Thread: March Chat

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Smile March Chat

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

    Weathering the Storm ~

    Technically, here, it's still February for a few more hours, but let's get wild and call it March!

    I live in Paradise, with perpetual sunshine and blue skies, and fabulous mild temperatures. But Paradise is having its second worst drought in decades. The fire danger is extremely high; in fact just 6 weeks ago, fire swept through the Angeles National Forest due to careless campers.

    We prayed for rain, and our prayers were answered. They were answered too well. Al Roker predicted that we would receive a year's worth of rain in 24 hours. For a change, the Weather Channel got it right for Paradise.

    A couple of times today, the pounding rain caused me to ponder whether we should watch "Evan Almighty" to pick up some arc building pointers.

    Mudslides in all of the burn areas, as expected. I've heard double the sirens today; more accidents on the road. The TV has been interrupted constantly all day with EAS messages of Flash Flood Warnings for certain vulnerable areas. Foolish people are being rescued from washes and canals. Curiosity can kill you. Others are being rescued from their homes.

    It's not a hurricane. It's not a tsunami. It's not an earthquake or a tornado. It's not Superstorm Sandy. It's not the flooding in England. But, for Paradise, it's a big deal.

    When rain is predicted for Paradise, the newscasters typically start every newscast with "STORM WATCH!" Then, we get some mist, some drizzle, a spitting shower. And that's the STORM we were WATCHING out for?! So, residents of Paradise often joke about predicted rain, by exclaiming "STORM WATCH!" and then giggling.

    And we did the same thing about this prediction. Well, that's what you get for crying wolf so many times.

    Our 1998 Dodge van, with a raised roof to accommodate our boys in their wheelchairs, spent 4 days in a paint shop, her first new dress ever in all of these years. She was in sad shape, sitting in the daily sun for so long, because she can't fit into our garage. But yesterday afternoon, she was just gleaming in the sunshine on our driveway, when Jim brought her home.

    So, now, she is being thrashed by pelting rain and debris from high winds. I'm thinking maybe our timing was way off on this paint job.

    Jon has had a couple of nights in a row with fluid retention, gagging, suctioning, vomiting, etc. He didn't fall asleep until 3:30 this morning, after a long, rough night. But he slept soundly for 11 hours! It was dark, thanks to the rain, and quiet in the neighborhood (no gardeners, no dogs barking, very little aircraft overhead).

    Exhausted from his late day and lack of sleep yesterday, Jim decided to rest on the living room futon. But first, he suggested that we light a fire in our fireplace, which is something we haven't done in many years. Due to the drought, we aren't permitted to burn fires, especially wood, which is also considered toxic smoke now. But we still have wood to use up, and its raining cats and dogs, so I doubt the fireplace police will be patrolling the neighborhood today.

    The one thing that I wanted most as a "luxury item" in our new home was a fireplace. So, when I bought this home 30+ years ago, I was thrilled with that fireplace, and it was lit for every event, holiday, party, as well as lots of warm, cuddling time with my boys.

    And then, it became obsolete. A wrought iron tea light candle screen sits in front of the fire pit. Furniture is squished into the room, because it's the only room large enough to accommodate Jon's wheelchair for storage in the house.

    So, this morning, we moved everything out of the way, opened the long unused screen, cleaned out the cobwebs, and built a fire. It was lovely.

    Jim fell asleep next to the fire, all toasty. Jon slept soundly in his room. I took care of Jon's needs (this is a time, when a Gtube is a blessing for feeding, water, and meds, without disturbing him).

    After Jim and Jon woke up, and we rearranged Jon, we opened the shutters over Jon's picture window and watched the storm together. Every day, Jon asks us if it has rained. Today, we were able to say, "Yes, and here it is!"

    March is coming in like a lion in Paradise.

    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.

  2. #2
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    Rose I love reading your stories! When we bought our house 26 years ago a big selling point was that it had 2 fireplaces. but like you it became obsolete and we haven't had a fire in a long time. We've thought about putting a gas fired insert and use them more often(our to-do list). It has come in handy when we lose power. We now have oil heat but we're hoping to switch to gas since the system is getting old. Just another thing added to our to-do list.
    That storm is supposed to bring us a good amount of snow and/or ice on Monday.Our winter has been sooooo cold this year! I'm looking forward to spring and sunshine. This fall we saw an unusual amount of "wooly bear" caterpillars and I remember everyone saying that it meant a very cold winter, well I guess those cute fuzzy caterpillars are a better predictor than the groundhog. I hope your family is out of the way of any mudslides or flooding it looks like a very dangerous situation with so much rain on such dry land...
    Kathleen woke up early as usual we had to change the calender before my eyes were barely open! Now that it's March she can see her birthday on the calender.

  3. #3
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    When rain is predicted for Paradise, the newscasters typically start every newscast with "STORM WATCH!" Then, we get some mist, some drizzle, a spitting shower. And that's the STORM we were WATCHING out for?! So, residents of Paradise often joke about predicted rain, by exclaiming "STORM WATCH!" and then giggling.
    They do the same thing here with our weather and that's how we ended up riding out Sandy at home but luckily we were prepared. Fireplace smoke is considered toxic now? Jeez!
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/cripsnotcreeps.php

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Hi!

    Wow! Well, that was the way to bring an end to the drought....bringing home a freshly painted van! Yikes! Hope it doesn't get damaged in the storm!! Glad Jon had a good stretch of sleep after his rough patch.

    Not sure how much you need to use a fireplace in CA, but if you like having fires, the most awesome thing ever is the pellet stove! We have one in our living room and LOVE it! Of course here in WI, it gets used all winter long...the living room is kept around 75-80 degrees. There is a thermostat on the wall that we set and it automatically turns off and on to keep it at whatever temp you set it to. And it looks like a regular fireplace and they do make wood fireplace conversion kits. My cousin converted their wood fireplace to a pelletstove at their old house. This is a website about them, where we bought ours from....ours is actually the quadrafire they show in the main picture on their webpage! http://www.pellethead.com You just pour the pellets into the top and turn on a switch, easy! They don't have a ton of emissions, not like a wood fire. Anyway, something to consider if anyone is planning to convert a wood fireplace.

    Hope the rain lets up and that Jon is doing ok....

    Lisa O.

    a pic of our stove, looks like a regular fireplace, not like a wood stove...20121225_55.jpg
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((HUGS))))))) ~

    Mary Grace ~

    Our home is on a bluff, and we're at the top of it. Everything runs downhill. Thankfully, we don't live in a fire-prone area, although we do live on top of reclaimed oil fields. We are only a couple of miles from a natural preserve, which is very dry with the drought. We're just grateful no fires have been started there.

    So, while our front and backyards are trashed with debris from trees, and our lawns are swampy, we are in no danger of flash flooding or mud slides. And we aren't venturing out into the world during this storm, so we're in no danger there.

    Boy, do I know about To Do Lists that take for ever to become Ta Done! Lists! It would be nice for you to have gas inserts, especially during these hard winters. Those wooly bears are smart!

    March 1 ~ And the beat of the birthday girl begins!

    funnylegs4 ~

    Yes, burning wood in a fireplace is now regarded as eco-unfriendly. It's also sooty. But we have a few stacks of wood in our garage, so we decided to use them up. And Jim discovered a couple of coffee logs!

    http://www.pinemountainbrands.com/pa...irelogs/20.php

    We switched to these logs, while we still had wood to burn, but they were buried under the wood somehow. Great invention! Clean! Wood leaves ashes and a mess to clean up. Coffee logs don't.

    Lisa ~

    I haven't inspected the van today. I just didn't want to see it, in case it isn't fairing well in this weather. But, yes, it's similar to washing your car, and then it rains. Only A LOT MORE EXPENSIVE!

    I really like your fireplace, and what a clever idea! I wonder if that is available around here. Our fireplace is gas, we just put logs on it to burn (or the coffee logs).

    Thank you for your good thoughts for Jon. So far, so good.

    And today, we got Jon out of bed and placed him in his Lazy Boy recliner in the living room. From there he watched the storm through the patio doors on one side and through the front windows on the other side. We lit a fire, put on a DVD, and hung out together watching a movie. Eventually, Dad crashed on the futon (it's like a magnet for him).

    It hasn't been raining incessantly. We've had cloudbursts, some lasting for 15 minutes, some for an hour. Some thunder. Some very hard rain and strong winds. But moments of sunshine and traces of blue skies too. I walked this morning, and only towards the end of my route did I feel sprinkles. So, at least we are getting respite now and then, allowing the rain to drain off or percolate into the hard ground.

    One expert on the news today said that it would be best if this storm dropped a lot of snow on our mountains, so we can benefit from the melt.

    Of course, all of the buzz on the newscasts here is about the Oscars tomorrow night. Oh what will they do if it's raining on the movie stars? Heaven forbid! Jim finds this exceptionally annoying, since we should all just be grateful that it is RAINING! Finally, it is RAINING! We need this!

    In the olden days, when my girlfriends and I used to leave work to gather at someone's house for dinner and a night at the Oscars (watching on TV), the Oscars were usually held in late March. I don't know when or why they've been moved to early March, but that was a mistake.

    In the days, when we had rain in Paradise, our rainy season was typically January through March. So to the Oscar planners, I suggest picking up a Farmer's Almanac.

    And, of course, these glamorous stars in their ridiculously expensive gowns, tuxes, and shoes don't want to be sloshing around in rain, ruining their get ups, on their Big Night! And they've spent weeks getting injections, and going on crash diets, and having eyelashes implanted, and facials, and fittings, and all of that facade could be damaged with just one errant drop of rain.

    But they can't blame Mother Nature for this one. This one is on the organizers of the Oscars, who moved the event to the second day of March.

    Our state's biggest industry is agriculture, and this drought has cost us billions of dollars. We all need to put this rain in perspective, because if we don't truly start conserving water, wildfires will become common here in Paradise. And if we have rain, and we have water, then our risk of fires will be reduced significantly, as well as the risk of flooding and mudslides. That is just plain old common sense.

    Let it rain!

    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.

  6. #6

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    Hiya!

    Definitely going into autumn here. The temperatures have dropped already and the gale force winds and rain is on its way. :( I really dislike rain! Always get worried I'm going to get stuck in a downpour and it's going to affect the electronics of my chair. Touch wood that hasn't happened yet.

    March promises great things and some challenges for me.

    I started my fifth (!) and hopefully final year of university last week and work is piling up already. There is only a month and a few days till I jet off to Mexico which means I will miss the last week of the quarter so I NEED to get onto things!

    I start my jobs this week. Yes, plural! I got offered another one on top of my tutoring one working for the local community law centre. I'm really excited because it's related to their disability law service and this is an area in which I am interested in practising! I will be interviewing clients, doing research, and working on case files. I am so, so excited to be given the opportunity!

    I will also deliver my first tutorial this week and am really quite nervous about it! My aim is to be open and honest with my students in the hope they will return the favour. This includes openness and honesty about my disability, so I plan on addressing it in the first class so as to clear up anything they may be wondering and attempt to tackle any misconceptions they have. Wish me luck...
    Enjoying the excitements of life. Looking forward to what's to come! What a ride!

  7. #7
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Good luck Erin! Sounds like you have your plate full!! Oh, Mexico sounds so nice....it is still freezing here where I am. The other day there was a graphic on the news that said this was a record cold winter, 49 days of sub-zero temps! Previous record was 48 back in 1976! Hope you have a fantastic last year of university!!

    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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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Hi Rose,

    Hope the rain has stopped and the new paint on the van is ok!! They showed your area on my local news yesterday morning...all the mudslides and stuff. Unreal! I was surprised to see California on Good Day Wisconsin! Good thing you guys invested in the generator...hopefully you haven't had to use it for this weather....

    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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