Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Living off the Grid- Families that have chosen to use alternative sources of energy and how they do it.

This is a web site for people that have chosen this sort of life style. It is very broad...and not centered in Mich, but I would look here for ideas on where to look further.

This is an article where a family in Vermont will experiment with 6 different energy sources.

This is a site that is just dedicated to Washtenaw Co, energy plan, specifically a wind generator. I did not know WC was doing this!

This is a site that is just for WC also- I think this would be a personal interview possibility.

I would also call those people that are advertising on the billboards that are all over town, but strangely cannot find them on the net.

This is one site, but not sure if its the same as the ones on the billboards.

As much as I dislike USA, I would also try and approach some of their sources.

Just found out that Behi was right

We were sending a pt off to the OR, and Behi came up as transport was taking him down. He stopped them- and said..." I just don't feel it's safe right now...something is bothering me."  He sat at that monitor for ever, staring at it, staring at the tapes. "It's sinus, but there is something." People were very irritated...this guy was a PITA, and his family worse. Very intense, very critical. Frankly, we wanted him gone. I spoke to B and said..."trust it, it's okay, don't worry about what people say. It is you that has to make the decision." He said back "I don't understand what is it, but he keeps popping in and out and something is just not right."

He is one of the "good ones" right now. I really like him a lot. When Mrs. X told me she wanted to withdraw, I called him in to her room. As she was telling both of us, we both began to cry. This woman had been fighting for so long and the only reason she was fighting was for her husband. She had been on the list for ever, but no heart came thru- she kept getting sicker and sicker. She touched so many lives with her strength. But she was done.  It was past hard for her, and understandable. But the compassion that he showed....

So, I just found out that the patient died during the procedure. Behi was indeed right. That 6th sense is one to be listened to, isn't it?

I understand crazy

Thankfully, I am not. But, I understand- it's a close thing- one where you almost decide that you just will allow it- allow the slipping into loss of control.  Like some people who die, it's just the easier path, the easier way to go. 

I get it. 

I don't understand other things- like meanness or being critical. I understand snippy and bitchy. I don't understand constant lying. I understand not wanting to hurt someone. I understand loving so much that your heart almost breaks.

I do not understand why, though. I just understand it. I cannot explain it. But oh well. Is it mine to explain?

Today, a kid jumped off the bridge at Maple. How did they get to that state? I think that is why adolescent depression is so serious. It's hard enough to believe that tomorrow is coming, but when you are that young, the feeling of today being so miserable that there feels to be no tomorrow is just overpowering.  I hope their parents love them, and took care of them, and treasures them. I hope that what's next is okay for them.  They were alive at press time this AM (28th) and I know I will be looking for updates. The benefit of my Features Class. I am so sad for this.

Yesterday I had an instructor begin to cry in class- she just broke down. I had felt she was sick since the beginning of the semester, and indeed she is. Surgery tomorrow. CA. Miserable. I hope that it turns out okay for her. I am praying for her, as I really think that helps. She is constantly on my mind, and I hope she knows that. She was horrified... but she is a passionate person, and that just happens sometimes....

yesterday was so hard....I can hardly begin to explain it. I am stunned at the emotions that rushed thru me, and it did indeed bring up that horrible feeling of childhood and loss- Parents that left without further who could not stay with anything for more the 7 years- be it a dog or person. Thats why we have Cocoa- he was 7 and they were going to give him away. I am grateful to Art for understanding why I had to take him It was some sort of karmic justice. I projected onto him what I felt. I love my dad now, but he was the worst father- the first person to offer me drugs. I can hardly imagine. Of course, he doesn't remember this- why would he? Forget what's bad. Forward NO matter what. I don't want to talk to him about then (I am sure I was horrid as well, but  I was a kid.)  

The love of a parent should be unconditional. My belief.  This is not his. Oh well. Our relationship now is one I love and treasure. I do NOT want to bring up anything with him now. He is too smart and would change what I know to be true. 

Then mom- ah, she would leave me with the kids for weekends at a time- first when I was 11- she went to mexico with a lover. Then, I just accepted it. Who knew different?  I would rock in fear, terrified of what was being asked of me. Because i was born knowing how important things are, and knew from the instant I was born that I was the one that had to take care of things. To this day, it makes me sick to my stomach. I know it shouldn't. But it does. 

I guess I look back to ensure my forward is as careful as possible. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Attraction, again

I believe that attraction is deeper then what we know. In that there lies an attraction factor. I can't explain it better then that. Some people just "do it" for others, and others just look and don't get it at all. Obviously, you can take it farther then that....

I have the loveliest man as a patient tonight- he is 70ish, and well, one of those guys that is not the most lovely to look at- life has been hard, obviously, for the past several months. But, there is something about him- that kind of intangible feeling when you know that person is just good, lovely and their heart (yes, I know) is honest.

Yesterday evening he was sat'ing in the 80%'s. Couldn't get more O's into him. I was helping him eat his dinner (most interesting, thru a face mask, and my total lack of depth perception- but we got it done!) and we began to talk.

I found out about his kids, his wife, his jobs, his love of fishing. I guess that the real answer to his increasing sats was the fact he was taking deeper breaths to talk, but I also think there was more- a will to live that came back. He loves chickens and horses and told me about his farm- 80 acres, with a valley where the deer played. He was just so much more there then when I first met him. He then looked at me and said, "What about you, kid? What's your story?" He then said..."you made me feel so much better...thank you."

I told him I'd bring in hard boiled eggs for him to eat, since they were organic and from our chickens. (Not entirely true- our hens are on strike, however, the eggs I brought in are free range and organic... did it really matter at that point that they were not from my hens?) and he was just grateful.

They (after so many attempts it made me sick, as I swear I feel some peoples' physical pain) got a triple lumen in. Thank God.

Yes, I brought him eggs. And best of all, he was still on the unit to enjoy them. I think the prayers worked.

And we just got a call that he is VRE. :-(

Then, I must write about the man who said he died. Asked me repeatedly WHY he had not died (not why he was alive, but why he had not died. I think that is interesting.) He remembered that he had been shocked and when he were placing him for a turn, he was very scared. He remembered everything. Kept saying (and hard for him to talk as he is just off the vent) "Are you going to shock me?" I kept saying no, and he (thank you versed...) kept asking.

Bits and pieces keep coming back to him. He wanted his watch, glasses and necklace. He had his necklace, and did not believe me. When I took it off to show him, he held it as if he was getting to know it again. From what I gather, it was his dads.

For some reason, I really like that transition period. Now, this guy is young, bold, brash, funny and (obviously) single. He is coming back very quickly- and so its a fast forward version of what we usually see.

His comment about being shocked is...
"it sucked" but now he had angels.

I think that I need to be...

more aware of what and who I am at the core. I need to remember that, and live within that which I know to be true about me. What is that saying? Write what you want on your tombstone, then live that way. Mine, I would hope would say, is that I am a kind, honest person who gave everything she could.

This is very hard in many ways, as I am sitting on a path, and I need to focus, concentrate and be aware every step of the way. Obviously, focusing is hard for me right now. But I must do it. Must.

Perhaps the hardest thing of all is realizing that sometimes, even when everything seems hard or harder, you must put your big girl panties on and deal with things. Face on. Because at the end of the day, it's only your face in the mirror that provides any real answers. At the end overall, can I look at myself and see someone that I am/was glad to be?

I have been in many situations where things might have gone awry. I have always been able to deal with things in a way that I can say was, in the end, the right thing to do. I am hoping that I can continue to do this- every step of the rest of my life.

I also cannot live in fear- no matter what the fear is, as it's too damn painful. I think that some of this stems from what I "expect" and perhaps someplace there is this Catholic Nun shaking a ruler over my head, providing me with some insane amount of guilt.

So before, I said I hated muddy waters. Add that I hate guilt. It's useful, however. It controls...and that is what I seem to need, some modicum of control. I have almost none right now- self control seems to have flown right out the proverbial window.

So, sad that I am not who I want to be, sad that I am fighting something within me. Sad that I even need to do it. Boy, is desire a powerful thing. Dangerous thing. Bigger then me, little old me. Wow

Friday, January 23, 2009

To believe in attraction

you have to place faith that nothing happens without a cause, reason or purpose. I believe this to be, even when I feel I am struggling the most. I am sure I do not know any of the answers with out the benefit of hindsight, (bless that beast...) and when I do see, it becomes oh-so-very clear to me.

I will say one thing- I like clarity.  Not a fan of muddy waters.

With that being said, how can illness be explained? What makes someone so sick they die in a hospital? Why would that happen? This seems to have no answers. It does make me think, however, that maybe sometimes we are tools for others. If turn-around is indeed fair play, perhaps that's what it's about. Now I admit fully here that I am unsure about this, but it does make me think.

When I was working in a step-down unit, run by Sharon V, the unit, feeling and compassion was amazing. These people came into my life to learn something, and in the turnaround,  I learned from them.  For me, the floor was a better place to work, only because there was time for people to change their patterns- the life patterns that got them there in the first place. Certainly, having an episode is a wake up call, or it should be, for living better, both from a emotional as well as well as physical prospective. 

When you work on the floor, you get to spend a lot of time with these people- and got to know them fairly well. Some of the more memorable ones--the woman who would not get better- finding out her dad had been in the exact room, same bed, and never returned home. We moved her, and she got her pacer (I think that was it...) and she got better.

Then, the man who kept infecting his incision with his own feces as he was finally getting attention that he had wanted his whole life.  Psych got involved for that one....

One of the saddest, the CEO who collapsed crying against me in fear, saying he could run a million dollar company, but could not handle having a heart issue and was very scared of dying. (he didn't.)

The woman who came in who said NOTHING for days. She was in an odd, very perplexing rhythm.  Some family member came to visit and it was in this way we found out that her son had jumped to his death 3 days before she was admitted, and she actually missed his funeral. Her heart was indeed broken.

Then, one of the most amazing- the man who was slipping away from dementia,  in a rare moment of clarity,  grabbing my shirt and pulling me towards him saying the most amazing words I have ever heard from anyone..."I just want to hold them in my heart" when his family was leaving. For this was a rare moment where anything he said made sense and to have it carry such meaning....

There was the man who once being put on heartmate realized that he had been living his life as the wrong gender and felt that the gender transition surgery was more important then getting a new heart. He was an interesting guy anyway, and totally toothless, as all his teeth had to be removed before the transplant could happen. He put a mirror on the back side of his door, so we did not see it, and would dress in womans funny, sad, too, I suppose, but funny, in a strange kind of way. So, - well, I can't say it, because is sounds mean, but ...well, to hear him talk about it. Put it this way, you need your teeth to talk!

The absolute love and commitment of Julie to her husband while he waited for his heart- day after long day staying with him and keeping him up even when he got down. He was the one that named my little $100.00 Flinstones  car "the speck", as he would wait for me in the morning to get to work and knew where I usually parked. I so wanted to put a "Hi Ken!" sign on my car- but the damn thing was so small, I am sure he never could have read it from the 7th floor. When he left, with his new heart, strong and tall, we all cheered and cried.

Ah, then, the whiney man who coded. For some reason, I was at his head, and made it VERY clear that he was not leaving on my watch, get back here- it's not your time, buddy.... The next week, he says that is the only thing he remembered- his wife told me that it was the first thing he said when he woke up. To this day, I swear he coded just because he felt lazy...yes, I know that's not true, but he was that sort of person. What a kick in the ass I must have been. :-)

The poor guy who sat quietly in his room, never asking for anything at all, covers always pulled way up to his neck, finally getting a heart. He was out of the ICU in 3 days- remarkable to say the least.  I went to see him on the surg step down the next day. He was so happy and looked so alive- and boy, was he talkative- I believe he said more words in that short time then the entire month or more he was waiting on our unit. As I was there with the PA, he got a strange look and said "I have a headache". He was rushed to CT- it was massive bleed and nothing could be done. As each sense left him, and it was indeed each sense, you could tick them off, he still was grateful even while knowing he was dying. His last words were "Please tell everyone thank you...."

The boyfriend and girlfriend- she loved him so, and when he came back from being cardioverted (what is the spelling on that??) she kept saying that something was not right- she could not pinpoint it...but, indeed, something was not right. He ended up on ECMO, and did indeed die. If the RN's had just listened to her....

I watched med students become amazing MD's- Sanjay for sure, he was exceptional from the very beginning- clear, communicated well, was funny as well as very kind for the patients and never seemed rushed.  Brad Dyke- who remains at the U- not only an exceptional person, but an amazing MD- who truly cared about each and every patient that he took care of as if it were the only one. I miss working with that team- impressive care, great compassion and an honesty that is missing often in residents that I see on midnights.  

Sadly, I could also write about the MD's with egos- but those are not worth my time at all. I have seen them kill patients- all because they had to prove something to someone. Those- those are the ones that need to have something change what and who they are.

This all leads me to why I am doing this. Why I press on, why I push to learn things that I should have learned years ago, and why I am putting myself in a position that is, to say the least, difficult at 46. I love making the connection, I love letting someone have another chance, and if the end is the way it is to be, I want that transition to be as easy for them, both patient and family, as possible. I respect and value life and have a fairly strong believe that this life is not what it's all about. There is more....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I can't believe I shared this with someone...(where is the dead person icon?? ยบ---'  almost looks like a dead person....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's 7 p.m. on a dark, cold and snowy December evening in Webberville. Dr. Christy Kobe pulls on her coat while calming a horse owner on her cell phone. After a quick check of her med box to ensure she has enough drugs for a "down horse" she carefully pulls out of her driveway. She heads 20 miles away in weather conditions that strongly suggest the best idea is to stay home.

Kobe, 32, tall and thin under layers of clothes is quick to say she loves her job on most days. "On nights like tonight, boy, it is hard to leave my warm house," she adds with a laugh.

Kobe is part of a dying breed- a fact the American Veterinary Medical Society is well aware of. According to the AVMA web site, many vets graduate with upward of $100,000 in student loans. The prospect of making less than half that their first few years is daunting and may be one reason that many graduating vets choose the better paid, inside job of treating small animals.

Dr. Christy Kobe in warmer times.
Once she gets to the farm, it's all business and Kobe turns her attention to the horse lying in his stall.

'North' , a brown horse with white on his legs is groaning. Kobe pulls out her stethoscope and crouches next to the horse, her hand on his neck. Norths owner is quickly telling Kobe what has happened since she called.  Kobe nods and explains that the horse probably has gas "colic"  a horse stomachache. Colic is scary and can be dangerous but is common. 

North needs to stand up. Kobe and the owner, one at his head and one at his tail, convince the distressed animal to rise. 

Kobe heads out of the barn to her truck  and returns with with large bags of IV fluid and a tote with supplies. She must first pass a large tube down Norths' nose, into his stomach to check for reflux.  There is none. This is a good sign-he is likely to respond to treatment on the farm, and not need to go to the clinic for further treatment. 

After hanging the IV bag off a rafter with balers twine,  Kobe starts the IV.  She also administers a shot of Banamine, a pain reliever. While the fluids flow, Kobe talks softly to the owner, telling her what to expect in the coming 24 hours, and what would warrant a clinic visit or another farm call. While talking, she picks stray bedding out of Norths' mane.  

By the time the third bag of fluids has gone into the horse, he appears less distressed and by the fifth bag, begins to push his nose against Kobe. "I guess you're feeing better, " says Kobe as she removes the IV from his neck.

Kobe hands the owner a tube of medicine. "No food, just water tonight. Give him this if he gets uncomfortable again," 

"I think he'll be fine,  just keep an eye on him. We got five liters in, but make sure he has warm water, too. He needs that."  Kobe says.

"Call if you have any questions," says Kobe as she takes one last look at North.

The owner hugs Kobe before she gets in her truck, promising to call if North seems worse. Kobe has been at the farm for almost two hours. Before heading home to her waiting daughter and dogs, she glances down at her pager. 

"Good, the pager is quiet- there are nights I hate this thing," says Kobe.

"The cold has gotten to a lot of them- owners don't have enough hay out, or the water is frozen and people don't notice," she says. " That's probably the main reason for my late night calls." 

She shrugs her shoulders, "It pays the bills, though."

Dr. Carolyn Luther who practices out of Greenville, S. C., has made the move from a large animal to small animal practice after eight years. The reasoning seemed clear to her.

"I wanted a life, and I could make twice the money in my office then I could working out of my truck." She says she will still see "an occasional horse, but on my own time. No more on-call nights for me, standing in a muddy field with only the headlights of the truck. That's James Harriot kind of stuff- not for me anymore."

Amy Kirchen, office manager at Kern Road Vet Clinic in Fowlerville said the average invoice for a large animal visit is $165. The small animal vet can generate an invoice that averages $113 in half the time spent. Kern Road clientele is 65 percent large animal. The other 35 percent is handled by two full-time vets who only see clients in house. That supports the financial benefits of working in a small animal practice; close to 20 percent is handled by one vet- a figure none of the large animal vets could touch.

Kern Road is one of the only clinics left in S.E. Michigan that can handle equine emergencies. Kerchin says "Our vets rotate their 'on call' nights. The new vets get the short end of the stick- often pulling three nights a week. The older vets think it's a right of passage." 

In the spring months, breeding season, the workday may approach 12 hours for weeks at a time. Kerchin is quick to add that it only happens about two months out of the year.

Kobe knows that breeding season is coming, with its longer hours, and same pay. When a mare is ready to be bred, time is of the essence. These days, the Fed-Ex driver is usually the deliverer of the goods. Few horses get to let nature take it's course. It is too big of a risk for the mares who could get hurt in the breeding process, and breeders will opt for the safer approach of artificial insemination.  It also means that a "horse date" can happen when one party is in Kentucky, the other in Michigan.

Until then Kobe will battle the cold and ice. "When the windchill is 45 below zero, there is just not enough clothes to keep me warm."

"The thing about horses is they get sick usually at the worst times," says Kobe.  "It's not that they actually get sick then- it's when their owners get home, after work, that they notice something is "NQR"," a term vets use often when heading out to see a horse that just is "not quite right." 

While Dr. Kobe and her practice treat large animals, the focus is primarily horses. The trend in focused practice leaves a shortage for veterinarians in the food animal field,  another specialty in veterinary medicine.

This may prove more critical then appears on the surface. The AVMA said in a press release in Feburary 2008 , that this "has the makings of a crisis." Food Animal  veterinarians inspect animals at the processing plant, ensuring that they are healthy enough for human consumption. The AVMA predicts the shortage of food animal veterinarians will continue and decline at a rate of 2 to 4 precent a year. 

Kobe has been offered positions working with food animals. Food animal vets have stable hours, better pay and work inside the plant. But at the end of the day, it's slaughter. For Kobe, it's not why she got into being a vet.

Kobe plans on continuing her practice working with horses.  "I loved them as a child, and strangely enough, I still love them now." 

"Yes, there are things that could be better then standing outside in bitter cold weather, but really, there is nothing better then seeing a foal born or like tonight,  helping a horse feel better, " Kobe says.

There is a lot to see in the CICU- stories about families, love and loss. You get to see people at their most vulnerable, their weakest- not only the patients, but the families.

Some stay for weeks and never have anyone with them. Others never have family leave the hospital. The vented patients when coming up are so grateful, so aware of the love that surrounds them, and I feel it brings them back. Then those that are alone so often never wake up, their lives effectively over-  as no one that wants them to come back and resume their lives. Often these are the ones that I find compelling- what made them get to that point? What made them so alone?

Dr. W. remained vented for well over 2 months- his family loving him, his grandson driving up from Notre Dame to watch every game in his Granddads room, sitting next to him, giving him the blow by blow account of the game, cheering for the usual victory-sharing with his Granddad even though there was no obvious response.  Dr. W's neuro status was questionable at best. Late one night when I was in his room, he began to track and I told him what a wonderful dad and granddad he must be, as his family was there, had been there and was so obviously in love with him- his eyes lit up, and he smiled over the vent. 

Dr. W never made it home, but his change to his next life was bathed in love. His was a life well lived and more importantly,  loved.

This past weekend, we had a patient that had WNV- this in itself was surprising, as his is one of 4 cases we saw in MI 2 years ago. He had a caretaker that was amazing- his attention to Mr. J was more then impressive. Being somewhat slow, I did not figure out that they were actually lovers, or had been before this horrific event occurred. He blamed himself- no amount of convincing  and praise for his care was enough to change his mind. He made it out of the CICU, and became (surprisingly) floor status, and it was during this walk that his partner told me their story.

They had been together for over 18 years- met at a Jazz festival in early 1991- and he moved from Canada to be with Mr. J. They were happy and all things good until WNV hit in 2007. When this happened, it struck hard and fast, ravaging his body and brain equally. He went to n extended care facility and almost died in the 3 days he was there post initial hospitalization. 

At this point, his partner decided that he would take care of Mr. J - forgoing his life, even if he did not say this to even himself.  Mr. J was unable to communicate, save for small looks and a sly smile. He has the softest of laughs- one that spoke volumes about him, his being and why his lover stayed so close to his side.  It was clear to me- he did not sleep the entire time he was there- so aware of every move the staff made, being kind to all, yet ensuring that nothing would harm his love. I told him how lucky Mr. J was to have him, and his comment back brought tears to my eyes. 

"I am the lucky one- I want to keep him alive as long as possible, as when he goes, a larger part of me goes along with him."

The day that was a swirl of emotion....

Today the feeling is of loss, sadness and aching- I cannot imagine such a feeling stemming from such a place- from an emptiness I did not even know was there. 
To write this seems stupid- to feel this seems the only thing- but to what end? I am so sad, so miserable, so wanting something but how can I even want something so intangible? I have never felt as if a person made up my being, completed me in such a way. I take at face value what I feel and wrap it up in the softest of emotions, protecting and cherishing it. I feel very protective- and know that this is the right way to feel.
Never want to hurt anyone, never want to cause pain. Never want to pull myself into a vortex of emotion that feels endless. Smart enough to know better. Not able to say "no" in this case. I was not looking- actually really not looking.  Content- I would have called me content.
I am far from that right now. I am a swirling mass of emotions, containing (barely) the energy that pours towards him. I am with him, yet it's not enough. I want more, but don't want to disturb- and am I wrong? I may be wrong. If I am, then this is the strongest wrong I have ever been. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A rather energetic woman, certainly intense in nature, she still seems comfortable in her own skin. Always ready to claim her shortcomings, she also emanates a seriousness that clearly shows she has an opinion and in certain company, will indeed let you know how she feels, be this right or wrong. While she should be out of place in the classroom, being older then many of her instructors and classmates, this does not seem to bother her. She has a purpose, and nothing will detour her from this. Instead, she has a comfort and ease with learning, born of desire and the wisdom that age provides.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Okay- now for some reason I cannot actually get this to copy! Darn it!
But I will continue here- not because I should, but because I cannot not do it.
Better then to continue to bombard with emails.  I sense that I am not in control, tat this is something past me, past my being and sending me into something bigger then me. I am thrilled to be on the ride- feel deeply alive, and fully content if not somewhat stymied and scared for the drop. This feeling of being wrapped up- a chrysalis being formed and I am emerging. Yet, I may be making an error in judgement. How to know if I am not being...past rational behavior??   
I know I am filled with passion, have been and live my life that way. I follow what I know to be true for my heart and deeply follow it- to a point of exclusion at times. This may not be good. 
I want to breath, absorb, share, mix, touch, taste and adore. I want this love story to never end-to be until the end of our time, to pass into the next several lifetimes.   I don't think I can wait for the promise of a next lifetime. I want this lifetime, this energy, this aliveness.
10 feature story ideas....

1)Changes small business are making in order to survive the current economic challenges.
 A business story
Identify local business that is making it in this economy, and the changes that they are making in order to stay in business. What their view is on the coming year

2) Equine Rescue, a labor of love
CANTER, And other equine rescue groups. Slaughter is now outlawed in the USA, and this has caused the numbers of unwanted horses to rise significantly. With hay prices at an all time high, Rescues are suffering greatly

3) Mr. T- and his new heart
Follow the story of a patient that has gotten a new heart- both the positives and negatives. UMMC has a great transplant program, and has performed huge numbers of transplants- there have to be organ donors and loss with all the gain. Complex to say the least! (would be difficult as the laws demand privacy-)

4) How Facebook is bringing people together- even those that are older
Not 100% sure
Talk to the people that gave rekindled friendships on Facebook esp from High school. How has this changed things for people?

5) Community Farm- Stay Local and loyal
Talk to community Farm people and see what their thoughts are and what they serve for the public

6) Living off the Grid- the story of a family that has made it happen
Profile and numbers
Find someone off the grid, see what they are doing and how it works for them

7) The life of a farm vet on the road
Profile and unfamiliar visitor
The Farm vet is alive and well! Its a life that is hard and harkens back to  a different kind of lifestyle 

8) Children of Iraq vets face the holidays
Profile, kind of...
Talk to the programs that provided for kids and talk to the families that have benefited from this
9) FoodGathers face their toughest year ever
Numbers as well as overview
Talk to FoodGathers and find out how their fundraising has gone over the past few years.

10) 2nd careers- why are so many people changing?
Numbers, overview as well as profile
find students that are older and what they are doing back in school!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

well, I am here to say that I am obsessed. That's all there is to it. Not any other way to say it. And it's not fun. Probably never would be fun, and probably is a problem.

Probably a lot.

It is a strange state to be in, and the timing is not good. But can we ever really do anything about that? No, I think not. It's what it is, whether or not we want it or can control it. We can't control it. I am sure of this.

I guess it's what I am anyway, I follow my being totally and without thought at times. That may be a fault, but....

So, off to do my job-with lovely patients this evening, and the odd one, too. But I am obsessed!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How can it get worse?

I suppose that is dangerous to say, but it's so. Things appear to be getting worse for business in MI. Art is struggling, and I fear for him in many ways. Tough times for all right now. I am lucky- I have "been there, done that" as far as money goes, so, yes, scary, but not so bad. I can and will adapt. 

So, the changes that I see need to be made are: Yes, less horses. Priss getting sold will allow me to move 2 horses down south. Tahoe needs to find his forever home.  Wrainthur needs to go someplace, too.  Brings me to...none here for me. Not sure if that will work or not, honestly. Perhaps North can stay here?  Anyway, Reason can go down south for sure.  Donkeys can stay here, or maybe go down south, too. I am SURE Jasmin would love having them there!  Doc is at Cathys, and unless she buys him, he is mine, too. So, actually that might be the best- have him there and ride him there- 200 bucks a month and all's good!

So, that's that. I think I can save about 1000k month with those changes. Pretty big ones, don't you think??

Some day my book will come...some day my book will come!

So, this is a bit late, as Amazon slipped on their prime shipping promise, and my book has finally hit my door- it only took a week, instead of the promised 2 day turn around that I pay "prime bucks" for! :)

So, this may be TOO late, but I shall complete anyway!  

This was in the New York Times, and I chose it for many reasons, primary that these are people I know, in a sport I love, and it's a fairly clear, unbiased look at the issues that are causing problems for the associations that govern the sport.  There was a lot of press around this time, and even more followed shortly after, as we had 2 horses die at our largest Eventing competition in the US just 3 weeks after this article appeared. This has generated a lot of press, but towards a somewhat limited audience. God Forbid PETA ever gets involved! :-)

So, this is a feature piece, that is both a profile as well as an overview story. The Overview part is towards the end, and sums up the profile fairly clearly.   

It is somewhat newsy, but since they are talking about a phenomenon that is happening and has been happening over the past several months, with an organization looking at the possible causes, I feel it falls more into the Overview category. 

The profile of Darren is important, but interesting, as when this was written, Darren was still in the hospital and unable to fully communicate. (He has since made a complete and amazing recovery.) So, while a profile, Darren himself could not speak for himself. There are some nice follow-up stories where Darren does indeed speak for himself, and since Darren is very colorful, it's always interesting to hear what he has to say! 

I think this article could have had more numbers added to it- if the focus was indeed to be about the sport. If it was to be about Darren, then the numbers are unnecessary. If this had focused just on Darren, then talking about all that he has accomplished and the horses and riders he has helped would have added a bit to his creditability.  The irony of Darren being head of the safety committee is not addressed as it might be, too.

What I do like is that she presents things as clearly as possible to an audience that is unfamiliar with the sport.  She has a nice picture of Darren as a lead in, and does not (thankfully) use the picture of the fall in the article. The online version had links to other articles that were more aggressive in their style.

Overall, I think this is a good article, fairly presented, clearly written and deals with a tough subject well.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This was the morning we all dread- Late, Late and snow and ice.   Why that always seems to happen? But I am in class, on time and on this blog!

My goals for this class are to hone whatever writing ability I may have. While I am past the point of thinking I could ever have a career in journalism, I still admire the ability to be able to impart information in such a way.  Jo Mathias...I always look for her stories.  I think I might tend towards the sappy, but forgiving such things and moving past them is my goal right now. 

I read the article on Sanjaya Gupta with great interest- I worked with him for several years at the U. He was amazing then, and I know he will be terrific in what ever path he chooses. His ability to communicate is truly impressive- even then, as an intern, wet behind the ears, he was who patients wanted to talk to- because he was able to impart information in an accessible way. I feel great hope for a lot of the new administration with the choices BO is making (Oh dear- what horrid initials!) to support him in his very difficult job of turning the country around!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is the beginning of my blog for Feature Writing!! 

So, here we go!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I would swear that somewhere I said NO MORE HORSES didn't I? I mean I sold one, and that's good for many reasons. (the mi economy- undeserving of correct punctuation)  

But then I started kind of looking. Bad. Bad.  And I hit pay dirt. 2...2 for almost nothing- well, one was a stallion (yikes) and the other has a fractured sesamoid bone (double yikes). The stars came together, and they came back to Foxview. I adore them. Especially the stallion now gelding, North. He is exceptional. He must have a hole- they all do, don't they? I sure have not seen his yet. He and I strolled in the frigid weather around the property on the trail. He has been on stall rest for 4 days (rather longer, as he has had no turnout except for small times in the arena) Remember- this was a stallion 4 days chain, lose lead, and just like strolling with a friend. I admit, I was probably talking to him as if he would answer.  He is so calm and quiet- so rare in horses, esp OTTB's. I hesitate to say this, but he may be the one I keep thru school. Because he is so damn easy.  Well, he must have a hole, they all do, don't they?

Tahoe is really a comedian. He has been on a lot of stall rest- has 3 more weeks- and is VERY good about it. When I let him walk in the aisle, he is sound (because he does trot! :-) )  and when I am in the barn just doing something- he is watching all the time. HE wants the attention. Now he acts as if he is A)Headshy and B) spooky.  But, here is the thing- I have powerpacked him and given him gastrogard for 4 days now without a halter. So he is a faker in the best of ways. He is going to be a fancy horse, probably more then I need or want for the next several years, so hopefully I can find someone for him. Or then again, maybe not.  I mean, who knows? I just am not sure I can find the time to ride...we will see.

All the news here- class starts soon- not at ALL ready.  But oh well. I am going to see if I have 1/2 a chance to get into PA school next fall. This is a rather long shot (really long shot) but...never know unless you try!  The economy is just shit. No other way to say it. Art struggles, but it's good, because it means he is still at it. I am glad that 2008 is over with.  I have now been at the U for almost 6 months. Amazing how quickly that has gone! (If I was in PA school, I'd be 1/4 done! lol)