Monday, December 31, 2012

Ian Burnet Has Been Missing for a Year

Ian, a year ago at Christmas.

How does a bright young man disappear without anyone seeing ?

A year ago, the imaginations and concerns of everyone from parents to college students themselves were taken up by the mysterious sudden disappearance of Ian Burnet.     Ian Burnet had absolutely everything going for him. He has a devoted mother and father, a loving older brother, and friends who love him.  He has extended family and a church group who would move Heaven and Earth for him.
He was academically successful in high school and was one semester shy of completing a degree in a computer related major, on full scholarship at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Ian also had the distinction of being one of the students who had a job lined up, that he had already reported to, before he received his degree.
              He took a brief trip with friends to New York City for the post Christmas New Year's Eve holiday, and has disappeared without a trace.  To most of us with children this age, this is a horror beyond our imagining.  Yes, although I have personally lost a child, I was there. I know what happened to my son, and I was there for him and with him.   Not to know where a son is or if he needs help must be beyond imagining.
              It has been one year since the disappearance of Ian Burnet.   Someone must know something or may have seen him since.  Once again, please revisit these pictures and think as to whether you may have seen him.  There is police and FBI contact information in my original posts below.

My prior posts on this case are:

For additional information:

I dedicate this song to those who love and miss Ian Burnet

 and also  to our Daniel,who is also missed.

 "My Love is Here" is performed by Roch Voisine and Jim Brickman

I dedicate this song to those who love and miss Ian Burnet and to our Daniel, also.


          Ian Burnet has been missing without a trace for now three years.   If you have seen him please contact those mentioned in the post above as contact points with the authorities.    Thank you.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another Somber Christmas

Ro, in happier and healthier days.

   We survived the fourth Christmas which has occurred following the sudden passing of Daniel, the day after Thanksgiving, in 2008.   It was a pleasant gathering.   We bought a moderate number of gifts, and filled Christmas stockings.  My husband, the perennial excellent cook, prepared the turkey and other fixings including the stuffing, and I prepared sweet potatoes. All of our children came to the gathering, including our daughter who has her own house now.
                A lot of my time this Christmas was taken up caring for Rosheen  (Irish Gaelic spelling is Roisin)  When our small hunting dog Angus died on December 1st, at a very advanced age, Rosheen seemed depressed.   Despite my keeping an eye on her, she seemed to slide. She is fourteen, but not nearly as old as Angus had been.  This week it was hard to ignore her being withdrawn and so we finally had to have her assessed.  Ro had a bladder infection, which explains her comparative listlessness and poor appetite in the last couple of days.  We moved her from the kennel room she shared with Angus, and from the other dogs, to a warmer barn room which is more suitable for caring for sick animals.  We set up a sponge mattress, chux, and some soft and warm blankets.  Despite antibiotics, her appetite remains poor. She is drinking water very well. Fortunately, she is not diabetic, which would have made the management of this issue even tougher. I realize that time is winding down for Ro.  I would still like to get her through this illness and keep her with us for another few months, but I understand that I don't choose how long our beloved pets remain with us, as hard as we do try.
                Daniel was very fond of Rosheen. Our daughter Stephanie remembers that once when she was young, Ro ran off toward the road, and Daniel screamed,  "Rosheen !  Don't go, I love you !" And then the little dog returned to him.    So many of our animals were very young when we got them, and they grew up with Daniel. It's hard to watch them become old and pass now, even though we know they will go to Daniel
               I spent yesterday every one to two hours checking on Ro, offering everything from chicken broth to gatorade, and then eventually even turkey and plain sweet potatoes.  She took lots of fluids but no food.
I will keep in touch with the vet today.
                Today, despite the heavy rain and intermittent snow and cold, my daughter Stephanie and I have been caring for Ro about every hour.  We can do nothing more but get varied fluids into her. She still can get up and walk with a leash to the outdoors, but I don't know how much longer she can go without food.  When Stephanie bought her own home this year, we all made a decision not to move Rosheen, who was always Stephanie's dog, with her.  We thought that Ro would do better staying with Angus and with the dogs she had known all of her life.  In addition, Stephanie lives nearby and is here all the time. I hope we made a good decision.  When a beloved pet is failing, it's easy to second guess onesself.    Prayers for Ro are always appreciated.

UPDATE:  Rosheen passed at 5:15 pm on Friday December 28th, 2012.   No doubt, she was in a hurry to follow her mate and cherished companion of many years, Angus, who passed suddenly following a stroke on December 1st.    Right now, I am very sad, but with time I trust that I will come to realize all the blessings associated with this passing.  I was fortunate enough to be with her. She rested quietly while listening to the radio the entire last day, and she truly knew how much we love her.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Living Through and Past the Holiday

Wise Men Still Seek Him

   To those of us who only remember Earth and do not really know of Heaven, other than what we are taught from scripture or what we read, sometimes the system seems unfair.  We come to Earth and we believe that we are living good lives and that we honor God in our families and in our lives and then something inexplicable happens.  Many times, it seems to us as if Heaven is a greedy place, calling the kindest, the most talented, the dearest, and the most evolved, sometimes long before we would have considered it their time.
                  Of course, when I think about this, I am thinking of my youngest son Daniel, and as much as I understand that God has a purpose and a plan, on days like today, Christmas Day especially, in my simple human flesh suit, I can't understand why he is not here, opening gifts, seeking batteries and trading cash to other siblings for larger bills.
                   There is another family I am thinking of this day.  It has been one year since Ben Breedlove left for Heaven, and I know as evolved and as wonderful as his parents are, that this day must smart for them, just as it does for me.

(Please see my prior post on Ben Breedlove:            )

              This year, a lot of families lost a child just before Christmas.  A few were lost to cardiomyopathy as was Ben.  Some were lost to surmised heart rhythm disturbances like Daniel.  Others were lost to a violent act by someone elses child whose brain was ravaged by a mental illness.   In the end, it doesn't matter why they are not with us.   Daniel,  Ben,  and many other families must brave this Christmas not only without our child this year, but every year until we ourselves pass to Heaven to see them again.
              It's easy to have faith in God and in His plan and in Heaven when all is well.  It becomes much harder when we are challenged by something as truly horrific as the sudden loss of a child.   But then, and only then can we model what we taught our children.  If Daniel looks below and sees me living each day of my life destroyed by his departure, then how committed to the faith I taught to him, could I be ?   Instead, you and I must show our children who glow and dance in Heaven, that we do believe, and that we KNOW we will again be reunited when we too are called.   I must show Daniel that I love him as much as I ever did, and that the love we share is powerful enough to endure through the pearly gates or anywhere else his precious soul travels in the universe, at the direction of our Lord God.
                I must keep my faith, and I must spend the time I have remaining on Earth wisely, as God and Daniel would wish.  I know it seems like a tall order, especially when the loss is so fresh that it feels like an arterial bleed.  But you will.   You will for the sake and memory of that precious child who awaits you  in the morrow, and whose shining personality and joy could not be obscured even by the devastating moment of their death and passing from Earth.

 UPDATE: This is additional information on Ben Breedlove's legacy.

 For our own son Daniel, we had wanted to donate organs and tissues following his passing, but because his cause of death was not known or surmised for a long time, his organs could not be used for others. We are glad Ben and his parent's had this opportunity to donate tissue in order to help others.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reflections of Christmases Since Loss

When I look back at the last four Christmases, I marvel at how I and our family survived. First in 2008, when Daniel passed so suddenly without clear explanation. We were left celebrating a Christmas for which Daniel had purchased gifts. The following Christmas, 2009, was bewildering also, but somehow we arrived at the conclusion that God not only is real and has a plan, but that he does not make mistakes. Somehow, Daniel's being called in a somewhat supernatural manner was a signal that Daniel was, and is a part of an important and grander plan for both Heaven and for the Earth.  I remember in the depths of my despair in the Christmas season, hearing the song below, and finding that it helped me to understand the miracle, the majesty and the perfection of Christ. Since Daniel came from God, then of course, God could indicate when he was to return to Him. I hope this rendition of this song holds the same needed Christmas magic for you.



You can buy sheet music for this song from this location:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Difficult Christmas for So Many

(Copyright Danny M Schweers  2002)

   I really didn't know how I could write this post. It's hard enough each year to see past the loss of Daniel, and as Christmas nears, I can't help but recall the early Christmas season when he left us, in a fraction of an instant.
              Yesterday, I made a conscious choice not to listen to the media's coverage of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.  I planned to wait until the main media outlets stopped giving premature and inaccurate information before hearing and digesting it all.   Finally, a clearer picture emerged and no less than twenty young children passed in just an instant. Six people, including a principal and a school psychologist put themselves between the gunman and the children, and sacrificed their own lives. The gunman ultimately took his own also.   As I heard this yesterday, I could not help but be transported to an earlier time in which we had been homeschooling Daniel, and on a particular week, he had not completed all the work assigned. I told him the truth, that if he did not complete the work assigned on a consistent basis that the privilege of homeschooling could be withdrawn and he would have to go to public school.  "No !"  he said in horror. "I don't want to get shot !"    This bothered me a lot.  Homeschooling was something we chose to do because our children were excelling and because we have some really amazing activities available locally and with our homeschooling group.  We did not sidestep public education because we thought the chances of getting shot in public school were too great.   I explained to Daniel that steps were taken to improve security in schools and that getting shot there was not a viable reason to avoid public schools, high schools or for that matter, public universities.   Ultimately, Daniel did finish all his work and continued his excellent work as a homeschooler.  Yesterday, I felt so many things as I heard about the shootings.  I felt as if I had lied to Daniel in telling him schools were safe.  Most of all I felt a devastating sorrow for the parents of children whose lives were okay yesterday, and for whom they will never be again.   My journey is four years in, and theirs is just beginning.   I also felt sick for the family of a bright young man who apparently missed cues indicating the depth of his mental illness, who ultimately killed children, school staff and his own mother.
                 The mainstream media missed no time in asking gorgeous moppets how they felt about what they saw at the school. They also moved right along to the agenda of gun control, whereas I think staff at the school should be trained and armed in preparation for Al Qaeda terrorist attacks. Several years ago, intelligence indicated that terrorists were planning to attack schools in the United States.
                 Still, my prayers are with the families who lost loved ones yesterday.  May God stay close to each of them, and may they feel his presence in these very very difficult first days.
                  Let us not forget that no matter what happens here on Earth, that God has our children home safely, and that they are spared this lengthy tribulation that we now face.  Oh, I know it's hard, but I know we each can do it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Christmas Season Loss of a Child

I wanted to share this with all of you. As most of you know, it has been four years since Daniel's sudden and unexpected departure, the day after Thanksgiving, in 2008.  Since they are now playing Christmas music and the temperature outside and the smells of the season are back, I have been having some recollections of the time just after Daniel's funeral.
     Four years ago, in the week after the funeral, I was determined to give our children "a Christmas after all". Daniel had already bought presents for them, and I didn't want to skip Christmas, and so I was out in the village of our county seat shopping. It was part of my quest to keep running for as long as I could, almost as if hoping reality would not catch up with me. I was so brave in the very beginning !  Several women I vaguely knew who had read the paper gave me their condolences, and were very kind.  A woman who was shopping in the store for her grandchildren came over to me, having overheard the other women, who had just left. She had tears and hugged me, and gave me advice about how to be strong.  She told me that at this time of year, her first baby who was then six or seven months old, was found to need a shunt for a developing hydrocephalus. She and her husband were terrified, but this had to be done. Her baby boy died during the procedure of shunt insertion in the operating room. She didn't really know whether it has been related to anesthesia, but today, as a nurse I knew that this is a routine procedure and that a death during such is highly unusual.  She told me that the thinking of her day was to sweep the house of any memories, and so her family came and took the crib, and they all gave away all of the tiny boy's things.  By now, the woman was really sobbing as she related her story.  As fresh as my loss was, my role became comforting this poor woman, whose loss at that moment was just as fresh as my own !  Perhaps she thought she had found someone who would understand a Christmas season loss of a beloved son.
       I learned some things that day from her. In nursing, we are taught that for most, grief takes about a year before it is no longer as acute as it is at the outset.  This woman was sobbing as if her heart was broken.  Her loss of a child had occurred when I was still a child myself ! She had gone on to have other sons and a daughter and to have grandchildren.   I realized then that I would not really ever be "recovering in a year" as taught.  Her loss had changed her, and mine would also change me forever as well, as soon as I began to accept that this had indeed happened.
       She told me that the thinking of her day was to get rid of everything that would generate memories, but that she now believed that was wrong. She told me to hold on to anything I wanted to, that belonged to Daniel.  I have, not so much for Daniel, because he has truly outgrown all the items in his room in the most literal sense of the word, but for the woman who so desperately felt her loss and had regret which was still so bitterly and acutely felt from so long ago, and had been worsened by the loss of items which may have comforted her later.
       That day I learned some truths.  A mother will never forget the loss of a child. She will function, but periodically that sorrow will return, until we are all reunited once again. This is not a failure of grief to resolve, it's a stark cold reality of life.  It's hard to survive the loss of a child, and we should be allowed to do whatever feels right for us.  If that means holding onto the socks from his laundry bin, or holding on to his Pokemon cards, his computer, or his Marvel comics t-shirt, then so be it.
       I often think of the woman in that consignment shop. Meeting her really did free me to practice my grief as was best for me, and then as a natural extension of that, allow others to do the same.  I won't soon forget the endurance of her love for her young son, or the endurance of her grief revisited when the world, and the season again came to rest on the time of year in which he moved on to Heaven.


Joseph's Lullabye                    Performed by:       by Mercy Me

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Don't Know How Else to Play It

      A friend of mine is a psychologist, and she made an interesting observation this week.   She said that we are "moving forward admirably but that she gets the impression that we are all trying to overcompensate for the vacuum left by Daniel's departure".   I would say that is correct.  She went on to say that sometimes, this can be a good thing.
            Since this is a forum in which I try to honestly look at each aspect of the loss of a child or loved one, I have to say that I don't know any other way of playing this.   If you look at Giada DiLaurentiis who lost a brother, would you attribute some of her success for living for him ?    What about Cindy Crawford who also lost a brother ? Is her success due to succeeding for them both ?  " Weird Al Yankovic" was fairly successful before both of his parents succumbed silently in their sleep to carbon monoxide poisoning.  He continued to be quite successful afterward.    Certainly, living your best possible life and strongly moving forward can be a strategy to surviving the loss of a loved one.  Is it pathologic ?   I don't think so.  I think that expecting us all to go back to the people we were before the loss of Daniel is unrealistic. We are not the same people, and we won't ever be.  Perhaps my feeling Daniel and my father with me and behind me helps me to realize that life is short, perhaps shorter than I had imagined, and that the things we really wish to do, ought to be planned for, and done.  And so we continue,  overcompensating perhaps, but moving forward, nonetheless.

This is Jim Brickman. The vocalist is Kristy Starling, a contemporary Christian Music artist.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

That Old Familiar Ache

     As many of you who follow this blog know, the end of November is the time in which Daniel passed from Earth.  One moment, he was happy and planning to go Christmas shopping, and the next moment, he no longer resided in his warm and pleasant flesh suit.   Immediate CPR and epinephrine injection did not change that, and in our case, when the AED arrived, it didn't either.
               Daniel's departure was now four years ago.  I find that as long as we stay pretty busy, we survive with a minimum of griefbursts.   Daniel would not want us to spend the holidays grieving him, and so we try very hard not to.
                With the new book What I Learned from Daniel out, I have been doing fairly well, until last evening.   Our daughter who now has her own home comes over to visit fairly often to see us, use our lightning fast internet, and to progressively and gradually move some of her more fragile things to her new house.  While she was doing this, she found a paper that Daniel had made for her one year for her birthday.
It said:
                           Happy Birthday Stephanie

                        With love from Daniel     (aka Danny-Pants)  which is what she called him when he was little.

Beneath that he had drawn several animal figures, and they were quite good.

         I don't know that I had ever seen this drawing/card he had made for her before.  Most days, I deal with the fact that our youngest son lives in Heaven, and we are here to finish out the clock.  Seeing this lovingly written paper to his sister with the drawings, made me yearn to see him, hug him and tell him how good the drawings were.  I felt as if I had empty arms.

         Daniel, if you read the blog from your vantage point, the card and the drawings are very good.   Your sister plans to frame it.  She hasn't yet decided whether she will frame it and mount it to stay in her room here, or bring it to the new house.   Since she comes here for holidays etc. I can see the case for putting it up here.   Yes, today I have that old familiar ache.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We CAN Detect People At Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death

If the word had been out that the children and grandchildren of those with arrhythmic disorders have children and grandchildren at risk for Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, and they had ordered this test, Daniel could have spent this Christmas with us.

Daniel decorated a tree his eldest brother planted, every year that he was here, which looked very much like this.


Four years ago, when our healthy, comfortable child talked to us, and then walked into the bathroom and collapsed and went into cardiac arrest, and then despite immediate CPR, died, we were told that this could not have been anticipated.  He went on to have a negative autopsy, and it was surmised by several groups of pathologists that although he had no structural abnormalities of his heart seen on autopsy, that a functional one could have existed, and no one would have known.  We were also told that even an EKG might not have indicated the possibility of his sudden death due to a conduction disorder. We were told that our devastating loss was rare.  Over the next four years we found that very little of the above is actually true.
           In actuality, sudden arrhythmic cardiac death is the number one cause of death in children who play sports. (Our son had played a challenging game of soccer the day before)  Children who have relatives, even elderly ones with conduction disorders such as atrial fibrillation, supra ventricular tachycardia, and certainly sudden death in grandparents, cousins and even first degree family members are certainly at risk.  In addition, of those adults and children who experience a sudden arrhythmic episode, the out of hospital survival rate is a paltry EIGHT PERCENT.
            Since then, we have met a number of people who have lost a young spouse, a young adult daughter, a college student, teens who ran track, and many others who lost someone due to exactly the same arrhythmic cause as Daniel.  To us, Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome doesn't seem rare at all.
           Of course, my husband and I since have pushed CPR for everyone since then, and AEDs (Automatic Emergency Defibrillators) since then, in the hope that another family would never have to experience what we have.  The fact is, that Daniel got immediate CPR just after his collapse. He also got one dose of epinephrine, and continued CPR, and then later he received an additional dose of epinephrine from us and an an attempted AED shock from the local sheriffs who are also EMTs when they arrived at our house.  Then, the helicopter ICU from the University of Virginia arrived on the front yard of the farm and delivered Advanced Cardiac Life Support.  All of these things were to no avail. At no time did we see the return of any type of a cardiac rhythm or of respiration or momentary return of consciousness.  In Daniel's case, there was no intervention after the incident itself that appears would have saved him.
             After the loss of Daniel, we were urged to have cardiac rhythm evaluations ourselves, which we did. One of our children went on to have a rather broad cardiac mapping with ablation. The others had EKGs, and cardiac history and physical and an echocardiogram.   Daniel had no abnormalities, why would they ?
Despite evaluations for my husband and myself which were initially negative, I have gone on to have paroxysmal atrial fibrillation myself.
            One of the other pieces of information which was not provided to us at the time of Daniel's passing, is that there IS a test for cardiac arrhythmic sudden death.  It is estimated that 12 million people in the US are at risk for a sudden arrhythmic death.  Yet, in general, only astronauts are checked for this.

            Microvolt T-Wave Alternans is a trademarked name for a type of test which can rule out those patients for whom sudden arrhythmic death is likely.  This allows cardiologists to focus on those for whom this may be a possibility.    This test requires the patient to undergo a low level cardiac stress test and then to have specialized equipment look for an alternating t -wave pattern.    The alternating impedence of the t-wave pattern, as shown below, is a risk indicator for sudden arrhythmic death.

Note the alternating nature of the second pattern
              (Please see: for more information. )

   Without using this particular test, no cardiologist can completely or fully assess the chance of a particular patient experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest secondary to arrhythmia.  Just now, this test is done on astronauts but very few others otherwise, and it has never been done on any of the members of my family, some of whom have simply been medicated in the hopes of mitigating our risk.

      The fact is that this relatively simple test has had FDA approval for 13 years and a reimbursement code (#93025) for six years.  It isn't being used.   Why  not ?

More general information on sudden cardiac arrest in teens:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This Year, I Chose to Have a Flu Shot


       It may sound strange, but even as a nurse, I have never had a flu shot.  I arranged for those in my family to have flu shots, if they had a chronic medical issue, and I have arranged for some of them to get a pneumovax vaccine, and a meningococcal vaccine when they reach teen years.  I have some autoimmune issues, and for myself I have come to believe that my immune system will take care of anything that comes its way.  In the past, I have been of the opinion that a flu shot might furthur arm my hyperactive immune system and move it on from a lesser autoimmune dyscrasia to a full blown Lupus.   This may be more emotional reaction on my part, but no physician has challenged me on it, so long as I have kept up on tetanus boosters.
              This year, I was not so sure.  Having had multiple episodes of atrial fibrillation which appear to have been brought on by asthma, it doesn't seem quite so sharp to "take my chances" with the flu.  Some of the colder Midwestern states already have multiple patients hospitalized with influenza this year, when they normally have just one or two at this time, and so this looks like it might be a bad year for influenza.  I tossed this around and finally decided that I would arrange to have an influenza shot.  I went down to our country pharmacist and filled out the paperwork.  I'm not allergic to eggs or any of the vaccine components. I don't take steroids, cancer chemotherapy, and I am not presently ill.  No one in my family is receiving steroids, chemotherapy or anything else.  I signed the paperwork and gave him my insurance card.  Happily, there was no additional money due.  My insurance covered the injection.  I felt him clean the area with an alcohol swab, but I did not feel the injection itself at all.   I felt his swabbing the area again, when he was finished.  I remained another ten or fifteen minutes in the immunization area to make sure I had no allergic reaction.  Then, I went about my day.   A couple of days later, I noticed the area itches a little, and that there is a quarter sized lump where I received this.  This response is within normal limits for this type of injection.
               Funny how Daniel made it all through his life without any flu shots and without anything other than routine immunizations. He didn't have the flu when he passed.  He had dental check-ups but somehow escaped ever having any of his teeth filled.  I don't know whether to lament the experiences he missed while he was here, or to breathe a sigh of relief that his time on Earth was better than it is for so many of us.
              So, I did it. I protected myself as well as I could for this year's predicted influenza.  Please give some thought this year as to whether this is a good year for you to get an influenza shot too.   I have been lucky and had fairly mild flus in the past, for the most part, but influenza does kill people every year, and they are not always people with chronic medical issues.  It takes time for all of us to develop some antibodies in response to the injection, so earlier is better.  Give it some thought.   Although not everyone should get one, many people really should.  If you need one, then get it.  I promise, it's not all that bad.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Goodbye Angus

This is Angus, taken this year

   The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a time in which both people and animals have passed from our lives..  Sadly, this year was no exception.   Angus came to us in 2002, as an elderly thin dog who liked to hide and watch us at our original farm. He was one of many hunting dogs who came to our farm during hunting season, and whose owners never came to find them. Most of the beagles and hounds are tagged with an owner, dog license, microchip or kennel number, and we have called and returned many, many of them over the years.  Angus never had a collar.  He was very skittish and used to watch us, but would not let us get near him.  It took a year of leaving food and then leaving and watching him eat before we were able one day to collar and tie him.  Rabies is endemic in our region, and we can't have an unimmunized dog running around.  Once we caught him and fed him regularly and provided him with a doghouse on the edge of the forest, he seemed happier.  However, his initial response was always to cowar when someone held their hand above his head intended to pet him.  We always believed that Angus had been abused as a hunting dog, and probably didn't want to be found by the original owner.  We were very surprised when we took Angus to the vet for a check up, a rabies shot a heartworm test and some immunizations, when the vet told us that she thought he was very old. She told us that she believed him to be about 14. She thought that if we gave him the good care we provide to all our other dogs and animals that he could live another several years, and that the end of his life would be spent securely and happily.  We were happy to care for this small and gentle dog.
                 Time passed, and we moved to a new farm taking all of our animals with us.  Angus adjusted, in part because he had Rosheen as a kennel mate.   Rosheen  (Irish Gaelic spelling is Roisin)  is a Jack Russell Terrier who enjoyed keeping company with Angus.    Over time,  my parents passed, Daniel passed, Daniel's elderly large dogs Jake and Mark passed. Chickens and roosters passed, but Angus remained.  The vet would check him each year and tell us that she didn't think he would make it through the Winter.  In 2009, we build a really lovely kennel for all the dogs which had separate kennel rooms for all of them, and a fenced enclosure for them outside.   Ro and Angus shared a kennel room.
                  Although Angus had always been skittish, he did recover from his prior abuse somewhat. When we would pat him, he would at first cowar, and then remember that we wouldn't hit him and that he was safe to allow us to pet him. A couple of years ago, he developed a new problem.   At night, he would tear apart in the inside of his kennel room, knock over the food dish, and sometimes even the water bucket.  He would growl and bark at things that did not seem to be there. This behavior prompted a post on my other blog concerning canine dementia.   The vet said that there is a medication which is sometimes of assistance in canine dementia but she wondered if this truly ancient dog could detoxify such a thing. We decided to continue to love and cherish him, and keep him with Rosheen in order not to make changes in his world which would lead to furthur disorientation. The vet said that this was not surprising, since he is after all, 24 years old by her estimation.  He continued to recognize us and although he was slim, he still had a hearty appetite. We continued rabies shots every three years, and heartworm and worm prevention.
                   The last three weeks we knew that he was nearing the end of his life.  He would look for places to hide in the kennel and outside it. We could comfort him, but he was up all night, and slept during the day. Once, I couldn't wake him easily and wondered if he were dead.  Almost deaf now, he was still jumping and happy when he saw us, and he never turned down a small milkbone dog biscuit. As with all the elderly dogs, we put a coat on them at night, to keep them comfortable when the temperature drops.

Sweet Angus really enjoyed the snow.  He also liked to eat some of it.

                   This morning my husband called me as soon as he went out to feed dogs.  Angus was in the fenced enclosure outside his kennel.  He still had his coat on, but it was muddy, and he seemed disoriented.  By the time I got down there, he had a grand mal seizure, likely the first he had ever had.  We promptly put him on a transport board with a chux on it, covered him with a blanket and moved him down to the heated barn room which functions as our animal ICU.   The seizure ended and he seemed calm, as most post-ictal creatures are.  However, he could not move normally.  We believe him to have had a massive stroke over night.   Unlike human beings, dogs can recover from somewhat severe strokes. Dogs don't have to drive cars or write checks, and so they don't need to relearn some of the complex things that we do.  I have had several who have had strokes, and following some good care and a recovery period, they have lived several years afterward.  However, if Angus is as old as the vet suspects, then the kindest thing probably would be to allow him to pass. Initially is heart rate and breathing were regular, and I sat with him as he lay in a nice warm bed with a soft blanket over him.  Then, as the morning went by, the respirations changed. Although they were regular, they were occurring less often. The distance between each respiration lengthened and I knew that today would be the day he would leave us.  Even though he likely could not hear us, we played soft Christmas music in the barn. I told him how much we had enjoyed having him at the farm and that we would see him again.  We told him that he owed us nothing, and could pass on to Jesus, and to Daniel and that he would again see the other dogs that he knew as part of our farm.  Angus passed with one more deep expiration at 11:51 am.   He is the only one of our dogs whose picture appears in my book Rational Preparedness (p.65 for those of you who have it.)   He will be missed by both the animals on the farm, and also by the human beings.  So long, sweet Angus, thank you for coming !

This is the link to the earlier post on canine dementia from my other blog Rational Preparedness: The Blog which concerns Angus:

Interestingly, this is the second pet I have had who passed during the playing of this song. Susan, our 14 year old golden retriever/cocker spanel passed during this song as it softly played in 2006.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

God Sends Encouragements


    Yesterday was a difficult day.  It was not only the fourth anniversary of the passing of Daniel, but it was a day in which we realized the future does not look financially very bright.  In the midst of inflation and our investments unquestionably broadly losing ground, while homeowners insurance and taxes continue to climb, we have taken some losses.  We don't need or aim to be wealthy, however we need to finish the task of educating our children and provide somewhat for our older age, so as not to be a burden.  Some of our friends think that Mr. Obama's health plan will kill older people off by bringing a government run, plodding and choiceless health care system, which will end most of our lives sooner, but I am perhaps foolish enough to plan to be here for awhile.
                    Many of the women in the mother's bereavement group to which I am a member, believe that their loved ones who have passed periodically provide them with encouragements in some way, on the anniversaries of their passings perhaps, or during times of trouble or challenges.  I suppose I believe this too. I believe such things can happen: I just believe they don't usually and won't to me.  Last night I went to bed with not only the knowledge that things are not good financially for us right now, but that the new toothache I have will need some attention.  I went to bed early and was very cold as I climbed in. I dislike those newer mattresses which make the bed too high to climb into without gymnastic precision.

(Photograph:  In your dreams, it may not be Autumn.

                      Sometime this morning I had a dream. My husband and I were driving the car, which incidentally was a silver diesel Volkswagen Passat, if you would like the stage set,  and we moving some things to a place where our adult children were already staying. At one point, we looked into the back seat and saw Daniel, as a baby, at about one year of age.  In the dream I said to him, "I thought you were dead".  The answer came telepathically,  "No, I am still with you, always".  "But you are not a baby" I countered.  "I get here the easiest way I can" he said.  "Oh, good" I said, and then we drove on to our destination.    I certainly hope that God and Daniel bring me these encouragements from time to time. Lord knows I could use them !


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Day, Once Again

Coming soon........but not today.

    Once again, I am sitting on this dark day.  This morning, it is four years ago today, that Daniel got up in the morning, got ready to go Christmas shopping, ate a bowl of cornflakes, and then collapsed and died in the bathroom just minutes later.   Immediate CPR did nothing.  Two epinephrine injections did nothing.  The AED the sheriff's office brought did nothing. The helicopter from the major medical center did everything, to no avail.  I still cannot fully believe, even four years later that God can call and reassign us in just a second.   I guess I always knew God could do this, but I had never seen it, in this way, as a registered nurse, or as a human being.
                Since then,  our family has struggled to make sense of the life which remains. Sometimes we have done very well, recognizing and accepting that Daniel was an incredible gift from God to all of us, and accepting God's calling him home with a clean autopsy here on Earth.   Other times, we give way to the very human anger and deep sorrow that losing our youngest family member with no notice whatsoever brings.
                 Grief is a very strange thing.  In some ways, Daniel's departure from Earth seems like a very long time ago. So much has changed here since.  Two of our children graduated from universities, one bought a house, and we brought another family member home through adoption, as Daniel has always wanted us to do.  Other times, his loss from Earth seems so recent, so acute, and so focal.

Sunrise this week over our farm   (Photo: David Krehbiel   copyright 2012)

                I am also so struck by how different this day is year to year.  The year Daniel departed, the leaves were just beginning to turn and autumn was not well advanced. Other years, this one included, the empty winter is sternly upon us, as if our farm itself, knows what day this is, and that it should grieve.
                In this life, we largely make our own joys where we find them, and I am determined to make what the bereaved mother's groups call an "angel-versary" count.   This year, very shortly, a book sharing some of our experience of Daniel's life, his loss, and our survival will be released worldwide.   It had been my intent to have it released today, but book publishing lacks the scientific precision of rocket science, and so it should be forthcoming very very shortly.  Besides, I am starting to realize that there is a plan to this life, and that most everything does have a reason, or at least, a rhyme.
                Please pray for our family as even now, four years after the loss of our youngest member, we each process the loss in a different way, and on different timelines and speeds.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Hurried Thanksgiving Journey

This is Augusta County, Virginia.   We drove through here on our way to Staunton and environs.

                   Today, one of the adult kids and I made a mad dash to Staunton, Virginia which is a couple of hours from here and over the mountains.  I don't go that way very often, but we had a rare opportunity.   In the Spring, we are moving the alpacas from their original barn here to the new barn and pastures and we will need all new fencing in the new area.  This is normally extremely costly. Not only does the wood and the fencing materials for a large area cost quite a bit, but the labor for digging such deep holes for fence posts is expensive, especially in Virginia's rocky mountainous soil and clay.   The last time we hired someone to help us with this, it was very costly.  This week, we learned that a large hydraulic diesel auger was for sale in the mountains, from a large farm equipment sales company, but that the owner expected it to sell very quickly.
Somehow, I arranged to move the money from one account to another.  Then, I had one of our sons bring a truck which could tow such a device.  We took off early this morning when we could have been cleaning the house, and readying for Thanksgiving.
                 I haven't been through that area for about two years. My son joked that it was a shame my husband did not have today off, because this was a task that normally men would do. It was a regular "man-venture" he said.   Afton Mountain was steep and foggy and the pre-Thanksgiving traffic was heavy.  The Garmin kept telling us we were on track.  As we passed through Waynesboro, I had forgotten that all the great outlet stores had closed.  I noticed a closed Books a Million too.  As we continued before hitting Interstate 81 I noticed a huge Mennonite-styled barn with a huge cloth sign which said, "Pray for Recovery".
               We saw lots of things for sale, and animals for sale cheaply as we headed toward our destination.  Eventually, we easily found the store which had the auger.  It started easily and was in good used condition.  We paid the man, and my son attached it to the back of his truck.   We stopped at a restaurant with a large parking lot for our long load, in Waynesboro, and took a needed lunchbreak.  Then, we headed back onto the interstate again.  The autumn is so beautiful even this late in the season. This area has already passed its first snow this year.  As we navigated the hills and mountains and passed the scenic overlooks to the valley below, the song below played in my head.  It's funny that the music of today only rarely matches how powerful I remember the music of my youth having been.  Then, I remembered that the musical artist singing it, has passed now.  Sometimes it feels like so many people have passed from my early life, that only my husband and parents and some friends remain. Maybe this is how God intends it to be. Perhaps with so many people we love in Heaven, we don't wish to fight or argue when it is our turn.
              We got home in time to take a break and then tackle the tasks we had shirked to run our errand. Now, we will be able to dig those corner posts and fence posts including gate posts easily.  Our daughter may even be lucky enough to get us to install the gate she needs.
                 Tomorrow, will be Thanksgiving, the holiday in which so many of our family members passed.  Both my parents, and our youngest son Daniel, all passed around Thanksgiving.   This year, we worked really hard to pretend not to notice.

               Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

This is another Daniel, other than ours who is very much missed from Earth.  Dan Fogelberg passed in late 2007.  We are thinking of his wife Jean, especially at this time of year.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Power of a Blog

Daniel loved a slice of pumpkin pie with cool whip this time of year. ( Photo: ) 

     I am not a super-blogger. You know the type, the type of blogger quoted in the news, and the type who is interviewed for political programming.  I know some super-bloggers, and I am not one of those.  This blog began almost four years ago when our youngest son died suddenly of uncertain cause.  As we were learning that well children can literally drop dead from a heart rhythm disturbance no one ever detected, and still have a normal autopsy, I began. Blogging became a way of dealing with grief, setting it out, and of tethering myself to a world that at that moment, was so terrible that I was not completely sure I wanted to remain here.   By setting out what had happened, and by literally counting my blessings, sometimes daily, I found reasons not only to remain here on Earth, but meaningful work to do as well.   The blog began just a couple of weeks after Daniel's "Celebration of Life".   It became partly a journal in which I counted time and distance in bereavement. It also became a place where I believed that both my father and Daniel could read and see how I and the family were doing.  It also helped me examine and sort many of the complex feelings and responses I had which follow such a devastating and unexpected loss.  It helped me connect the very ordinary and lack lustre world we have today, to Daniel, who was full of life. laughter and creativity when he was here.   It wasn't long before this blog brought me to be acquainted by many other people.  Some of them are people who have lost children suddenly. Some of them passed in almost an identical manner as Daniel. Some did not.  These people comforted me, and I comforted them, and I thought this was the maximum mileage of a blog such as this. Then, I occasionally heard from famous people, some whom I had mentioned in the blog, or some whose music was profiled here.  These people send condolences for Daniel, and I think he would have been very amused at this. We really do occupy the same world as some of the people Daniel used to hear about.

            Despite the fact that Daniel never really was a boyscout, and we have no troop in our rural community, he believed in being prepared.  He used to help me check the car emergency kits, and the first aid kits, and from time to time, I wanted to blog about this, but a blog which was principally designed for support and bereavement was not the correct venue.  So, in September, 2011, I began a short lived radio program which was podcast all over the world on the subject of preparedness.  I called that program "Rational Preparedness".  Because I often mentioned products or ideas on the air, listeners suggested that I create a website or a blog, and so the second blog "Rational Preparedness.......The Blog" began in September, of 2011.  Daniel would not only have been proud of the work we do on "What I Learned from Daniel.....The Blog" but he would also have been very proud of the work we do on our sister blog, "Rational Preparedness: The Blog" .  Neither blog has ever had a huge number of formal followers, but many people worldwide come to both blogs to read entries which they find through a search engine somewhere.  I was simply proud of that, and thought that's where it would end.
          However, through one or both of these blogs, we have made the acquaintance of so many incredible people.  There have been people who who learned something pivotally important to them on one of our blogs and who took the time to write and let us know. There have been people who have connected with us because they identified with something said here. There have been people who wanted us to take a look at their own blogs because it related in some way to something we were saying.
           This year, through these blogs, I was provided the chance to write a book on each topic.  First written was "What I Learned from Daniel", a book about the experience of Daniel's life, our loss of him, and our survival afterward, in perspective. This is different from the blog in that it is written with a different focus and with some different experiences that I did not always share in the blog.  The second book was "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness" which is a concise guide to prepping for those with limited time. This is also quite different from the blog which bears it's name.   Interestingly, the "What I Learned from Daniel"  manuscript was delivered to publishers in advance of the "Rational Preparedness" book, but "Rational Preparedness" was released in late October, and Daniel's book won't be until the end of November.  Publishing it seems, is a very complex and sometimes confusing process depending upon your goals and your experience. Writing both of these books has provided me with broad and interesting experiences I would not have enjoyed, had it not been for these blogs.  Many lives have been impacted by these blog posts in the last few years.
            My point is, that writing a blog can be a private and very solitary undertaking. You may think that no one reads it, or that it might as well be a private journal of your own.  Don't worry about the advertising. Don't worry about your numbers. Don't worry about the number of your followers.   Instead, think of your blog as a way of sharing your thoughts, ideas, amusements and encouragements with others. No one knows what the intangible or even tangible rewards of doing that will be.
          This week, an author reading our blog directed us to a study of cardiac conduction disorders which in ongoing. This particular study is not taking place anywhere but in this particular location, and I did not know about it prior.  Daniel's family will be studied, and perhaps we can better identify the conduction disorder which took his life, and perhaps we can save present and future members of Daniel's family.   Make no mistake, blogs are powerful, and they can lead to doing many, many positive things.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I Learned from Writing, "What I Learned from Daniel"


     I would have liked to believe that writing the book "What I Learned from Daniel" would be all the things you might like to say it was, therapeutic or cathartic, as well as a monument to a wonderful human being who happened also to be our child.  So far though, I am not there.  Since Daniel's passing, and writing this blog, which is a snapshot of certain feelings along this sometimes dark passage, I always knew that it should be a book also.  I knew that in addition to the world's seeing a snapshot of take-away moments as in blog, that it should also have a sequential story of Daniel's life on Earth, what happened which took him from us, as nearly as we know, and our sometimes strange journey afterward.  I knew that the book should be, but starting it was hard, and the words on the page often could not immediately convey as monumental experience as having him with us on Earth, really was.
                  I started with an outline. Sharing so much about one's life, it would be easy to go off on tangents. I didn't want this particular book to be about the experience of raising all our children, and it easily could be. This book was to be about Daniel, what shaped him, what the circumstances were which brought him to us, and how great a loss losing him was, and how we survived and moved forward in spite of it all.  I tried to discipline myself to write a bit each day.  My most productive writing time is from about four a.m. to seven or eight a.m. and then, I am afraid, real life with phone calls, errands, and other chores and issues begin to intrude. Some days, I could really roll, and others, very little appeared on the page. This is simple, I told myself. You are only telling the story of your meeting this wonderful child, given to you by God, and you're taking the reader with you as he grows and through parts of his life that help them know him. Then, you must tell them the truth about what happened to him. Then, you must share what happened afterward.  Piece of cake !, I would mentally tell myself.  But of course, it wasn't.  Sometimes, each word was hard fought for. Sometimes, I felt like a painter trying to create a painting with one color. I felt ill equipped to paint all the dimensions of Daniel, with simply words. "There should be music", I thought. Well, that would be a movie, not a book, I told myself.
                  In the four years since Daniel has been absent from his "flesh suit" and here on Earth, I have been very faithful to his blog in terms of providing snapshots of our journey every few days. The blog was extremely helpful to me, not in telling me what to write, because it is an entirely different project from a book and has different focus, but in helping me to establish and check timeline. I was surprised at how essential moments and even deep sorrows from my own life had blurred a little in terms of sequence, especially when viewed through tears.
                I also learned something practical. Have you ever read a book in the present day and found punctuation or spelling errors ?   I am not very gracious when I have paid my money and I find simple words clearly misspelled. I discovered how this might happen, and it may have little to do with the author or even the copy editors.  I wrote all of "What I Learned from Daniel" using a particular office document program.  Then, I converted it, and of course, checked it, when I had to convert it to a "Rich text document" for submittal to the publisher. Then the process of copy editing began.  The copy editors made suggestions for often subtle changes, and would return the manuscript to me in rtf format.  I would open it in the program my own system uses.   In one of these exchanges, ALL of the punctuation was wiped from the document.  Another time, when I was telling about one of Daniel's malapropisms when he was a small boy, I found the system had corrected the error !   Well with the error corrected, the reader would not see what Daniel was saying and why it had been so funny !  So, we remain in copy editing hell.   I correct, I send, they review, and make suggestions, and then we square dance once again.  We also have disagreed on some of the corrections. When I write, I believe that God should be capitalized, and that the word "internet" should not. However, Merriam-Webster the reference used by the copyeditors feel differently.   Normally, I am not a spelling or grammerian goddess, and so I just take the corrections, but this time, God is staying capitalized, and the internet will not get country or person status from me.    I very much want this book available on the anniversary of the fourth year since Daniel's passing, and we are running out of time for this to be.   So, lesson one for aspiring authors, make sure that the program in which you write is the same as the writing program in which your publisher receives submissions. It will save a lot of editing headaches, and was strangely not an issue with my first book.
               I also learned that there will never be a day in which reading some of the passages of this book will not bring me to tears. It is not possible to proofread parts of the story of your hardest moments on Earth without a response, and many times, that response will be tears.
              Please know that I am working to get this book out to you as soon as possible. This is a world in which inspiration and a picture of bereavement and life afterward, is so sorely needed.


     Late today I learned that the book is having its cover created and that it is being formatted.  It won't be long now !


Friday, November 9, 2012

Another November Sudden Arrhythmic Death

William Wayne Jones III was a defensive back who played football for Tennessee State University.

    It doesn't matter who you are. Whether you are black, white, French, Italian, Brazilian or English.  It doesn't discriminate. Deaths from SADS or Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome are up.  The latest terrible loss to this issue is William Wayne Jones III who happened to be a college student and freshman football player at Tennessee State University.  Yesterday, when attending a non-contact practice, he collapsed, fell to the ground and became breathless and pulseless.  Reportedly, he had just caught a ball and was about to throw it back when he collapsed.  We don't have autopsy results yet but although a percentage of cases identical to these show a slightly enlarged heart, sometimes from a virus, or sometimes not, a percentage of these cases show a completely normal heart with no clue whatsoever as to why a heart rhythm disturbance led to a rhythm which was incompatible with life.   William had no known medical issues up to this time.

          Four years ago this month, my own son Daniel, 12 1/2, collapsed and died here at home, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after playing a short spirited game of soccer.  He was completely fine and was excited about Christmas. He walked into the bathroom to get ready to go Christmas shopping on that Black Friday, collapsed, and was gone.  CPR was ineffective.   I had never heard of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome until that day.  Now, I hear about it every couple of months. Daniel has a completely negative autopsy, and no explanation as to why this occurred.

          William Wayne Jones III is remembered as a person of great promise and of great value. Here are the things said about him in a statement by  Dr. Portia Holmes Shields, the President of Tennessee State University.

 "Not only did Wayne exhibit a high level of maturity and sense of responsibility during the camp, he also made many friends through his sense of humor and excitement about being a student here.  Wayne was an outstanding, personable young man, who was on his way to becoming a leader as shown by the skills he exhibited among his friends and team mates. We shared a space on the sidelines at our games where he could be heard cheering for the team and encouraging them."

          My heart goes out to the family of William Wayne Jones III for whom this journey is just beginning. May God and those around the Jones Family hold them close now and through these upcoming holidays, and may they feel the presence of God with them always.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tracing the Slide of the American Economy From Craig's List


    Those who read this blog regularly know that our eldest daughter who graduated from university a couple of years ago was fortunate enough to buy a home.  Of course, having spent almost every dollar she had in order to close on it, it has taken her time to do the requisite cleaning and repairs. There were a lot of those to do.  The house had been a government repossession, and it seems that the government should move in a speedier fashion sometimes to prevent some of the damage which occurs prior to some foreclosures.  Now, a number of months later, she is ready to buy appliances and move in.  Of course, she doesn't have abundant funds, and the money she has saved should be retained as an emergency cushion and not be spent on the appliances she needs.  This is one of the challenges of being a good parent to an adult child.  You know they have grown and that they need to make sense of the world themselves, but you also hate to see them flounder or have less than they genuinely need.  Our best suggestion rather than buying new appliances on credit,  was Craigslist.  Of course, we asked her to be careful and to take one or several of her brothers and a truck.  We became familiar with Craigslist a couple of years ago when friends of our eldest son furnished all of their college apartment using Craigslist, and then upon graduation, sold everything they found there all over one or two days, on Craigslist also.
            Our daughter needed an electric stove, a refrigerator and a washer dryer set.  Since we kept some of the nicer furniture from my mother's home, and our daughter really liked it,  she didn't need much furniture.  I bought a really lovely large kitchen table and chairs from a local garage sale for her.

Yes, her refrigerator is a Maytag.
             Craigslist is an interesting examination of the American economy in itself.  Of course the information I am conveying is anecdotal, but it is interesting nonetheless.  The first item we began to seek together was a refrigerator.  She needed this even before she moved in !   She and my eldest son were installing new oak floors together and they needed somewhere over the summer to store cool water, gatorade, soda and sandwiches they'd brought while working. So,  I would peruse Craigslist and make the calls, and then my son and I would go to see the item on my daughter's instruction usually while she was working.    Some of the available refrigerators are available because people are redecorating and are seeking another color or a completely different style or size. Others are available because they have sold a house and the new buyer already owns one they prefer. There were plenty of them in all types available and they ranged from fair prices to costing almost as much as the same item new, which would also have come with a warranty.  Our daughter eventually settled on one in our own county where the family was redecorating a kitchen. We brought it to her house, let it sit for a day or so.  Then, we took all of the interior apart and washed it all in mild bleach solution before drying it, airing it out, and  putting it together again.  Then, I placed a refrigerator thermometer in it, and a another one  in the freezer, turned the frij on, and made sure that both sections would maintain the desirable temperatures in each area.   It worked perfectly, and we were encouraged.

I placed one of these in the refrigerator and one in the freezer which I will leave permanently in order to make sure the settings are correct, as the required settings do vary a bit in summer, and in winter.

              We had difficulty locating a stove.  Many of them were luxury or professional stoves or were gas operated.  Eventually we found one, two counties over in a gated community, and we arranged to look at it. This family was installing a Jenn Air grill and the original stove to their new home was no longer needed. The family had an exceedingly steep driveway and we, therefore, had a heck of a time loading it into my son's truck and then relocating it to my daughter's house.  It too works beautifully and was worth every dime we paid.   We carefully cleaned that too.


               The very last thing she needed was a washer and dryer.  This proved to be the most difficult of all. There were an abundance of very expensive front loading sets which were about $1200. per set, even used.  This was much more than she could afford.  We found a few sets which fit the space she had available, but when she called, they had been sold.  The good ones seemed to go within hours of being listed. As of thiis week, we have been looking for a washer dryer for more than a month.  I decided to look at stores which had new ones, in the hope that someone had a sale.Unfortunately, my favorite appliance shop, Ron Martin Appliance has gone out of business.   Interestingly, earlier in our process,  people selling appliances had simply been redoing homes they had chosen to remain in.  However, the people parting with washer dryers now are people who were either losing homes, and needed to sell these appliances for rent money for a new rental, or people who had been transferred and needed to part with everything quickly.  There was not only turmoil in the lives of these families but a desire to sell quickly and there was a tinge of desperation with some of them also.
             This evening,  my husband and I brought home a fairly new washer dryer from a city a distance away.  A man who had sold a rental house found that the new buyers had their own washer dryer and did not want the one that was in the house.   These were fairly new, as was his rental home, and without somewhere to adequately store them, he needed them sold quickly.    Tonight marks the first night that our daughter's home has all the appliances it needs.  Tomorrow, we will run a bleach load through the new washer, and wipe out everything in both.

               One of the things to remember if you are buying appliances or certain pieces of furniture from Craigslist or from any used source, is that you should run a search on the internet with the brand and model number for possible recalls.  As it turns out,  our daughter's refrigerator has been recalled, but the manufacturer will come to the house to replace a potentially defective relay free of charge.

             Daniel would be so excited that one of his siblings has their own home.  Now, she plans to expand and replace the security system, and put in a water filtration system on her own dime.  Then, she and a roommate will finally move in.

              If you have a chance, check out Craigslist.  Be careful, but it could be a great place to sell some things you need to, or to acquire some things you really need.   Make the time to be sure that the things you acquire are safe and enjoy your purchases.