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Everything posted by babysteps

  1. Hey all. So my dad has been having mild shortness of breath/coughing fits for about 18 months now. He finally agreed to go to the doctor this week (men. sigh.). They kept him in the hospital for three days, ran a zillion tests, and came up with 1. Diabetes. Not a surprise given my dad's quite overweight, almost 70, and it runs in his family. 2. Pulmonary Embolisms. Apparently his left leg has been kicking blood clots like they're going out of style and he had about half a dozen in his lungs. Small, fortunately, but still have the potential to be A Bad Thing. 3. Pulmonary Fibrosis. Which means he has a non-curable, non-treatable progressive lung disease with an average life expectancy after diagnosis of 3-5 years. I'm a little shell shocked right now. He hasn't been in perfect health for the past year or so, but it was never what I would call "poor" health. And I *thought* I knew that he was getting older and I could lose him at any time - but I'm realizing there's a world of difference in a vague, head-knowledge type of knowing something, and being hit with the reality of having at MOST 5 years left. The doctors are kind and sympathetic and not optimistic at all about him having more time than that, given the other issues. And I don't know if that "3-5 years" clock starts now, or if it started 18 months ago when he first started having sypmtoms. So if you feel led, please pray for my family. My parents have so many decisions to make in the upcoming months. My brother and I both live three hours away from them, which makes us feel very helpless right now.
  2. We were talking about this on our way home from our small town fireworks show. Right after - like less than 2 minutes after - the show ended, every cop in town lit up and went flying down the road just past where we were sitting. That'll make you wonder what's going on! Hubby said he had heard there had been at least 3 terrorist plots that had been foiled for this year's 4th of July celebrations. I don't know what the others might be, I'm guessing the one Jeepers listed was one of them though. (He's LEO, so he often gets a little more info than what the msm hears.) It's sobering and thought provoking, to say the least.
  3. I'm not concerned about this particular issue, no. It's a blue-green algae bloom causing the toxin in the water, so it's not going to be an issue in underground wells, as far as I understand. I'm also a good 20 miles from the reservoir and the city affected, so distance would help if it was an airborne contaminate. That's not to say I'm not worried about the possibility of my well becoming contaminated - just not from this. The city officials stated yesterday that the levels of toxin - which had been below EPA levels for almost a week and they were expecting to lift the restrictions this week- have gone back up AGAIN, so there's no end in sight yet. I think Salem is scrambling to get a new filtration system in that works on this toxin, but until that's in and tested, I think they're probably going to be stuck leaving the restrictions in place. It's been eye-opening, to say the least. For quite a few people I hope!
  4. "They" say it's safe to shower in it, just not to drink or cook with. And the official stance is that it's only unsafe for children under 6, the elderly, pregnant and nursing women, pets, and people with "compromised immune systems". Salem has multiple free water stations set up (bless the national guard!) where folks can fill jugs. Most businesses have been giving a "consume at your own risk" blanket disclaimer so that they can still sell drinks. It's a pain, but folks seem to have calmed down and are just mildly grumpy about it now, rather than panicking. If that "all summer" restriction goes into effect, though, I can imagine it could get ugly again quickly. The only official comments I can find right now seem to be pretty much "it's all fine and going to be lifted any day now" types. But they lifted it too soon before, so now they're erring on the side of caution. I hope.
  5. So guess what? About a week after they lifted the restrictions, they reinstated them. They decided to leave them in place for two weeks because it takes two days to get the results back. One person told me today she had heard they might keep them in place ALL SUMMER. I can't find anything that says that officially, so hopefully that's wrong, but can you even imagine? Have I mentioned how much I love my well? I LOVE MY WELL.
  6. They told us it's so much worse this year because we had a realtively mild winter (less snowpack which equals less water in the lake) combined with an unusually warm dry May. Much shallower and warmer water makes for perfect "bloom" conditions, I guess. They've lifted the water restrictions here, only to put them in place for several cities half an hour or so north of us - I guess their reservoir is having the same issues! I love being on a well anyway (except when the power goes out) but this has really brought it home for us. And on the bright side, this has caused us to look more carefully at our water setup and look at backup plans. For the most part, we'd have been okay for the week-ish that the water restrictions were in place, but... we have livestock. Cows and sheep drink a LOT of water and I would NOT have wanted to be hauling water for them if somehow we HAD been affected!
  7. Several of the towns and cities near me get their water from one of the local lakes. That lake is experiencing a blue-green algae bloom right now, so suddenly none of the towns that rely on it have drinking water for the next several days. We're on a well, which I'm SO thankful for in situations like this, and have stored water as well... so for my family this isn't really an issue. But the areas around us... the notification went out mid afternoon yesterday, and within a couple of hours all the stores were out of bottled water. THEN, to add panic to an already-unpleasant situation, our local Office of Emergency Management sent out an alert on cell phones last night at 8pm - to all cell phones within a certain radius of the affected areas, as far as we can tell. All the cell phones at my house lit up and started buzzing at once, with this message: "SEVERE ALERT CIVIL EMERGENCY in this area until 11:28pm PDT PREPARE FOR ACTION" --- and that's ALL it said. Facebook went nuts, three of my neighbors called us wanting to know what was going on, the 911 call centers in four different counties were overloaded - they said at one point they had 50 calls on hold - because there was no information. Half an hour later, they finally sent a second alert stating that it was a water emergency for the specific city, but by then it was a huge mess. It reminded me (on a thankfully less dramatic scale) of the false missile alert that Hawaii got a few months ago. People were flat out panicking though because no one knew what was going on. (My kids' response? "COOL WE'RE BEING INVADED" and "MOM THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING", lol.) The water issue was and is a big deal, but the vague emergency alert made things so much worse. And is causing other problems - because of the "until 11:28pm" part of the phone alert, some folks now think that means the water was only dangerous until then and is fine now. They also alerted folks far outside of the affected area - in some cases, two or three counties over, causing confusion over which cities were actually affected. One of the dispatch centers was trying to deal with a structure fire at the same time as the alert - that was a disaster. (As an aside - WHY do people think they should call 911 when emergency services notify them of an emergency?? THEY already know, they're the ones that sent the alert out!) The whole mess just reminds me once again why I do what I do. And nudged me to check on our water supplies and backups - because if our house HAD been affected, we'd have run out of water before it was over too.
  8. Oregon is definitely a mess. Small towns like mine that were already struggling with the meth crisis, and now we have this too. Theft has gone up in our town SO MUCH in the past year or so. Homeless problem is getting worse. And UGH it STINKS!! Working in a customer service job, the sheer number of folks who walk through our doors each day with fumes just rolling off them is enough to make me lightheaded. And (of course) it's getting into the schools in ridiculous numbers, despite it being illegal for kids. Our small town high school has had law enforcement called to it for drug-related activity more times in the past four months than in the past four YEARS combined. I firmly believe it has its place in medical usage. But so does morphine. And neither of them belong in the general public's hands.
  9. I've got a good old Winnie the Pooh-style blustery rainy night tonight. I should be asleep, buuuuuut... between the wind and the hubby snoring and my brain that won't shut up, I'm wide awake. Do we have anyone in Alaska anymore? I'm sure we used to... just wondering about that big quake and the tsunami warnings up there early this morning. My news was full of it on my way to work this morning, but no updates on my way home. So much going on with everyone! Prayers for your move to go smoothly, Ambergris; for Mr Homesteader's knee to improve quickly; for Jeepers' energy levels to come back; for Mt Rider to NOT DO TOO MUCH (lol); for WE2's dad and Miki's DH; for CG to stay off the ladder ; and for all the rest. Yikes!
  10. Yay! I just recently found my way back, too. Welcome back, Grace & Violets!!
  11. Hmmm! Maybe! It looks like it prefers zones 8-11, and my area is considered 7 to 7b. It'd be a little tricky but should be doable, if I gave it some extra care in cold temps...
  12. Tax season opened on the 2nd so I've spent the week learning my new office. My kids are going to have to re-learn how to stay on top of their schoolwork when mom isn't breathing down their necks, lol. They did a great job last year, so I'm not worried about them. And this year DD18 has her driver's license, which is a huge help. Our weather since Christmas has been typical temps for winter in our area (30s low, 40s high) but unusually dry. Yesterday was the first measurable rain in two weeks? Last year we had a moat around our house by this point. (No, really. I have pictures. Our house is a high point on a property with serious drainage issues. We had a moat.) DH put in a drainage system this fall and WANTS rain so he can test it, and... no rain! Everyone caught in this extra-cold winter weather... I'm so sorry. My sis-in-law had to make a trip to Iowa this week and is pretty much frozen solid by now, I think. Other than that, it's business as usual. DD4 and DD13 spent one afternoon this week poring through one of the seed catalogues we got in the mail. I came home to an already-planned-out garden. I did have to point out that I wasn't sure we could get cotton candy seeds. DD4 had them on her list and nothing that DD13 said was convincing the younger one that those aren't a thing. Her logic was "there's cotton seeds in the catalogue, so OBVIOUSLY there will be cotton CANDY seeds too!"
  13. I started working (for the first time in almost 20 years) last January as a receptionist in a tax office. Easy work, only during tax season (Jan-mid Apr) and a good way to ease back into the working world again. Guess I did a better job than I thought. (It's not like we're talking rocket surgery. Answer the phones, be polite and friendly, and help in the office where you can. How do you mess it up?) I got a call from the district manager yesterday. (!!!!) One of the office managers accepted a job out of state and is leaving in 3 weeks. Right as tax season really kicks into gear. And would I consider accepting a position as an office manager? I would get three days of virtual training and then two weeks of on the job training and then... they throw the baby in the deep end and see if she can swim. So the past 24 hours has been me doing lots of this As you can imagine.
  14. Praying for all the sickies!! NOT fun at any time, and just miserable at Christmastime. We had a good Christmas too. We woke up to freezing rain on Christmas Eve, but the roads weren't bad so we went to church anyway. Went over to my bro and SIL's in the afternoon. My parents came too. Watched White Christmas with the family and opened a few gifts that night. We had some more freezing rain on the way home but the roads stayed good till we got home, thankfully! I like snow but ice is a whole different animal. Tradition at our house is that kids get pjs and a new book each on Christmas Eve after we get home from the family party. So they read for a while and then went to bed. DH and I stuffed stockings and finished wrapping gifts and then went to bed also. Christmas morning the kids SLEPT IN till 8:30, so we woke them up and let them get into their stockings while we made waffles for breakfast. DS21 and his girlfriend came over for breakfast, and then we opened the rest of the gifts. The rest of the day was spent reading new books and eating cookies, lol.
  15. You'd be so BORED here, Mt Rider! An inch or two of snow maybe --MAYBE-- once or twice a winter, , no bears, cougars are rare... What ever would you do for fun?? It ended up not getting near as cold last night as they predicted... might have been down to 30, and was above freezing by 9am. We had clouds move in -- which is what warms *us* up. It's the clear nights that are stinkin cold. The cloudy ones are much warmer. And we get lots (and lots, and LOTS) of rain. Which equals mud. All winter long.
  16. Birthday party for a newly 15 year old today. She had three of her close friends over for an old(er) movie marathon... they watched The Court Jester, Labyrinth and White Christmas. DH and I have been recovering from colds this week so it's been a lot quieter than the week before Christmas would normally be... gotta admit I've enjoyed it! Daughters have been running errands for us and disappearing periodically to do their Christmas shopping. Another short cold snap going on, too... nothing like Mt Rider's, obviously, but our low tonight is supposed to be 18* which is considered "Extreme Cold" for our area, plus we have freezing fog going on. DD18 had to have help to get her car door open this morning... it was frozen shut, lol. I'm looking forward to NOT going anywhere tomorrow!
  17. I hate that this sort of thing happens. But it does.
  18. Obviously I'm no expert... but the folks warning us that we're overdue for a big bad nasty over here have gone into crazy amounts of detail. Our big quake is supposed to occur just off the coastline, and be basically a east-to-west shake. Supposedly. Which would be a good thing as far as how my house and shelves are oriented, if that was the case. I don't know how likely they are to be accurate, though, so I pretty much am assuming it's all gonna come down regardless.
  19. This may not be too interesting a topic for most of the group, but for those of us on the west coast it's something we should be thinking about, so... We had an earthquake yesterday. Only a 3.9, and it was far enough away (over 30 miles) that it was hit or miss all over my little town whether folks felt it or not. Probably a third of us felt it, two thirds had no clue. Closer to the epicenter, of course, everyone was going bonkers over it, especially since it was in almost the same location as the last really good-sized quake (5.6) we had, almost 25 years ago. (I know, I know, the Californians are laughing at us right now. 5.6? We're wimps. ) But it was a sobering reminder that we are overdue for a great big scary 8 or 9 point quake, and a good chance for me to remind my kids what to do and take stock, myself. One of the things I thought of... I have SO many glass jars. I really don't want them to end up broken all over the floor. I'm considering putting child locks back on the cabinet doors in the kitchen, to maybe help things stay where they belong. Anyone else in earthquake country with suggestions? I just don't have much experience with them. I've done ALLLLLL the reading, but practical experience is so much more useful... babysteps (re-reading Deep Winter AGAIN...)
  20. It's a lovely home, Kappy. I really hope in a few weeks this will all be an unpleasant memory and you ladies will be settled in it. Mt Rider, we watched some of the meteor shower. Our lows at night this past week have been about 20-25ish -- which I know is nothing compared to yours! -- but that's plenty cold for around here and so none of us were too keen on staying out very long. DH and the older girls stayed out for about 30 min. DD4 and I stayed out long enough for her to see about 5 shooting stars and then bailed for the nice warm fire inside, lol.
  21. But at least the list is now shorter by one name...
  22. It just keeps growing, doesn't it? Now the North Koreans say it's a matter of when, not if. http://www.kptv.com/story/37011955/n-korea-says-war-is-inevitable-as-allies-continue-war-games
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