Friday, March 29, 2013

In Gratitude for Such Memories

Daniel,  at Easter when he was five years old.


     I often think how lucky I was to have been chosen to be your mother here on Earth.  I knew, when you were born, from so many things, that you were very special.  All of my children were very special gifts from God, and all of you are treasured.  You were the first and only  one with which the luxury of staying home with you through your babyhood and toddlerhood was afforded to me, and I loved every moment of it.   I have a wealth of memories of that time. I remember your being just months old when your sister put some tiny leather sandals on your feet, and stood you on her feet in front of her and showed you how to walk.  You adored her, and so your muscular little arms and legs worked hard to simulate walking.  No wonder that when I put you in a walker at nine months, that you stood to stand just afterward.  I remember placing you in your crib for a nap and then returning to find you gleefully laughing when you figured out that it doubled as a trampoline.  Thank you for staying in there, rather than climbing out. I knew you probably could.
    You were always a patient baby or toddler. There was nothing demanding about you. You sat and looked adoringly as I spooned yogurt onto your plate, or put mandarin orange sections on a little plate.   I remember how much you love all of your siblings and how loving and fair you were, even if they weren't always quite as understanding with you.
     I have regrets. There are so many things on Earth I would like to have taken you to see, had I understood that time was so short. I had believed that there was enough time for you to grow up before we shared some of those places.  I simply didn't know that you were here on Earth with a short stay visa, and that God's intention for you was something different than we had planned.  
      Last night I was dreaming that I was buying you a pair of blue jeans. You know dear, if I had you back with me, I would do that, and so many things.   Know that this Easter, and every day, you are remembered and cherished as you remember.  Please tell my Dad, I love him and think of him very often also.  Sometimes, the days of the past balance into being as valid and as real as the days of the present and the future, and I accept and understand that anyone who has ever existed and has been loved, still exists in the universe.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Daniel, Did You See the Meteor ?

Daniel, tonight when your Dad made an evening run to the store, he saw a very large meteor ! It went by quickly, but it brought a huge amount of light to the night sky, something like the one which landed in Russia recently, and actually did damage. Dad says that it was brighter than a full moon as it went by, and from here was clear, white, and very large. He would have reported it as a fireball.  Later we learned that as the meteor traveled and changed, it appeared differently to others up and down the East Coast.
    I love seeing this kind of thing, or even hearing of it. There is no much wonder in the universe and things of which we know so little. It leaves room for all the wonderment and the possibilities of where you are, and what you are doing now. Compared to God, the rest of us are very young toddlers !   I know that we see things on Earth from below, and I know that you probably have a way of knowing what goes on, on Earth. This particular meteor that your Dad saw, was seen and reported all over the Eastern Seaboard tonight. I know that you and my Dad would be interested in this. Earth has seen so many meteors and meteorites lately.   Love you both, wider than the oceans, deeper than the seas, and longer than the path of any meteor in space !

For more information:

This is an excellent website for information on the latest meteors and meteorites:




Monday, March 18, 2013

Catch Up Day


   Overnight we received two inches of heavy wet snow, a lot like the snow that pummeled us a bit more than a week ago.  It's unusual here to have snow like this, especially so late in the season, with the daffodils blooming, and the crocuses past.  It is the kind of bone chilling cold we do not often have here.  Despite having the gas logs going, I am still cold, as I suspect all the hot air has actually risen beyond my own five feet and six inches.   This is the kind of day spent simply catching up.  I updated my calendar.  Made a couple of appointments via the phone. I e-mailed a few things.  It's when it's quiet and still like this, that I miss Daniel the most. Oh, if that dark day had never happened !   If only Daniel has remained on Earth.   We would still have adopted James.  The two of them  could have grown up together.  Later this year, it will be five years since his passing.  There is still the empty place in me that used to laugh so, at everything he did. There is still the part of my heart that used to stand in awe when I listened to his quick vocabulary, and his humor. That part of my heart lies flaccid now. It has all but atrophied now.  I don't mean that my other children aren't funny sometimes, or a joy to have with me, because they are.  It's that I miss what is distinctly Daniel. I miss seeing his growth, his amusement.  I miss seeing him find his way in the world. My heart beats more slowly, and more sadly, and sometimes more sweetly, as I remember.

It's certainly emptier here without the unbridled joy of Daniel

Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Significant Injustices

It seems that reading this document to a tax assessor in parts of New Jersey is so offensive, that it buys the mother who read it, an arrest in front of her child, a trip to the police station, being handcuffed to a chair, and the impounding of her legally owned guns.  You won't believe this !

  Daniel did not see a lot of strife in terms of his father and I needed to interact with county officials. We were lucky in that in his lifetime, nothing like this ever happened to us. In fact, our own local officials as a rule, are excellent, and they do see themselves as civil servants.  Apparently, in New Jersey this is not the case.    Daniel didn't like bullies and he didn't like injustice.  He would likely have wanted me to call this to your attention, especially if there was some way this woman and her family could be helped in some way.

       Please go to the following link and read about:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Zithromax May Lead to Fatal Arrhythmias in Susceptible Individuals


  It is been four and a half years since Daniel, 12 1/2, walked into the bathroom one happy morning, and then, completely without warning, collapsed.  He was suddenly pulseless and breathless and I started CPR.  He died that day, and I am still replaying the event in my head trying to detect whether there were any warnings that day, or in the days before.  Daniel had a clean autopsy in which no clear cause for his abrupt cardiac arrest was found. Coronary arteries were clean. His heart was not enlarged and yet somehow, a sudden and abrupt heart rhythm disturbance is thought to have been the cause as to why his life tragically ended on the bathroom floor on that truly Black Friday.
               I started with this, because all of you need to know that sudden cardiac death is a possibility for anyone with a beating heart, and that we all need to be CPR certified, and ready to do all that we can to keep our loved ones here.
              A piece of shocking news came out today.  It appears that Azithromycin, (also known as Zithromax) which is an effective antibiotic, is now felt to increase the potential for sudden cardiac death in those who have either a known or unknown proclivity for such.  According to the FDA and Medscape, this macrolide antibiotic can cause abnormal lengthening in the QT interval thus producing potentially fatal heart rhythm disturbances.   Daniel didn't have any Zithromax , prior to his collapse and death, but our family has used Zithromax without incident several times since its development, and it has been an effective antibiotic for us.  Perhaps this should be taken off the table for our family, due to our family and personal health  histories  now.

Zithromax tablets

        With all the antibiotic resistant microorganisms surfacing now, we should not take Zithromax off the table for most people. It still saves lives. We should however, use extreme caution for anyone with a history of arrhythmia, like atrial fibrillation, for example.

Additional authoritative information:

The official word about Zithromax from the FDA

Information for Patients

Saturday, March 9, 2013

An Amusing Emergency: Somewhere Else for a Change

This is a generator, and what a siphon apparatus might look like. Of course, this picture is taken in much better weather !

   As I mentioned in my last post, we had a late season snowstorm which has left us without power for the last four days.  We were also without internet and landline telephone.  The internet and landline telephone were restored in a day, but as of this posting, our power is still out.  We have been running a generator during parts of the day.
              The following story comes from one of our son's college friends and happened this week.  Our son's friend lives within the commutable environs of Charlottesville, Virginia and travels to college from there.  This week, he went home to find the power out following the storm.  His father connected the generator, and all was well inside the house until the generator abruptly cut off.  Both father and son looked outside to see a man neither of them knew, had turned off the generator and was in the process of attempting to siphon the gasoline out of the generator !   The father grabbed and shotgun, and the son grabbed his nearest weapon, which turned out to be an airgun equipped with plastic pellets.  When the perpetrator saw them coming, rather than simply running, he carefully gathered his siphon out of the fuel, then he ran.   As the father and son chased him, the son shot him with the air gun, hitting him in the back of the head with a plastic pellet.  The man running probably thought a shotgun blast was next.   All in all, it worked out well.  The family was left with the perpetrator's rather nice gasoline can, which they promptly put away. The perpetrator continued to run off, likely no worse off, at least physically, from the encounter.
              On the surface, this is a humorous story, and all is well. For a moment, I would like you to consider something.  If on the second day of a power outage, people are willing to turn off a generator and siphon fuel for their own use, what might they do after five days ?   How long would it be before a person fought them for their fuel or used a weapon against them in order to get their generator ?   Please give some thought as to how you and your family would exist through a protracted power outage.  If you had a generator, how would you minimize the possibility of its theft ?   Would you defend it against those who come to take it ?  How would you continue to get water, if in fact, you have a well which depends upon electricity to pump the water?  Please answer these questions now, before something difficult or dangerous occurs.  Stay safe.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Memories of Snowdays Passed

The mountain trail near the farm early this morning when we had half the snow that we do now.

           Here in Virginia, it's unusual to have large amounts of snow, especially so late in the season.  There are some years where we go without real snow, seeing little more that flurries around Christmas and perhaps nothing more that Winter.  Most years, we have a couple of good storms that are just enough to ensure rural children a few glorious snow days in which to sled down hills, and a few flurries and not much more. It is for this reason that Daniel so loved Winter storms and snow.  Even as a homeschooler, he thought snowdays were glorious !  This year, in our area, it's been a fairly mild winter with a couple of snows here. The weather people for the cities some distance from here had been warning us for a week about an incoming snow or ice storm. We didn't worry much because we are usually ready for most anything, and are pretty flexible anyway.
           Yesterday, we learned that not only was a storm incoming over night, but that our daughter had the flu and was pretty much confined to her new home.  I went over yesterday and dropped off bottled water because she does not yet have the Simple Pump as we do, which would allow her to pump water during an outage.  She looked more or less ready to make it through such a storm, and the day before she had new tires placed on her car.

Early this morning on the farm where Daniel lived for most of his life.

           This morning, we were still surprised to see so much snow, especially so late in the season. The lights went off and on here, which is a sure sign that some of the overhead power lines a distance from here, have a tree lying against them. Eventually we lost power.  Our son who commutes to college found that classes had been cancelled.  My husband found that there were deep drifts on the roadway making it impossible for him to go to work.  Our daughter called in to tell us that she was also out of power, but was no longer febrile and thought she might be a little better.  She called in to work to find that everyone there was being dismissed for the day due to rapidly collecting snow.  A friend told her that a car had turned over on the route she normally takes to work.  We called the power company whose recording tells us that they have multiple outages over a great distance and are unsure when any restoration of power will occur. Daniel did so enjoy everyone being home during power outages and blizzards, where we would make hot chocolate, sometimes, on the gas grill outside. These times were rare indeed.
           My husband normally keeps enough diesel to run our generators for a few days. However, he had used it in our diesel vehicles in order to rotate our stock, thinking that we were really in early Spring.  He headed out early this morning to try to get more diesel.  I think this was probably more of an adventure than anything else.  He returned an hour and a half later having helped neighbors remove trees from across roads, and having slid into a ditch when another truck ran too quickly in the center of the road.
           Presently, the generator is running, and we have internet. We have about 12 inches of snow in most places, as of noon.  We have drifts because we have wind gusts to 30 mph.  If you stand outside, you can hear trees snapping and falling over under the weight of the snow.  One of my favorite cedar trees over by the garage has cracked and collapsed this morning.

This is the kennel area.  The dogs all seem fine.

Another area of the farm. All the animals though it would be a good idea to stay in today. I can't say I blame them.

        The television station in Charlottesville, Virginia which is quite a distance from here is off the air, but the weather alerts we receive via e-mail say that the snow will continue until midnight tonight.  I must go now, and knock the heavy snow off the back deck of the house.  Stay safe, wherever you are. I hope the newly blooming daffodils are safe in the snow.

UPDATE:   Although the internet and landline phone returned within a day of having lost it, the electricity is still out.   We lost electricity on Wednesday and as of Saturday, March 9, 2013, we still do not have electricity restored.    We are still able to pump water using the Simple Pump and we run a generator intermittently. We have gas logs for some heat and cook in a limited way,  using a  gas stove.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bailey O'Neill Dies

Bailey O'Neill

   This morning I read something which deeply saddened me.  Bailey O'Neill was eleven years old and attended Darby Township School in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.  Bailey had some difficulties with two boys bullying him in school.   On January 10th of this year, the boys cornered him, one of those boys held Bailey, who was reportedly trying to walk away, and the other one punched Bailey in the face, breaking his nose, creating a concussion so severe that Bailey had repeated grand mal seizures.   He was admitted to the hospital where there was no other alternative but to place him in a medically induced coma and manage the anticipated brain swelling. Sadly, there were brain injuries which could not be treated.  Bailey was removed from life support and died on Saturday evening, just a few days after his 12th birthday.

     Although the two boys involved in the bullying were suspended from school for two days, no criminal charges have been brought against one or both of them. I hope that is rectified in the weeks to come. I don't know that murder is the correct charge, but somewhere between felonious assault, negligent homicide, and manslaughter is the charge that will prevent those two boys from targeting others and continuing to be predators who ended the life of a child.

When I was a child, we were taught that the only acceptable reason to hit someone, was in self defense. We were also taught that sometimes fighting or shoving had unintended consequences. You could push someone and cause a head injury which was later fatal.  Have parents stopped teaching this, or are the parents themselves too stupid to know this ?

     We now live in a time where children are suspended for nibbling a raspberry pop tart into the very vague and approximate shape of a gun.   Yet, no one noticed that Bailey O'Neill was being harassed by houligans who took his life.   When I was a child, we were taught that sometimes a punch or a trip in the wrong place does cause death in another human being.  We were also taught that the only acceptable reason to hit another, was in self defense, something which I actually did in school myself, sometimes when boys hit me.  Of course now, many of the teachers are just sharp enough to report and suspend the child who is defending himself and miss entirely the event which precipitated it.

      I am deeply saddened at the loss of Bailey, and I read today that his parents have removed his younger brother from the school due to fear of retribution and bullying.   What a world.  Their child was assaulted and died and they need to be fearful of sending their younger son to school.

Friends of his family are fundraising for funeral expenses:

The scary thing is that this is not as rare as you might believe.  A family in Nebraska experienced almost the identical experience with a fourteen year old child two years ago, and it was not covered in the news.   Families who choose to homeschool, should do so because they enjoy and seek the benefits of homeschooling, not because they fear sending their children to school

       My own child Daniel, died at this age, from presumably a heart rhythm disturbance which was not foreseen.  My heart breaks for Bailey's family, for a loss of a child which could have been prevented.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jonny Dorey Has Been Missing for Three Years

                 Johnny Dorey has now been missing for three years.  Please take a look at our prior posts on this subject.   Thank you so much.


March, 2016

My latest update on this matter:


 October, 2014

Jonny remains missing after now four and a half years.    A body has never been found. His bicycle has never been located in all the times that the James River has been explored since.    If  Jonny was traumatized during a robbery that is all too common in the region he was last seen, he might not remember who he is, yet might have the skills of being an excellent outdoorsman and explorer intact.  His British accent might not be discernible under these circumstances.

      If you are a physician, a nurse practitioner, a physicians assistant, a clinic, or a therapist, social worker or therapist who works with people who are presently homeless, please consider all the patients you have seen in the past four years, especially those who have minimal or absent documentation.     Jonny has family and friends who love him and he deserves a chance at the opportunity to choose the life he crafts from here on.