Man, I Screwed Up!

While changing the template, I did something that caused all of my blog rolls to go bye bye. Blogs that I have been reading for a long time will be no problem... It's the recent additions that I will probably pull my hair out over!

What a screw up.... *pout*


Lots of Catching Up to Do and Call for Advice!

OK guys - we've had such a busy few weeks so this is going to be a serious mixed bag.

Last weekend we had an awesome time. We went to Dinosaur Ridge to see the tracks preserved in stone and since Little Bear is a fanatic for all things dino related (besides his insatiable apatite for Titanic history) this was loads of fun.

The tracks are found on the side of Hogback Ridge. It looks like the dinosaurs walked up the side of a mountain causing your imagination to run wild. Obviously the tracks were formed before the ridge but it funny to imagine anyhow. There were water ripples all over the place from when it was an ocean. Such incredible evolutionary evidence, but I won't go there. ;~)

We ended up on a trail (Dakota Trail) and hiked the Hogback (or as I like to call it; a mini-mountain) and had a fantastic time. The trail follows the entire back of the ridge and I was very proud of myself. 6 - 12 months ago, I would have NEVER made it but changing my eating and lifestyle has allowed me to enjoy such things as of recent. It makes it all worth it.


Friday morning I was sitting here checking e-mail when I heard Little Bear get up and head to the bathroom. It's VERY unusual to see him at 6:30 in the morning, but I thought nothing of it. That is until I heard strange noises coming from that direction. I run to the bathroom and find him on his knees saying, "Mommy, I don't want to die.."

He was unable to breathe.

It sounded like an asthma attack. LB doesn't have asthma but the sound was just like it. I called the hospital and they had me check several things with him from the color of his lips to his ability to walk across the living room. He said his lungs felt tiny and his breathing was short and harsh. They advised me to call 911. The ambulance arrived and agreed that it sounded like an attack and asked me his history. They hooked him up to Albuterol and had me follow them to the hospital.

Upon arriving, the paramedic said that oddly his oxygen levels in his blood were "acceptable" considering how awful his breathing was. The Albuterol didn't help, and that told the doctor that he wasn't having an asthma attack. The doc checked him over and then asked him to cough. The cough. I knew what it was the second he did it.

For you parents out there... it turns out he has Croup!

He's eleven years old! Turns out, it's VERY rare for anyone over the age of 6 to develop it. Here's a little ditty from About.com about croup:

Croup is a common childhood viral illness that is easily recognized because of the distinctive characteristics that children have when they become infected. Like most viral illnesses, there is no cure for croup, but there are many symptomatic treatments that can help your child to feel better faster.

Croup, also called laryngotracheobronchitis, most commonly affects children between the ages of six months and three years, usually during the late fall, winter and early spring. Symptoms, which often include a runny nose and a brassy cough, develop about 2-6 days after being exposed to someone with croup.

One of the distinctive characteristics of croup is the abrupt or sudden onset of symptoms. Children will usually be well when they went to bed, and will then wake up in the middle of the night with a croupy cough and trouble breathing. The cough that children with croup have is also distinctive. Unlike other viral respiratory illnesses, which can cause a dry, wet, or deep cough, croup causes a cough that sounds like a barking seal.

Another common sound or symptom of croup is inspiratory stridor, which is a loud, high-pitched, harsh noise that children with croup often have when they are breathing in. Stridor is often confused with wheezing, but unlike wheezing, which is usually caused by inflammation in the lungs, stridor is caused by inflammation in the larger airways.

The pattern of symptoms in children with croup is also characteristic. In addition to beginning in the middle of the night, symptoms, which are often better during the day, worsen at night, although they are usually less intense each night. Symptoms also become worse if your child becomes anxious or agitated.

The symptoms of croup are caused by inflammation, swelling and the buildup of mucus in the larynx, trachea (windpipe) and bronchial tubes. Since younger infants and children have smaller airways, it makes sense that they are the ones most affected by croup. In contrast, older children will often just develop cold symptoms when they are infected by the same virus.

Children with croup will usually also have a hoarse voice, decreased appetite and a fever, which is usually low grade, but may rise up to 104 degrees F.

The doctor said that in his career, the oldest patient he treated with croup was 4, so an 11 year old kid is way out of the ordinary. *shrugs* He feels like shit but will recover. He's bored being on the couch and watching movies. I think he was really getting used to no television which i'm not complaining about...

Let's move on -


My landlord is this really cool guy who I think we are totally blessed to have. I like him a lot and I am pretty sure they broke the mold with this one.

Cool Guy was over doing some work the other day. We chatted a lot about music and concerts, crap issues with heath care, how damn scary McCain and Clinton are, food and veganism.

As he was leaving I asked him a question about a part of the backyard that was a little barren to begin with. I pointed out that the spot would make an awesome garden and would he allow us to put one in. I even hinted that I would share in the organic bounty if he wanted. He walked over it a bit, and said he thought it would make a lovely spot for a garden and to go for it. *double take* Really? I wanted to do a happy dance right there but tried to remain calm.

This spot is no small shakes. We plotted a 20 x 12 patch not including a small space for herbs. Long story short, we got right to work and rototilled the spot yesterday. Now, I know we are starting a bit late, but we'll be using all starters once we add the organic compost and complete prepping the soil. We have done a little gardening before, but only in containers since we have NEVER had such a cool landlord before.

During the day, it does receive the most sunshine so don't let the shade fool you.

The herbs will go here, and we will have a lot of transplants from our Priestess, as well as some new starters, that we hope will take. I'm so looking forward to doing this and I can't tell you how excited I am that my landlord said GO FOR IT!

So my Call For Advice:

Books. Websites. Ideas. Anything you want to shoot my way, I would be forever grateful. Granted, we live in different climates, but whatever you feel will help us on this fun and scary journey, would be much appreciated by Bear and myself. So lay it on me...



This Guy Gives Me the Heebee Jeebees!

Visit The Real Mccain Website!


The Price of Feeling Special

Look. I'm no different than every other mother out there who likes to be recognized for the contribution they make to their families or humanity even, but not at the cost of feeling guilty and so I have decided things will be different next year. What are you going on about Mysti, you ask?

Restaurant's gouging prices for a darn made up government holiday. That's what!

Yesterday was gorgeous. The weather sunny and mild and I enjoyed a short trip to the local nursery to walk among the green and find a new plant for my mother. Lovely.

Bear had to work and so we planned on dinner afterwards. My favorite fare is Indian and we wanted to try a place that we have passed many times, but never been too. They normally close at 3pm on Sunday but generously (tongue in cheek) stayed open for.. yes.. the glorious day of recognition other wise known as Mother's Day. I felt like it was my lucky day. Meant to be even... because, you see.. by the time Bear arrived home and we headed out it was well after 4pm, but they were staying open for ME!

(cheers and applause heard faintly in the background)

The smells, the taste, the utter lack of resistance. It was divine! I made sure I didn't eat all day so I could eat until I knew I exceeded my intake limit.

But then...

The check.

Oh yes folks. The blasted check.

Bear leans in, grabs the little cushioned black check holder, opens it up and out of my mouth was a raised "What the Hell?"

Their price for the buffet is usually $11.99 (dinner) per person. Apparently though, they thought Mother's everywhere would rejoice in paying them an added amount for their generosity of feeding us on our special day of recognition. All this at the rate of $17 per person including an 11 year old boy. Total that up for 5 people. Livid doesn't begin to describe my feeling at that moment. No warning. So sign. Nada. They, in no uncertain terms, asked us to grab our ankles. The table next to us with 12 people were in for a nasty surprise.

But I woke up feeling the need to thank them instead of being pissed. They stayed open a few extra hours for women on the one day of the year when people show that they possibly give a shit for what it is we do..... all the while, having to ask what the HELL it is that we actually do. But I digress.

(Bear - you are excluded from that last statement)

*clearing throat*

Dear Yak and Yeti (I'm not making that up...),

Thank you for opening up your doors for the women in the community who bring life into this world after many months of swollen feet, the incredible ability to pee our pants when we laugh or sneeze, who are poked and prodded by every Johnny who crouches between our legs to see "how things are going", and hours upon hours of tireless labor pains only to squeeze a bowling ball out of our tiny whoo has!

Your generosity in our hour of needed recognition cannot be conveyed in words alone. So I thank you for accepting my husband's hard earned money for more than your advertised price because I wasn't sure I could openly thank you for your caring hospitality.

So I give to you, dear folks at the Yak and Yeti, the one fingered salute. I want you to know just how damn special you are. After all - women from all over the metro area are feeling the same way.. Damn special.

What will be done different next year? I will ask Bear to put his cute butt in the kitchen and cook a wonderful meal for the family and i'll pitch in and make the bread. Yesterday was a not-so-gentle reminder of why I don't take stock in idiotic made up government holidays.

rant over.


Giving It Up

Wendy had a wonderfully thought provoking post about giving up comfortable amenities while being able to keep others. There are several things that I already go without, so it's been hard making a list, but here goes:

A. Washing Machine
B. Hot Water Heater
C. Television / Electronics
D. Computer
E. Dryer
F. Ice Box
G. Dishwasher
H. Microwave
I. Stove and Oven
J. Air Conditioning
K. Car

My list consists of some items I already do without. Sometimes it's tempting to revert back to using some things because it's so damn convenient, but I am choosing to stick with it for the simple fact that I have to live with myself at the end of the day. No, I don't mean it as if I am a horrid person if I use them.. I just mean because I am trying to make a conscious choice to make change and by not standing my my decisions, I let myself down. So lets look at the list shall we?

Washing Machine: I prefer to keep it, thank you. I use the appropriate setting to save water (such as the load size) and I use cold water as much as possible. Could I wash by hand or a electric free machine? Sure. So I want to? That's another story. If I had to I would. I think any of us would if necessary...

Hot Water Heater: Need my hot showers. I agree with Wendy that this is more of a "system" but I added it because it does work in conjunction to several things on the list. This one is a keeper! **See edit below.

Television: Sometimes I wish we didn't have it. Even for movies. I have kept the television off even after the Turn Off the TV Week challenge. Today the cable is being shut off.We do rent movies from the Hollywood video down the street and sometimes I think we do it to often. Television keeps us uninformed, glassy-eyed, and dependent. It takes our attention away from what is really happening in the world and only keeps children anxious for the next-big-thing, the material side of living. I hate it. This one can go! (Other electronics - I like music but actually I can play anything on my computer so I don't technically have to have a stereo.)

Computer: Nope. Must stay. I do research, homeschooling assignments may find the computer necessary, I play music, and keep in touch with to many people to let this one go. Teenager and I did have a conversation about the importance of letters in the past and how valuable they became to people because of the time it took to receive them. We really don't get the concept and while that is sad to think about, I will only give up my computer if pried from my cold dead hands. It stays!

Dryer: I already gave this up for the most part. I have only used it once in the last 3 weeks and so far I don't have any complaints. Everything dries faster, believe it or not, and smells really good. It remains unplugged. Come winter time, I may feel different, but for right now.. i'm doing OK. It can go!

Ice Box: I prefer to keep it but as we don't eat meat I guess it's a lot less necessary that I may think. I'll hold onto it for a bit longer just in case. Stay!

Dishwasher: I wash by hand even though I have one. It's perfectly functioning, but it's easier and faster to just wash as I go so i'm not waiting to fill up the racks in order to wash a full load. It can go!

Microwave: I have it (built into the kitchen) but I don't use it simply because of what it does to the molecular structure of the food. It's not necessary and I have gone years without using one. I get by just fine. It can go!

Stove / Oven: Fact is, I need this. At least I think I do. OK, i'll rephrase that.. I WANT IT! I would like to build a solar oven some day and use it on occasion when it's to warm in the house and frankly, it would be fun. Come winter time though, I think I would enjoy cooking inside. It stays!

Air Conditioning: I have been without central air for years now. It doesn't bother me in Colorado. We have had a window unit before and it's helpful for sure. This new house has a very small one that i'm not quite sure would make a big difference, but regardless.... it will be a while before it's turned on if at all. Either way, I could live without it. It could go!

Car: I always thought it would be quite the adventure to be car-less but with a family it's more difficult to do so. Jim and Peggy over at Earth Home Garden have been car free for eleven years but this occurred AFTER their family flew the nest. Who knows, maybe in the future. We do use our car a lot less than before and walk most places that are close by. We were able to go 2 weeks without putting any fuel into the car. It's getting better. The question is, however, could I give it up? The answer would have to be yes. But that's if I had too. So this one stays!

Wendy would have to comment if I got the basic premise of this challenge. There are several things I have given up by choice, and though her question is more about giving things up because you have to, I guess the honest answer would have to be everything could go. My only concern is my family and so long as we are all together, healthy, and strong I could live without amenities of convenience. Really I don't know if I can say what I would give up in order to keep because I would give it all up if I had too.

And in the end, if I had to give up electricity I would. It keeps us separated from the ebb in life; the cycles. Cities that are lit up 24 / 7 have no concept of regeneration, of connecting deeper to the earth and Her rhythm. We might learn a lot.

**Edit: While standing in the shower I realized that I could go without the hot water heater, which would then mean letting go of a few other things. Just give me an old fashioned copper tub and I think we could manage. It could double to wash laundry in. Ya know, Teenager wanted to do something like Frontier House, Colonial House, or 1900's House all of which were PBS specials. I wonder if we could and for how long. Also, Little Bear is sitting here informing me that under no circumstances am I to write about letting go of the television or his video games. From the mouth of an 11 year old boy....


Happy May Day!

It's Beltane (or May Day for other folks) today. Did I get flowers hanging on my door? Did we dance the maypole? Did we light the fires? Did we jump them for prosperity? No.. no.. dear friends. I am sad to report that we did not... And this is why.

Cold. Wet. Miserable.

Tis OK since we will attend Beltane celebrations tomorrow with the local folks from our community, and again with the good family on Saturday.

Oh. And Bad-Ass-Bear, the hardcore love of my life, rode his bicycle to and from work once again. What a die hard. I love him so...

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