Midweek Tidbits from SimaPosted: June 1, 2011
(or, I’m back!)
So the last couple months have been a real wringer for me. As many of you know, my mother lost her ability to walk and started to weaken due to progressive spinal deformation caused by arthritis. In early March she had a spinal operation which opened the holes which were pressing on her nerves and reconstructed her spine. 2 days after the operation she went into a ‘code’, the one just up from ‘code red’, and had to be rescued by a bunch of nurses and doctors. She told me that she can’t remember much about it except for one thing; she saw my sister standing at the end of a long tunnel, reaching towards her. And she said when she saw that she knew she couldn’t leave; my sister still needed her, we all still needed her.
After over a month in rehab and a month in a hospital bed at home, Mom’s walking again. She’s really weak and has turned over my sister’s strenuous care to me and my father. It’s been very interesting. My sister adores having me care for her, and once I got over the squick factor, I really like caring for her. We sing and giggle and have fun, and I feel like a kid again, sneaking my sister into my room after we were meant to be in bed so we could listen to music together. So there have been some good side effects to my Mom’s long wasting illness.
Recently the PBS News Hour ran a special series on Autism, which is what my sister ‘has’. The series was really good and went into the impact autism has on parents and siblings. I cried when the little girl talks about the future with her brother. She’s 8 and already sees it (Episode 1). And I cried when the older woman, in episode 5, wonders what is going to happen to her and her brother when her parents die. I so know those fears and feelings and I’m so angry at society for just abandoning us after the autistic (and retarded, and physically disabled, and downs syndrome and… you get the drift) kids leave school. Their lives do not end then!
Anyway if you are interested, you can watch the special on the ‘net, here. Each episode is only 10 to 15 minutes long. The links to each episode are along the right hand side of that page.
My interest in animal welfare came a bit closer to home in the last few months, as 4 of my does gave birth in April and early May. Or I should say, 3 of them. The 4th has a false pregnancy, but she’s making milk and I’m not gonna complain! One of the does gave birth to 5 kids, all does. That’s pretty rare. Two of the kids were runts and needed 24/7 care. Unfortunately one of the kids passed on. She was simply too little and premature for me to keep alive, although I managed it for a month. The other little darling is doing great, and I offer a picture as a cute antidote to whatever is bothering you currently. It’s hard to tell from the pic, but she can basically fit in the palm of your hand. She’s a bit bigger now, but I can still hold her and support her completely in one hand.
Speaking of bother here’s a link to a bitingly sarcastic article about GMO, not so much concerning plants and Monsanto, but some of the other frankenstein ideas scientists are playing with. It makes me wonder, didn’t they read sci-fi as kids? Are they that hubristic? So, from cracked.com, the 5 Current Genetic Experiments Most Likely to Destroy Humanity. Honestly, scientists: real speedy gonzales? Monkeys that glow in the dark, just because you can? Cows with human genes? Spider silk expressed in goat milk? Zombie pigs? Do you have no morals, no foresight?
Part of my struggles in the past couple of months have been due to the economy and the weather. Our CSA is not getting as many sign-ups as normal, so we’ll be selling at farmer’s markets. It all reminds me far too much of being really poor, back when I was a student after I got divorced. Cracked.com has an article about 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor. It’s as bitingly sarcastic as the article about GMO linked above, and really an eye opener if you’ve never been, or skirted close to being, poor. Warning though, the article is full of cussing and profanity, effectively so. When you are being f***ed over, you are being f***ed over. There’s no other way to say it.
The economy is difficult for all of us normal people and entire cities are suffering. Here’s Grand Rapids answer to being featured as a ‘dying city’ by Newsweek. I LOVE this video. Apologies if you’ve seen it before, it’s getting a lot of play currently.
Sky Dancing has done a lot of work on the crisis in Japan at the Fukushima power plant. Many years ago, as an undergraduate, I got my degree in electronic engineering and sub-atomic particle physics. I wanted to work on submarines, but they didn’t let girls do that, we weren’t allowed on carriers either, and so my options were limited to experimental stuff and the nuclear industry. I did some soul searching and switched to Anthropology and Archaeology. Anyway, I wanted to offer up a link to this documentary on another nuclear disaster, Chernobyl. I apologize if it’s been linked here before. It is rather long (90 minutes) and worth every damn minute to watch. The Battle of Chernobyl goes into what it took to fight and encase that monster. I expect in the end, the Battle of Fukushima will be much the same.
And finally, something fun, I hope. Many of you have probably seen the People of Walmart website (not linking to it, google if you want) in which candid photos of people shopping are posted for the humor and derision of all. The site is amusing in an ‘ohmygodwhatwheretheythinking’ kind of way, but it’s always made me uncomfortable too. Maybe I’m misreading this video, but my view of the people featured in the website changed after I saw it and I see the video as something of a celebration of the craziness, beauty, diversity and sheer wonderful dress sense of so many pictured on that webpage. The tune is catchy too.
I’m really glad to be back at Sky Dancing!