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    Relaxing Sunday least that's what I plan to do today. We had a Christmas gift exchange party last night, there is tons of leftover food in the fridge, lots of cookies (yummy!) and I managed to clean everything up last night. So hopefully, couple of hubby's friends stop over (they couldn't make it yesterday) and WILL gobble down some of the leftovers (thet LOVE to eat) and I can have some quiet time and peace. Maybe I should go and do some shopping ...

    We got couple more inches of snow last night... I love it! Our dog has been diving into the piles of snow on a side of our driveway again.

    And I can relate to you martha, this was our "better" second Christams (April 11, 2001) also. The last one was w/UTI. This time he was entertaining everybody around just like he always used to. to you later...




      All this talk of snow........

      has me wanting to travel. In all my life I have never seen a real snow storm. (It did snow back in 1970's here in Houston, but only about an inch on the ground. I remember my Mom was so upset because we used all the snow in the front and back yard to make a snowman):> ) Steve had planned to take me on a winter trip in 1999, but then the accident happened.

      This year for Christmas Eve, I had planned to fix a turducken (Don't ask), and a big dinner. Well, on December 23rd, we had a big storm come through with 70 mph winds...knocked out our power until late on Christmas night. So instead of our big dinner, we had red wine and pistachios. Luckily, I keep a large stock of candles on hand, so we had about thirty of them going and took the chill out of the air. It was actually a nice time. I also discovered that even a messy house looks good in the dark by candlelight.Though I can honestly say that I never thought we would have to use our Husky dog to stay warm through the night [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

      Russ Byrd


        Russ, aren't turducken's an amazing feat of engineering? I still marvel that they can put it together that way. If you and Steve ever need a place to crash, the guest room is always the only room in the house that is clean and you're welcome to it any time!


          It's so good to hear from everyone!

          We're having a peaceful Sunday as well; more deer, sunshine, and trying to pick a DVD to watch this afternoon. Bri has a sinus infection, bronchitis, and could be working on a UTI...too many wetting accidents for her peace of mind. Of all the BS that she goes through with this SCI, wetting accidents drive her mad. Sigh. Needless to say, she's feeling wiped out today.

          Saturday is her birthday; she'll be 22! And like a few others, her anniversary is also in March (four years coming up). She'll hopefully start WVU in the spring, and yes, Kath...she'll live on campus. I'm so excited; I want her to experience college life to the fullest! She wants to be a profiler for the FBI; she must have watched the Hannibal movies 10 times, not to mention every other crime show/movie/book in the world! But..she is also interested in accounting. You can catch criminals either way, I guess. [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img] I will definitely keep everyone posted on her progress...she's only had to put this on hold for three years...

          Russ, coming from Michigan, snow storms are so common..but beautiful. You have to be careful, because if you mention that you like snow, you can get some very nasty comments/glances from people. So...imagine my surprise when I moved to WV, and drove into Snowshoe, a ski resort town about 6 or 7 miles from me. We were due to have a big storm...8 inches...and people in town were smiling, happy and cheerful about the approaching snow! It was a little like the Twilight Zone! (Jackie..yes, we're in the country...and I WISH I had the money to buy this place! Land so close to the ski resort is VERY pricey...)

          Well...time to switch laundry, and take something out of the freezer for dinner.
          The unpacking is coming along too...but I STILL can't find my soup pot!! [img]/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif[/img]

          "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
          ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"

          "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
          ~Philo of Alexandria


            Vicky. Martha and Turduckens


            I envy you being in the country and with the snow. My husky will never learn to pull a sled at this rate.

            This am I was sipping coffee and watching rats walk across the phone lines :> )

            Martha you are too sweet, my father also offered for us to stay with him during the outage. It was just easier at home..everything that we needed is here, shower chair/standing frame etc. I admit it was a challenge doing the usual caregiving duties with no power.

            Oh, and about turduckens......the trick is;

            you need a very fast turkey , duck and chicken. And the turkey has to have good brakes

            But what I really enjoy about eating one is that you probably have to break several biblical laws to eat the darn thing.

            Russ Byrd


              The good brakes on the turkey explains everything! Thanks for solving that mystery. [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

              Hey, does your husky need companionship? I think this alpha foster dog is at least part husky and a real sweetheart if you don't put him indoors. lol. Or the other one is mostly chocolate lab and also a doll. Help! I have to find homes for these guys before I go insane. The good news is that the 3 dogs I'm keeping for friends over the holidays go home tomorrow! Never again! Having 4 left will seem like a breeze after having had 7 for the last 10 days.



                I wish I could take him off your hands. But Steve would kill me if I brought another animal into our home:> )

                I liked his personality better when he didn't know what was going on due to his brain injury. Now all of my wonderful ideas are shot down. Everything from selling the Jeep and buying a classic pickup and getting another dog.

                I'll ask around though.

                Russ Byrd


                  Russ, I know what you mean. Sometimes it's hard to tell the blessings from the curses. lol.

                  I've found another foster mother for the husky mix until a permanent home can be found. So I'm down to 3 until I can find a home for the choc. lab mix. If you do know of anyone, let me know. They really are great dogs.

                  And tomorrow's project (or today actually) is taking down the xmas tree and shampooing carpets again. [img]/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]


                    Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May 2003 bring us all peace, harmony, contentment...and a cure would be nice too.

                    Have a safe one, all...
                    "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
                    ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"

                    "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
                    ~Philo of Alexandria


                      Wishing you all Happy New Year!!!

                      ... hopefully, all your wishes get to come true...





                        Happy New Year to all!


                          Dawn of the first day of the new year! Icky weather - foggy, wet, damp; hope this isn't a forebear for the rest of the year!

                          So - asked hubbie on a recent Home Depot trip to pick up some plastic bins for storing Christmas stuff; have used cardboard in the past, only to have the squirrely critters eat the pinecones and use the pretty fluffy cotton for nests, it was time to seal it off in that wonder creation, plastic! Soooo---he comes home with 3 bins that are big enough for me to take a bath in!!!! Does that mean I get to go out and buy all the Christmas 'sale' stuff to fill them up for next year?! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

                          Martha - I have the perfect solution for you - rip up the carpet and put linoleum down! Seriously. Think about it.

                          Russ - Your comment touched a place in my heart, I know exactly what you mean -
                          "I liked his personality better when he didn't know what was going on due to his brain injury. Now all of my wonderful ideas are shot down". Does Steve recognize that his negativity may be an actual part of the TBI? We've finally gotten Matt to realize that, and it's made him a little more open to discussion on his 'decisions'. Do you have TBI resources? Be glad to share some with you, if you'd like.

                          Vicky - Ditto your thoughts on the new year!

                          Bethany - Still waiting to hear about the flames and the stove!!

                          Kate - Isn't it great to just let go every once in a while and just throw things!!! I actually broke a cast iron skillet once! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

                          Krajaxa - New Castle! I grew up in Pittsburgh - first in Avalon, then to 'Plum Borough' when it was brand new and just being developed. Haven't been back in years and years, tho.

                          Well, I need to get this day going! Is it football for everyone today? Jackie

                          Tough times don't last - tough people do.


                            Happy New Year

                            Recent developments indicate to me that 2003 is going to be the YEAR OF MARY..
                            In addition I did entreat the Laundry Fairies to visit and bestow gifts of favor for the new year...and they BLEW ME OFF...all those piles are still down there....I think that while I sleep the floor opens up and dirty clothes pass in from another dimension...I don't remember buying that shirt......

                            KATE: thank you for helping out...we need to talk again soon!! You are gonna love the next chapter!!

                            Jackie: I am BACK ON TOP....enough said....

                            and by the way....well...never mind that now....I have a career to develop!

                            ...and she lived happily ever after...



                              I would welcome any brain injury resources you have. I did have several links before my computer crashed a while back, but I lost them.

                              I do hope Matt is doing well these days.

                              you wrote..

                              "Russ - Your comment touched a place in my heart, I know exactly what you mean - I liked his personality better when he didn't know what was going on due to his brain injury. Now all of my wonderful ideas are shot down". Does Steve recognize that his negativity may be an actual part of the TBI?"

                              I wish I could blame his negativity on the TBI, but he always had a pessimistic outlook. If anything, the brain injury has made him lighten up a little. But as he recovers more of his personality he seems to be developing his old negative aspects again. But it actually works for us in a weird way. I have always been the easygoing one.Even when times are very bad I always have had a very basic happiness to fall back on.But if left to my own devices, I would have a house full of huskies and a 1955 pickup (I love classic trucks) as my main vehicle. He was always the sensible one. The only way I have made up for my failings in these other areas since his injury is my deeply felt love for him and my commitment to him and his recovery.

                              Most of the time, he displays negative emotions only when talking about his sci. He says things like..." I wish I was a real man like I used to be ".
                              I try to help by responding ..."Steve, you were never a real man even before the accident" But these words of comfort rarely seem to help.

                              Oh, I do have a question for the other caregivers here :> )

                              Do you find that because of your caregiving responsibilities you are a lot more careful with your own safety for fear of what they would do without you?

                              I ask this because I even hesitate to ride my horses or continue where I left off in learning to rollerblade. Maybe it is because I have recently started to fear that if something were to happen to me, Steve's future prospects for independence would be lessened. That even in this country our grip on freedom is only assured if we are not disabled and in need of assistance.

                              Russ Byrd


                                Wednesday, New Year's Day

                                We're having cabin fever here!!!! Sometimes too much time with the family feels like a sentence in a padded cell. And the rain is unabating, everything drenched. I walked Rocky today for a couple of miles and we both came in soggy as rats, only to find elder daughter dopey with boredom and frustration. Thank God I'm not 14, thank God I'm not 14, thank God I'm not 14! Is any other year more terrible?

                                Mary, you fine, foxy thing, I'm glad to hear your happy voice (or your sad one) anytime!

                                Been considering Russ' question about feeling like I can't get hurt or sick. I remember having that going VERY strongly in the beginning, like, knowing that even getting a cold would be a pretty big deal. I also read that caregivers are statistically more likely to develop cancer (how's that for cheery news??) supposedly just from stress. In my dark moments I imagine, oh sure, that's what's next, yup. My plain old life morphed into the story of Job, without the payoff at the ending.

                                But now I'm fatalistic. Like, there really seems to be no way to ensure my safety, or the girls', or his. He was the most cautious skier in the world, always carried the avalanche beeper, brought a shovel into the back country, wouldn't let the kids ski beyond their abilities, knew when to quit---a bit of a pain in the ass, to be blunt, about doing things right. An eagle scout. And he broke his freaking neck! Of course, I don't take unnecessary chances now, but I also don't dwell on what would happen to them without me. They'd survive, and thrive. I think.

                                Must go. The Monster Garage show is on, a not-to-be-missed episode about turning a limo into a firetruck!

                                See ya!