Friday, May 27, 2011

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Ever hear the story about the guy who's house was flooding? Before the flood the police came and told him to evacuate and he tells them "God will save me" The water rises up to his front porch and a guy in canoe comes by to help and he answers "God will save me". The water rises to the second story window a guy in a bass boat comes by and again the man replies "God will save me" Soon the guy is on the roof and an army helicopter lowers him a basket and again he replies "God will save me" Soon the guy wakes up in heaven and asks God "Why didn't you save me" God answers " I sent the police, two boats and a helicopter, what else did you want".

These are things I don't understand. I offer help, resources and research to help people. I'm talking on both small things and big here, and a wide array of circumstances. I do as much as I can to help under the conditions and put the rest in their hands as there is nothing else I can do and the person in need doesn't get in the boat, get in the helicopter basket and take the final step. I feel like the rescuers in the above story. I am frustrated to see my efforts go to waste and I wonder if I should stop.

Two particular instances right now really anger me, I don't want to air family dirty laundry in public, but suffice it to say I've done all I can do. It saddens me that the lifeline I am throwing isn't good enough, isn't enough money, or out right rejected before it's even tried.I don't have allusions of grandeur, that I'm the rescuer that God sends. I don't feel myself pushed by God to do these things, I'm simply trying to help, to be a good person, to be a good family member, and know that I did the right thing when many do not.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stormy Weather brings Too Many Things to Do

Wow, the last few days have been extreme. I think today is the first time in several days I've sat down for more than a few minutes at a time.

Sunday dawned a pretty day. Hubby declared he was going to put new sewer vent pipes up through the roof as the old ones which were cast are ugly. He was busy with that project most of the afternoon, he picked a bad day for attic work as it was near 90 degrees. I moved some hostas around the flower beds and did some general gardening work, the flower beds are a little shaggy from lack of love last summer. The kids played and got in trouble for turning the water hose on themselves and making a mess but the day was good.

After supper we got both muddy boys bathed and Igor tucked into bed. About 10 minutes later the thunderstorm the 90 degree weather fore shadowed along with the weatherman started blowing in. Sonny Boy was proclaiming " Wow, look how hard it's raining!" as Hubby and I gathered our wits and looked out the big bay window in the dining room we saw the wind BLASTING and heard a loud SNAP and the power started flickering. I declared "basement" and ran up the stairs to get Igor and snatched him from the bed grabbing his glasses as I grabbed him, ran down the stairs and down the basement stairs meeting up with Sonny Boy and Hubby who had managed to find a couple of flashlights along the way. We hung out in the basement about 5 minutes looking out the best you can from the little windows and could see the worst was over. We came out to find a tree across the power lines a few houses down, a large limb of one of our trees down, several bricks from the remaining chimney that had somehow missed our vehicles by only inches and two sections of picket fence blown down. The police soon came and blocked off our street until the power company could get there. We let the kids gawk out the windows for a while and then put them to bed reassuring them that "yes, you can sleep when there is no electricity". Hubby and I then sat on the porch and yelled at the idiots who were going under the police tape to try and electrocute themselves. We did this until the traffic slowed and figured we could let the idiots have it to themselves and went to bed ourselves and heard the power company show up around 12:30 am and get our lights on sometime around 2:00 am.

Monday we arose and got Sonny Boy off to school. Hubby called in to work to tell them we had storm damage and he'd be working from the "north office" for the day. I went out and looked around the yard. Along with the large tree limb we had a bed sheet in the middle of the street and a lawnmower blade in our yard. I found the glass ball from our bent over lightening rod that had slid off the rod and somehow landed in the street gutter without breaking. Soon the morning rain quit, Hubby revved up the chainsaw and we cleaned up the big limb and Igor and I picked up 4 wheelbarrows full of small dead sticks that had blown from the trees. While out picking up the sticks our neighbor came over and got me and showed me a huge split in an elm tree in our yard (the split was only visible from his yard) I went in and called the power company as it threatened the power lines. The power company showed up fairly quickly and evaluated it. Later in the afternoon the neighbor flagged down a power company employee who was driving by and showed him the split which had grown very dangerous in the last few hours. The power company had the city come and block off the road again and Hubby and I perched on the front porch waiting with baited breath every time the wind gusted. The tree trimmers soon showed up and had two bucket trucks working the tree down to an almost stump leaving all the trimmings in our lawn just before dark.

Tuesday arrives and we take Sonny Boy to school and Igor into Children's for an eval by the genetic clinic (more on that later when we have some test results) and got home in the afternoon to fire up the chainsaw again and clean up the mess the tree trimmers left. Our neighbor came over and helped with that mess. The tree trimmers left a quite large topped off tree still that had a large leaning branch. Hubby monkeyed up the tree with a rope and tied it off, neighbor and I pulling on it as he climbed a ladder and cut to keep the limb from hitting neighbor's house. While pulling I lost my footing and landed on my rear on the concrete edge of a flower bed. OUCH, I thought I might have broken something for a short time, thankfully only got a good bruise on my keister.

Even with all of that yard clean up drama we couldn't help but think "man are we lucky" when we got up on Monday morning and saw pictures of Joplin, MO and other midwestern towns that are getting creamed daily with twisters.

Today things have gotten somewhat back to normal. The city came and got the huge pile of limb debris off the curb. We still have a large tree trunk standing in the yard that's got to be dropped. Hubby will have to rent a bigger chainsaw for that as it would just laugh at his little machine. I managed to finally make a dent in the massive pile of laundry only to be felled by a migraine this afternoon.

Things are back to normal.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Busy Spring and FINALLY some pictures.

I'm not the best at getting pictures up in the blog. I get really aggravated with blogger and my inability to move pictures around and edit things so the pictures make sense with the text, therefore when I have a post with pictures I have to have a rough outline of what I'm writing about in my head, and face it I don't think that far ahead when putting up a blog post.

The last informative post on our lives I mentioned Igor went to a petting farm with his preschool. He LOVED it. The weather left a lot to be desired but he seemed to be able to tamp down his innate fear of animals and petted most everything with a little coaxing.

Here's my little cowboy riding a pony. He thought he was really an equestrian after this. Of course this makes horse crazy momma's heart proud!

Here he is petting a week old calf. They were SOO cute and I couldn't believe how tolerant they were of the kids.

Last weekend mom and I met up at Meramec Farm it was a nice little get away. Hubby stayed home with the kids and I had a few days without shouting "knock it off" even once. Nice.

At the farm was this cat. When I arrived he greeted me and bent over and petted him. Nice enough cat. The cat the proceeded to follow me as I went on a little stroll down the gravel road, kinda odd for a cat. When I got back to the cabin he sat at the screen door and meowed loudly to be let in. No, I wasn't going to do that, then he jumped up into the living room window and peered in at me. I guess I was rather boring because he soon jumped down. A little bit later I looked out in the cabin lawn and he's out there and was bringing me a half dead mouse. Later that night he took up residence on the hood of my car and woke me at day light by jumping to the bedroom window ledge. He hung out on the rail fences around the cabin most of the day and would bat himself into the screen porch often. The cat was a stalker, never met a cat like that before. I later found out his name is Charlie.

A huge sycamore tree graced the lawn of the cabin. This picture doesn't really give an idea of it's scope. It's only half leafed out. If you don't know sycamore leaves are often bigger than dinner plates.

Of course if you go to a horse farm you must ride. Mom and I rode a couple of days. This was on the second day. I'm on the white horse who thought she had to be in the lead on everything so I spent most of the ride slowing her down. Mom's horse just trudged along like it was a wind-up animal.

A lovely view from the cabin. It was so peaceful there. I do wish the weather would have cooperated a little as it was cool and somewhat rainy. I had planned to canoe a little as well but the water was too high and fast for that adventure.

Baseball is in full swing now. Today Sonny Boy got to play catcher for a little bit. Looking at this picture, I don't think he caught the ball.

Of course he batted as well. I can't remember if he hit this or not, but it's a good shot. Sonny Boy did catch a pop fly while playing first base. I wish I'd had the camera out for that as the look on his face was just priceless. I played over-excited momma when he caught that ball, I'm pretty sure everybody knew which kid was mine at that point. Ha

We are also in full construction mode on the house. The roofers began on Monday (they got held up by some rain) Our house looks pretty rough at the current moment, a big dumpster in the yard, the roof two different colors plus a couple of tarps. Several of the siding boards have been pulled off of the side of the house in preparation for blowing insulation into the walls. The new tube skylight has been installed and it's so great we've ordered another in hopes that it gets here before the roofers are done. The thing is amazing. I highly recommend getting one or 10 of these in your house. The areas of new roof look so much better. The house had been shingled in an old fashioned reddish color asphalt shingle which was so ratty, just the color made it look bad. The new shingles make the house look so much more cared for. The old girl is getting her make-up on.

Well it's late, Igor is getting himself ready for bed and I have a reading stack that currently daunts even me (trying to get some of that blogging for books stuff done).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The American Dream

Three years ago a, Kelly, blogging friend that had done extensive humanitarian work in the town Igor was living in - had even met Igor before me - adopted two older boys from the local orphanage. A paperwork Snafu prevented her from adopting another boy named Viktor who aged out of the orphanage system and became ineligible for adoption due to U.S. immigration laws. Kelly worked magic and brought Viktor to the U.S. a few months later on a student Visa to become part of her family. Viktor, to say the least has thrived in his new family. He is an honor student and has won a prestigious scholarship. The scholarship however was small and nowhere near enough to cover his college expenses. Kelly is supporting him, paying for his room and board, insurance and any other expenses he has as a single mom with two younger boys as well. However Viktor needs help to pay college expenses and stay in school or he will lose his student visa and be forced back to Ukraine to an existence too horrible to think about.

Viktor needs your help. Project Green House Effect has started a Hope Scholarship Fund and Viktor is the first recipient. You can go to the link and learn more about Viktor and make a tax deductible donation to the fund. Your donation will be used for his college expenses, books, tuition, and all those mystery fees that go along with a university education. No amount is too small and certainly no amount too large to help this kid who has already come so far. Viktor is the embodiment of the American Dream, pulled himself up by his boot straps and is working hard to be a productive member of society, your $10, $25 or $100 donation can be the little bit of lifeline he needs to live the American Dream.

Make Viktor a Victor over his circumstances.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ranking the Review

I know some of you are being so kind as to rank my review, Thank you. I think there is some sort of glitch in how they do their system and it is not explained well when you rank. After you enter your e-mail and rank the review you will need to go to your e-mail account and open the e-mail from the publisher and click on the link to verify that you are not just entering everybody and your momma's address. It appears they've had problems in the past of people running up their own scores. Nice huh, especially considering it's a Christian book pulisher. So if you've ranked my review and not gone to your e-mail and clicked their link please do. If you haven't ranked my review please do, I have no access to the e-mail address nor do I know who ranked if you don't tell me. They say they don't spam, but be sure to click the box that says you do not want e-mails from them if you do not.

If everybody that has already ranked the review goes back and makes it official it will help my ranking by quite a bit.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogging for Books

Hey I'll admit it I'm kind of a slut for reading material. Put it in my hands and I'll read it, doesn't matter the quality or quantity. When I came across this program from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group it was a good chance to try my hand at book reviewing and get a free book or two in the process. I figure I read so much anyhow might get some sort of little prize in it for me as well. This is where I need your help dear reader please rate my review. The better my ranking the more likely I am to win some sort of prize. I don't care what kind of prize, the whole idea of getting a prize is cool because frankly I never win squat unless you count the time I won a whopping $30 playing slots in Vegas and promptly cashed out. You can do it right from my blog with the handy dandy tool below. Kinda neat (and I'm surprised I figured out how to put it on here)

So here is my debut as a book reviewer:

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

The Corruptible is standard detective novel fare. The hero Ray Quinn, a tough ex-cop is hired by a shady character to solve a simple case of corporate theft. Detective Quinn soon meets complications that lead to a tangled web of motive, alibi, and deceit that must be cunningly managed to bring the perpetrators to justice. While the hero is puzzling out the case and chasing bad guys he is also struggling with chronic pain and an increasing dependence on Jim Beam. Ray’s humanity is evident in the fact that despite his tough guy persona he’s helping a troubled young man with dyslexia pass the police exam and learn to love a large collection of John Wayne movies.

The writing over all was decent; the plot moved along and kept the pages turning. The writing did seem a little forced at times and I half expected to see “ It was a dark and stormy night” as the first line of the next chapter. The author did manage to avoid this cliché, if not others when he dressed Ray’s sidekick in a suit and fedora in steamy central Florida. I also found Ray’s access to police records, reports and crime scenes somewhat extraordinary and unbelievable regardless to the mention that he had been given a “consultant status” at the police department because of past incidents that had happened previous in the novel series.

If you’re up for a bit of light beach reading The Corruptible is certainly worth a few hours of your time.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and it in no way colors my opinion of this material.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Where Art Thou?

Spring might finally be sticking her head out a little but I'm not overly sure. Today seems like spring, it's a little warmer, the maple trees have tiny little leaves on them and that ucky stuff some botany obsessed person would call a flower. I don't think she has fully committed to coming and joining us yet. Only yesterday I was shivering in a brisk breeze standing around with people who were still donning winter hats and gloves. She is a fickle little priss.

We will soon start the major end of the house work next week and things are starting to shape up. The contractor had a large dumpster delivered and parked in the front driveway yesterday, he showed up this morning early to supervise the delivery of the shingles and tells us he plans to start middle of next week. That start date means Hubby will be busy cutting wholes in the ceiling and installing the inside parts of the tube skylight we are installing in the hallway upstairs and putting in a vent fan in the bathroom so it can be ducted outside as well. Next week will be loud.

This morning I attended Igor's IEP meeting for next year. All is well, they will re-evaluate him in the fall to make sure he's still progressing as he should but if there are no changes and he still tests appropriately he'll only be seen once a month or so by the physical therapist and the early childhood special ed teacher. Basically they will just be doing checks to make sure he doesn't fall behind as he's testing right in the normal range for everything which of course is wonderful news. I'll fight to keep them on consult for a while though as I think we might have some more school issues faced as he gets older and I suspect many of those issues will arise with his poor vision.

Next week I'll be driving south to meet up with my mother and possibly my uncle for a little get-away at the cabins Hubby and I went to last year. This is my "hunting trip" as Hubby has a duck hunting trip planned in the fall. I hope the weather cooperates as the trip will be kind of a bummer if weather isn't at least tolerable.

Yesterday was the annual petting farm trip of the pre-school. Igor had tons of fun. I was very impressed as he participated in all the activities petting different animals and even kind of milking a real cow. This is coming from a kid who acts fearful of the mildest of dogs and cats. Hopefully he's starting to overcome these fears.

I'm in the process of wheedling Hubby into letting me get a dog and/or a camper trailer. I found a program with a breeder of a poodle cross that would allow me to get the dog for only basic cost associated with any dog. The breeder would then take the dog and breed her a few times and keep her with the pups when born for a few weeks. After the dog has had a few litters of puppies the dog would be fixed and turned over to me. Hubby isn't wild about the idea. My other scheme is to buy a small camper. I like camping but I can't really go without another adult along as the boys are really getting too old to go into the ladies room with me and that makes a shower in campground (for me) impossible. I'd also feel safer with a little bit more between me and some nutcase than a piece of nylon tent. Campers can be had for pretty cheap, there are some really nice ones if you have a big enough vehicle to tow it with, however towing with a mini-van limits the options considerably but there are things out there, just talking Hubby into the idea is difficult.

Sonny Boy's baseball games start this weekend. Yay (can you hear the sarcasm) I'm really hoping he decides he doesn't like baseball that much and doesn't want to play next year. Honestly I didn't realize the time commitment involved as they take things a little too seriously here. Oh well, live and learn.

That's all there is for now, must get back to doing a few chores and quit slacking off so much.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Downed by ants

Friday afternoon I was putzing around in the yard with Igor tagging along. We were picking up all the little sticks that our trees had found the need to rid themselves of since fall. We were unloading the wagon out in the overgrown area of the park ( a perk of living in the corner is that we all use it as a big compost pile) and I found an ant hill. These were not the little tiny ants but the big honking black ones. Perfect for Sonny Boy's ant farm. I send Igor in to get Sonny Boy and the ant farm and soon I'm trying to figure out how to get more ants in than escape. Those boogers were fast. I sat out on the lawn for a little and when I got up my back was kind stiff. No big deal I thought as did a little abnormal walk into the house. When I got in it was worse but my first thought was I'd been hunched over, I need to lie down flat. I laid down on the kitchen floor and was there a few mins. The pain was getting worse and I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I tried getting up but that just wasn't going to happen. Thank God Hubby was home working in his little office upstairs. I called for him and he quite literally picked me up and I hobbled to the couch. The kids bored with all this decided to go finish picking up sticks and Hubby went back to work while I laid flat on back on the couch. I was sitting there, no TV on or anything and I could hear the TV humming that it was "on" but no show was playing (the kid's had been playing Wii) so I decide to get up, turn off the TV and put my glasses on the side table. TV shut off accomplished I bent ever so slightly to put my glasses on the table and BAM it was like I was being stabbed. I managed go get onto the couch again but this time it was really bad. I sat there for a while and determined this is BAD, way BAD, my back has never hurt like this before. I called the walk-in clinic to check hours and Hubby picked me up off the couch and into the clinic I go. Doctor came in and examined me, had a good laugh that I threw my back out picking up ants, gave me two shots, a handful of prescriptions and told me "no laundry, no lifting, no twisting" . I came home and was promptly out cold on the couch to wake up just in time to have hubby make it to the pharmacy to pick-up the prescriptions before they closed. Two days pass in a druggy haze - really I don't think I was awake more than three hours on Saturday. Today I'm upright again with no real pain in my back just some lingering soreness. The diagnosis was "Acute muscle strain" which doesn't even start to explain how horrible this was. So yeah, I was downed by ants.

It's a good thing I'm back upright today - not only because Hubby had to go to work today but because Igor had to go pick up his SMO's. What a LOOOONG appointment. He was excited because that now meant he could wear his new tennis shoes with sports balls on them that light up. I was thrilled we could throw out his little boots he had literally worn a whole in the toe of riding the little scooter in the driveway. Igor was happy to rid himself of them too because he happily tossed them in the garbage at the orthotist office. We also got rid of the offending scooter by giving it to a neighbor for her grandson to play on when he visits.

Well, I guess that's all folks, that's about all my healing back can handle in this chair.