Monday, May 19, 2014

weed eater vs push mower

In the past, I've not been crazy about a weed eater and have used the push mower as much as I could, to the point I think I surprised my husband with how much could be accomplished with a push mower (specifically in the ditch in front of the house). Growing up, we didn't have a weed eater, and so we used the push mower for everything.

This weekend I tried weedeating the ditch instead of using the push mower, as all the boys who've cut grass for us in the past preferred that.  And now I'm not sure which is the best method.

A weed eater takes longer, much longer...as in, I'm still not done with the trim work.
However, a weed eater is much easier on the ankles and shoulders. Instead of having to fight inclines, you can simply stand in one spot and move up and down the sides...harder on the hands and forearms, but I didn't turn my ankle or feel my foot slide in my shoe once. So as far as ease, weedeater hands down.

But as far as time goes...a weedeater does not cover the wide swath that a lawn mower does, so that adds to the time frame. A weedeater has string that might/might not advance properly (or runs out), so you spend time repairing that, and the gas tank for a weed eater obviously is not as large as that of a pushmower, so you spend a lot more time trekking back and forth out of the ditch to refill it (okay, only twice). There's also the safety feature, as a lawnmower's cover around the motor protects the eyes and upper body from blades of grass and small rocks being thrown at you.

My jury is still out about which method I'll use from here on out. But I will say this: I hate trimwork (it ranks right up there with exercise) and I'm finding it a little scary that I dread it so much after having only done it three times this spring.  That does not bode well for the summer and its hot temps.

Friday, May 16, 2014

fact check

On Mother's Day, a friend of mine posted a link to this blog post that made me both sympathetic and mad at the same time.

I've read many articles, most by Moms, a few by nurses, addressing the whole medical terminology of "abortion".  Bascially, the term abort means "to stop", so an abortion means a stop or termination of the pregenancy. Medically, it has always been used to define a miscarriage. After the 1970s in America, it also came to mean a voluntary ending to a pregnancy, often labeled as a "selective" abortion after numerous women began complaining after learning their miscarriage was on their medical charts as an abortion. My heart goes out to any woman who has to deal with such a situation, especially in the case where something was medically coded incorrectly.  But I fear the author of this post is totally ignorant when it comes to our country's history, specifically in cultural matters.

Women who lived prior to Roe v. Wade will tell you that people didn't discuss sex back then - period. The word pregnant was simply not used, at least not by polite society. The term "with child" or "expecting" was most often said. I've heard countless women in their 80's talk about their shock or horror the first time they heard a preacher or Christmas program refer to Mary as being "pregnant" with Jesus.  It was revolting, crude, and scandalous to them.  (and people certainly didn't tell their other children they had babies in their tummy or wear clothes that revealed your "condition" to others...that subject will keep my mother-in-law talking for quite a while!) And just as pregnancy in and of itself wasn't discussed, neither was a miscarriage. I've heard more than one older woman tell a young woman who was grieving or hurting after a miscarriage "At least you can talk about it. When I was your age, it was never, ever mentioned. I lost two (and at this point their son's or daughter's mouth would drop open in shock) and it was never mentioned by anyone, except my husband who said something once or twice in private." And the irony of some of those settings was that prior to that elderly person coming in and saying that, the young, grieving mother had just moaned that no one seemed to care, not realizing the fact that a) people knew and b) she could publicly state that was monumental in and of itself.

Yes, there is a small degree where America's abortion industry has destroyed the right to mourn the loss of a child. But I think the larger reasoning behind that is because historically people have not mourned the loss of children who didn't survive the birth process...children died far too often and easily to mourn one who had never been held, fed, or legally named (ie, one that didn't exist by community or government standards). That's cruel and hard to read/write, but it's true. I've heard many, many older women say after hearing about a miscarriage, "Well, that's God's way of taking care of things" (or those not Christians would say "nature's way") and I think those statements, while perhaps true, are even worse to tell someone than not saying anything at all.

How do you grieve or express sympathy for the loss of someone you've never met, never held, never clothed? For all but the mother and father, that child was simply an unfulfilled hope and promise. No one (on earth anyway) but the parents had felt that child kick and grow; no one but the parents (or grandparents) had begun to dream or plan for that child's life.

My heart hurts for anyone who has suffered in this way. But despite the suffering, we can't say our refusal to mourn or grieve in these situations is a result of the abortion industry. Neither history nor reality supports that social theory. And I think we as Christians, especially Christians, need to continue to "provide things honest in the sight of all men". (Romans 12:17 -KJV)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

not looking forward to this...

Yesterday Bobby told me there was a news article I would be very interested in. I was, but not in a great way.

The Federal Communications Commission has requested that every phone provider submit proposals detailing how they would move all customers to wireless phones (ie, do away with landlines).  Carbon Hill, AL (where my aunt lives and my Granny Rea lived the last 20 years of her life) was chosen as one of the two cities in the US where this will be tested to see what kind of problems businesses and the government can expect to encounter. I wish they had moved it 25 miles south to the community of Curry where cell reception is so HORRIBLE that many people refuse to give up their landlines or else drive into town to call anyone because the few signal towers don't have enough strength to reach all the valleys.  Not only that, but high speed internet simply does not exist there for anyone without cable. That's one of the reasons Bobby somewhat enjoys visiting my parents...you're almost totally disconnecting.

But for us, this means an even larger problem looms: cell phones are not handicap friendly. In the beginning, they were. But ever since we had to turn in his dinosaur of a phone because they no longer make batteries for them, we've had a nightmare of a time finding a cell phone that is very user friendly for him.
His old phone was wide enough that it would stay in place in his hand without slipping out (much like a land line phone will), and the buttons were large enough that his thumb that has no working muscles could press without pressure.  Now? I hot glued an elastic strip on the back of a phone (which hasn't helped any as it's more likely to be dropped as he attempts to get in place...which means no way to pick it up and no way to call anyone), but the buttons are so small and require pressure that even if he can manage to press it against something to help push a button, it's more likely going to push more than one button. We tried three different stores when searching for this the phone he has now, was flat out told at two places: "We're sorry, but there's nothing available like that" (large buttons that has no case or flip), and finally ended up buying a disposable phone at Target. It's not great, and he's only used it once in several years (and we cheered that he managed to make a call on it after several non-working attempts).  We've kept our land line and not gone to smart phones because it works for him. He can usually manage to pick up and hold the receiver. He can push all the buttons on the phones to make a call. If we have to do away with that and go to a cell phone, what happens when he (or I) need help? He was laughing this morning that he'll just have to leave me in the floor and drive somewhere to get help, of it it's him in need of help, he'll just be stuck until I get back home. That's not funny to me. As much as part of me would love to have a smart phone, the price is simply not justifiable for us. I can't rationalize paying double or triple what we pay now for a phone that's not 100% usable for both of us. (I'm also not crazy about the gps tracking and lack of security in cell phones.)

Either way, it's coming. It's really just another hurdle, and like my father-in-law told me when I was learning to care for Bobby, sometimes it's a matter of thinking how to best solve the problem instead of focusing on the fact there is a problem. He came up with some very creative solutions to things that worked well (and for a lot less money than things the medical field provides). I know this will be one of those things that we'll one day look back and laugh at, but at the moment, it's not funny at all.

Monday, May 12, 2014

slow, not steady

I cleaned/organized 3/4 of my work room last month when I couldn't find a quilt square I had made (and needed to complete a block for class). Ever since, I've been quite resolute in this being the year of unfinished projects (but I can so easily manuever around that one...I mean, if I have the pattern and the fabric already purchased and set aside...that counts as an unfinished project, right?).  I'm almost finished completing one project, and the time out the last two weeks with yardwork, garden stuff, animals, and elections have given me a lot of time to THINK about what needs to be done and what I'd like to tackle next. Unfortunately thinking seems to be all I have time for lately.

Meanwhile, it's strawberry season in NC, which means I hope to get quite a few to put up (including a few pints of jam for my niece's birthday) in the next few weeks.

And in the midst of life's normal craziness, my heart is in AL a lot lately. We're doing the waiting game...again.  Looks like we won't have answers to the latest round of tests for Mom until the 28th of this month. People who don't think our medical system in America is in need of an overhaul obviously don't use it very much...and that's all the ranting I'm allowing myself to do today.