Happy Black Friday

Black Friday The Game

This is why I don’t do the whole, get up at the crack ass of dark and go shopping thing.

I mean, do you really need another 32″ TV for $248?

We, as a society, have put so much value on material possessions that every year there are people who are hurt or actually killed by the unruly mob that all want to be the first one in the back to spend more money than they can really afford.

I mean, come on people, are you really willing to trample someone to death to be the first one to get your grubby little hands on the not-so-great deal anyway?

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2008/11/28/211518.aspx

This story is from last year, but what do you bet that there are hundreds of untold stories of violence out there. I mean all the pushing and shoving to ge to the only one of something that is on sale is technically assault.

And is it really worth it?

You’re going to wrap it up and put it under the tree for a kid who the second after it leaves his hot little hands is not even going to give it a second thought.

You be the judge.

Me, I’m staying home and enjoying rare time with my family.

Y’all Come Back Now.

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November 27, 2009. Home and Garden. Leave a comment.

Ferdinand The Bull At ASF

Today we joined our homeschool friends and attended a matinee performance of “Ferdinand the Bull” at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

It was an intimate performance where we literally sat on the stage as the stage was floor level. The actors were fantastic and took the time to draw the kids in and include them.

This particular play was designed for the younger crowd, but there was enough glamour in the scenery and costumes to dazzle the adults. My 6 year old sat through the almost 1 hour performance and the question-and-answer sessions with two of the actors afterward.

The play itself was based loosely on the book by Munro Leaf. It picks up the “why did the men come to look for a bull in the first place?” aspect of the story.  The play begins with the son of a local duke telling his father that he would like to pursue a career in dancing. The father expresses his disappoinment and encourages his son to pursue bull fighting to avenge his own ill-gotten didain of bulls.

Ferdinand is the only character that is taken directly from the book. The “men from Madrid” are loosely interpreted as the duke, his son, and his servant. There is one character that is only found in this play, Conchina, the pig who is Ferdinand’s best friend and conspires with the duke to lead Ferdinand to Madrid and the bullfight.

My children and I enjoyed it and the class of high school age students who joined us for this performance also remained engrossed in the play.

It is a joy to have this resource to rely upon to help teach my children on our homeschooling adventure.

“Ferdinand the Bull” is playing now in the Octagon Theatre at ASF throught December 19th. I would definitely reccomend this play to those of you who have younger children and would like to introduce them to live performance theatre.

Y’all Come Back Now.

November 23, 2009. Homeschooling. Leave a comment.

And The Verdict Is:

Hives.

Apparently as an allergic reaction to something environmental.

Of course, knowing what it is doesn’t make the insanely-intense itching any better, but it helps to know how to treat it.

I have been trying to find out what has been going on for a week. I was able to make an appointment with the nicest dermatologist in Montgomery, Dr. Mark Herron. His staff are a wonderful group who made me feel welcome and were so helpful. I mean I called at 7am expecting to get a recording telling me the office hours and I got a live person who, after hearing about what was going on with me, told me to come in now and I would be seen. I think I spent about 10 minutes waiting before I was taken to a room. I had brought not one, but two books with me fully expecting to spend a lot of time waiting.

Once I was in the room, Dr. Herron was there in just minutes. I never even got to read an entire page of my book. He examined me (in all the places the hives have come up including my backside) and then took the time to explain to me what was going on with me and why. He explained the medication regimen to me and how and why to take each medicine and then took the time to answer my questions. I was home in no time.

It has only been a day, but  I can already see a difference. I won’t post any pictures of my ailment. If you want to get an idea of what it looks like google “allergic hives” or “pruritis”. Just imagine that pretty much from neck to knees I have spots that are intensely red and itch like crazy.  Today the bumps are smaller, still intensely red and still itch like crazy, but any progress gives me a view of relief soon.

Y’all Come Back Now. 

 

November 17, 2009. Notebook. Leave a comment.

Yet another night of sleep lost

Here I am again. It’ almost 2 am and I pretty much know that any chance of sleeping for tonight is wishful thinking.

I went to bed at a decent hour, about 10. Then once I started to dream I kept having the same dream over and over.

I am out in the pasture, naked, and accidentally step into an ant bed. Now, if you live in the south, you know that this is a nightmare. Down here we have what are called fireants. When they sting, it hurts. They also attack in groups and small children have died due to a great number of fireant bites. They build mounds that look like this:

This one is a fairly small one.  See the ruler that measures about a foot? Under the ground goes even deeper than the top goes up.

The boogers that live here are vicious. Here’s what they look like.

Doesn’t he just look mean? And getting stung by one (or more) of these things hurts like the dickens. It swells up and itches like all-get-out. Here’s what the bites look like:

Some, myself included, have a more severe reaction and look like this when we get stung:

 

And they ITCH!!

Which brings me to the why of yet another night with no sleep.

I have developed a strange, red, raised, itchy rash. It started on Wednesday with just a couple of what I thought was chigger bites on the bag of my legs and on my right “cheek”. It itched like crazy, but I thought I could handle it. I mean, heck, I live in Alabama, the mosqito capitol of the South. I put Calagel on each spot, soaked with oatmeal baths, and took Benadryl. You know, all the right things to do in this case.

Well, Friday after lunch I noticed what looked like little marker dots on the lower bart of my stomach. By Friday evening there were even more and they were starting to rise above the skin and grow larger in diameter. So, I broke down and went to the doctor. She gave me three oral medications and a steroid cream to apply

This moring when I got up there are about 3 times the number of spots and now I have new ones on my arms, chest, neck and breasts. They also itch about 20 times worse than the original spots that came up sarting Tuesday. So, I went to the ER for them to tell me that they had absolutely no idea what I had. The doctor never even did a physical exam, didn’t make a diagnosis, didn’t ask me any questions to try and find out why. Here’s what will really get you.

He says, “I don’t know what it is and you need to see a dermatologist.”

I respond, “Is there a dermatologist who takes call for the hospital?”

He answers, “Nope, they only see patients during their office hours of 9 to 3, Monday through Friday.”

Me, “You’re kidding right? I mean what do you do if a burn victim comes in?”

His response: “We transport them to UAB.” (Which is 2 hours away).

I explained to him that I was concerned about it being contagious because I have 3 kids at home.

He says, “It’s not conagious.”

I looked him straight in the eye and replies, “How can you know that if you don’t know what it is???”

He had no response. He then proceeded to tell me that protocol in this situation is Pepcid, Visteral, etc.

I looked at him like he had lost his mind and said, “I’m already taking all those things. They were prescribed when I went to Pri-Med on Friday.”

Not to mentioned that I had already told him that in the first few seconds when he asked me, “So, what seems to be wrong today?”

Folks, he never even looked at the history in the chart and to top it all off  HE NEVER DID A PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT. A HUGE no-no.

I left there crying, angry, and no better off than when I got there. AND I HAD TO PAY FOR HIS NON-SERVICE.

The hospital I went to, Baptist East, is constantly running commercials about their friendly staff. Maybe instead of spending that money on commercials, they should spend it on teaching the doctors manners and how to read a chart.

So, I dreamed about the fireants biting me all over and itching like crazy because my entire torso, parts of my legs and arms, and my backside itch so bad that it hurst. I spent most of my evening until 10, slathering on Calagel and lying under the fan trying to find some relief.

I guess I should be grateful for the 2 hours of sleep that I was able to get.

Maybe I can get more tomorrow after I visit the dermatologist.

Y’all Come Back. 

 And let me know what you think about the blog, like it, love it, want a recipe for some southern food you love or just want to try. Drop me a comment. I love hearing from you.

November 16, 2009. Notebook. Leave a comment.

Bonfire and Friends

Tonight was our Celebration of Fall Bonfire.

We invited our friends up to the farm and gathered ’round the fire to roast weenies. A good time was had by all.

We started out the night with the kids playing a round of soccer in the light of the setting sun.

Once it had gotten entirely too dark to play soccer I passed out campfire forks and we roasted our hot dogs over the blazing flames. The kids loved it and the adults reminisced about how much better a hot dog tastes when you cook outdoors. We came to the conclusion that it has something to do with the ashes imparting a salty taste to the dog itself. Not to mention that it is just cool to eat a fire roasted weiner.

Once everyone had gorged themselves on hot dogs we moved on to the main event (in my opinion anyway), making s’mores. There were adults in attendance who had never made s’mores before. Those of us who personally knew the joy of gooey marshmallow, melted chocolate, and crunchy almost sweet graham cracker were more than happy to initiate them into the club.

I stopped at one, but oh what a wonderful one it was. Perfectly burned marshmallow (don’t judge, that’s how I like ’em), melted-but-still-solid piece of chocolate, and perfectly portioned graham cracker. It was heaven. It is almost an addictive thing, though. If I had allowed myself a second, it would have led to a third, and a fourth, and I probably wouldn’t have stopped until we ran out of the necessary ingredients.

I love s’mores. As one of our guests pointed out, “anything this good should definitely be illegal”.

Y’all Come Back Now.

 

November 7, 2009. Home and Garden. 1 comment.

The Agony of The Feet

When you have Fibromyalgia, you have good days and bad days.

Today has been an extremely bad day.  

For the last several months, 6 to be exact, from the moment I get up in the morning until I fall into a restless sleep I have pain. Sometimes the pain is like a dull ache that I can push to the back of my mind.  Never forgetting that it is there, but pushing it down enough to function in the day to day way that my family depends on.

Then there are the days like today. I wake up in the morning and I ache from head to toe in an unrelievable way. My head hurts with a fury that has no limits, my shoulders and neck hurt from spasms that never end, my entire body hurts to touch, even the touch of my clothing on it, and worst of all my feet hurt so bad that I cringe every time I know that I must put them on the floor and actually bear my own weight.

On a good day my feet are only sore like they are after you walk a long way. But on a bad day, like today, just sitting still is agony, but walking is excruciating. Like stepping on a thousand tiny needles.

On a good day, I can function. On a bad day it takes everything that I am made of not to just crawl back in the bed and call in sick to life. But they don’t really let you call in sick to living. My kids still need me. My chickens still need to be fed. The dog still needs to be let out into the yard or my carpet will become littered with special little surprises. And in the interest of all concerned, I still need to force myself to stand in a stream of water and wash myself. My husband most especially appreciates that one.

I’m tired.

Y’all Come Back when I’m feeling better.

 

 

November 6, 2009. Notebook. Leave a comment.

French and Indian Encampment

The girls and I met some friends and went to Fort Toulouse today for the French and Indian Encampment.

This is a reenactment of what it was like around 1814 when Fort Jackson was being built.

We had a great time. We ate Indian Fry Bread, roasted corn on the cob, smoked turkey legs, drank homemade root beer.

My favorite part was the Indian Stomp Dance. The dancers traveled here from Okalahoma for this event. They come every year and every year I make sure that I sit and watch. I always feel a reverence when witnessing this wonderful display. It makes me want to travel back to Okalahoma and experience it first hand.

Part of this is probably due to the connection I feel with them. My dad’s father’s mother (my great-grandmother) was 100% Native American. My mother’s mother’s grandmother ( my great-great-grandmother) was also 100% Native American. Of course, like just about every other Southerner, I do have various other fractions in there too. The trouble is, I don’t know much about that part of my heritage. See, it was against the law for Native Americans to be here, so if asked they claimed to be “Black Irish” so that they could hold on to thier land. If they didn’t, their land would have been seized and they would have been forced to the reservations that had been designated for them.

So, a lot of that heritage is lost. Those that chose to go underground and stay didn’t really talk much about thier heritage and therefore I don’t really know much.

To further complicate things, my grandfather (Dad’s dad) died when my dad was just 13 and Grandmother (dad’s mother) remarried and didn’t really talk much about him. Grandmother was killed by a 16 yo unlicensed drunk driver out for a joy ride when I was just a little tyke. I never really got the chance to ask her much and my father’s family isn’t really close. I don’t know any of his relatives further back than his older sister. She actually live close by. Maybe I can try and pick her brain one day.

I will post some pictures here within the next few days. Just too tired to go through all the shots now.

Y’all Come Back. And if you are close, Y’all head on over to Fort Toulouse.

November 4, 2009. Notebook. 1 comment.