Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our New Garden

Another year of gardening has begun! We got the onions and the peas in today. Last year, Jim bought a seeder to make planting the beans, peas, corn, etc. quicker and easier. I will tell you that thing is worth its weight in gold! I got eight 25 ft. rows of peas planted in less than five minutes. Sweet!

Tomorrow, we will start planting the 250 strawberry plants that came two weeks ago. Here is the lovely plot where they will go.

We will put the potatoes in in a couple of weeks, and the rest of the garden at the end of the month. I am so excited and hopeful for this year's garden!

Monday, April 27, 2009

One Baby Step Closer

We now have clear and absolute proof that Jim is not crazy. We went to a rheumatologist today who made it clear that Jim does actually have a connective tissue disorder. More blood tests were taken to determine, if possible, what he actually has.

I cannot express the feeling of relief that I have that a doctor has finally acknowledged the fact that Jim is truly sick. It was music to my ears to hear the doctor say that Jim is a relatively young man (43), and men of his age just don't get this sort of illness EXCEPT FOR THE MILITARY VETERANS he has seen. This might not make everything okay, but we think that it is a pretty good start.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

All of the sudden, things have gotten very strange around here. We have finally come out of the closet that we think Jim's illness is Gulf War Illness. We feel that we are getting a run-around from the VA. We feel that the government has let us down in a very big and serious way. I think this is what people who suffer identity theft must feel like. It is disgusting that the person who has suffered the injury has to do all the legwork to make sure restitution is made. The government knows what went on, and they won't admit fault. There were vaccines given that were documented as Vaccine 1 and Vaccine 2. What is that all about? I just read an article that says some of the vaccines given were experiments. Didn't the government learn anything from the Tuskegee experiments? We don't do that to human beings. Period.

Not only am I feeling raw and betrayed, but I, and we, have to deal with people who think that GWI is a lie and a farce. That, too, is like believing in Santa Claus - some do, some don't. I can say, without equivocation that something is very wrong with my husband. He is not the same person, physically, that he was even five years ago. He used to be able to work for hours and still play with the kids. Now, the can't get through any work without needing a nap. When people call and ask for him, and he is sleeping, I just tell them that he is out of the house. If I do say that he is sleeping in the middle of the day, I get a lot of very rude comments. People think he is lazy, slovenly, depressed, etc. He is none of those things. He is sick.

I have to admit that even I didn't want to admit it for a long time. After my last post, I was contacted by someone who is very involved with the fight to get diagnosis and treatment for GWI. She's heard this story from hundreds, if not thousands, of people since 1993. She has pointed me in the direction of articles that have left me numb. I told her that we feel like we are out in the wilderness screaming and no one can hear us. There is an Advisory Committee meeting regarding GWI in Washington, DC at the beginning of May. We won't be going, but we are certainly going to try to submit some testimony.

Even writing this is making me feel paranoid. Am I flagging myself as a malcontent? Will all of this come back to bite me in the behind? I know that the Pentagon, State Dept., CIA, Dept. of Defense all know what happened. Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, George Bush senior, and GW all know. If they do not own up to their complicity in harming thousands of people's lives before they die, I hope they twist in the pain and agony they have caused for eternity.

There. If that doesn't bring the NSA to my door, I guess I'm not doing my job right.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One Chullo Down

I finished this hat in about a week and a half. It was so much fun to knit. I learned how to do two-strand colorwork when I did some test knitting for a designer friend of mine. It took me five months to do her test. You can see that my speed has improved a bit. I had to do some fiddling with the i-cord edging. Since my spatial relationship skills are horrible, I had to start the i-cord from both sides, when it is supposed to go all the way around. If you look really hard, you can see all of the mistakes. I also have lots of ends to weave in. On the next hat, I will just knit the ends in to save time. I am researching a book called 1000 Great Knitting Motifs for the next hat. I am geekily into this!

On the non-knitting front, there is a lot going on that I will probably be writing quite a bit about in the future. My husband has been suffering from what we believe is Gulf War Illness for several years now. Lately, it has gotten really bad. He is sore and exhausted all the time. We keep getting ridiculous answers from the VA. They keep trying to tell him that he is getting older, so some aches and pains are bound to creep in. He's only 43! Hell, I'm almost 40, and I hardly get any sleep, but I'm able to get through my day, play with the kids, do school, etc., without needing to sleep for a couple of hours between activities! The VA was instructed back in the '90s to diagnose all of the Gulf War Vets with PTSD, instead of owning up to the fact that they poisoned the troops who were there. It's a very long story, and I am shocked and disgusted at what I have found out. Please keep him and our family in your prayers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The sweater - FINISHED!!

Okay, I know you have all been waiting with baited breath to see the sweater that I have been talking about for so long. Here it is. It is the Happy Husband, designed by Janet Szabo. I did it as a part of of KAL (Knit A-Long) on the Aran Yahoo group. It was such a joy to knit. The sleeves got a bit monotonous, but the rest of the sweater just grew and grew under my needles. I loved knitting it and I am looking forward to starting another soon. I am already looking at yarn and patterns.

In the meantime, I am making chullos for the kids for their First Day of Winter gifts. This is also just a really fun thing to knit. I thought they might take a long time, but I am already over half finished with the first one. Now I know that it won't take me from now until December to make the other four. I will have some time to play with colors and patterns, which is more fun than being under the gun to finish gifts.

The weather is taking a really yucky turn this week. We are supposed to get measurable snow between tonight and tomorrow. I could do without this, but who am I to argue with Mother Nature? Oh, well, more knitting time for me!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Play

After a very long, and very housebound, winter, we are revelling in this wonderful spring weather we have been having lately. We played outside in the sunshine most of yesterday afternoon. We played baseball and threw the frisbee around. How soon do you think the majors will pick him up?

A good time was had by all.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let's get serious

Okay, I have to get this off my chest. I am so sick and tired of people ragging on President Obama about not having fixed the economy yet. He's been in office for just over sixty days. He inherited a mess that will take many years to unravel. Unless he really is a superhero, I don't see how this could all miraculously clear up in a couple of months.

I have been doing a bit of research into the deficit. As it turns out, the deficit under President Bush was HUGE, but no one knew that because he kept the cost of the war off the books. How does one hide that kind of cost? It's like he was a cheating husband with a secret credit card. Unfortunately, it came to light, and now we are all stuck with the bill. President Obama did not give us the cost of the war. He did not give us the AIG mess. He did not give us the very sorry state of education in the United States. Now, as our president, he is trying to fix it, and he is being vilified for it. I think of it as this: He's one of those guys who spins plates on sticks in the circus. He has several sticks and he has to get all of the plates spinning at once. Then, he has to keep running back and forth to keep the plates spinning. It's a big job. The very least the Republicans could do would be to listen to him, and if they don't like what he is saying, they need to come up with a plausible plan. You can't stand on the corner yelling about how bad something is if you don't have the faintest notion of how to fix it yourself.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

Happy First Day of Spring, everybody! We had lovely weather today after waking up to a dusting of snow on the ground. We had to do our grocery shopping today, which is always very busy and exhausting. The kids got some new cards (Pokemon and Chaotic), and Noah got to spend his birthday money. He got $30! He got a five pack of Hot Wheels cars and a Pop-Up Playset. He made his decision very quickly and easily, so I know he is happy with what he got.

I got a book of knitting motifs at the library. Ooh, the fun I am going to have with this! I got a pattern for Chullo hats from Knit Picks. I like the patterns that came with the kit, but I wanted a little more variety. I am just itching to cast on and play! These hats are going to be for the kids' First Day of Winter gifts. It's a good thing I have all summer to work on them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back Again!

I had the wonderful chance to talk to a dear friend from college today. We hadn't talked in years. I was told that I haven't posted to my blog for a very long time, so he didn't know what was going on in my life these days. Imagine my shock and surprise to hear that someone was actually reading this! It was very nice to know. So, here you go, another stimulating blog post. I am going to try to get back at least once a week to let everyone know what is going on.

Right now, we are receiving packages of seeds every few days. Jim started some herbs in the greenhouse the other day. I am determined to have an herb garden this year. There is nothing like fresh parsley or cilantro to make just about anything taste better. We will be starting tomatoes, peppers, etc. soon. I am getting very excited. I miss gardening. I miss good, fresh food. The good news is that we should be able to put in peas in a few weeks. Let the games begin!

We are almost done with lambing for the year. Usually, we wouldn't even be started yet, but last summer didn't go so well and the rams were never separated. Therefore, we started having lambs in January. We suffered a few losses at the beginning, but the rest made it, thank God. I am hoping that the bigger boys will be able to go to market for Easter. Otherwise, they will all wait until fall to go. Either way is fine with me, as long as they do well. We will have to get out within the next few weeks and build some serious fence to keep them in. We promised Jacob that he wouldn't have to spend his summer running after sheep every day. He's skinny enough as it is.

I know you are dying to know what I'm knitting right now. Well, I am about 12 inches away from being finished with an Aran sweater for Jim. Ironically, the pattern is called The Happy Husband by Janet Szabo. I wanted to knit it for him secretly, but there is no way I could do enough while he is at work or sleeping to have it finished in this lifetime. It's a great sweater to knit, it's just involved and BIG. I will post a picture next time.

So, there you go, you-know-who-you-are. Drop by and see me often!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Great Day

Today was possibly the greatest day that I have personally lived through, historically speaking. I can't express how thrilled I am that we have a new president. President Obama fills me with such hope. I pray that this country will turn its course and we can once again be "the greatest country on earth." We all need to work together to help each other and to help our country. We can do it. I have faith.