Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2018 in a Nutshell!

Hi Folks!!

If anyone is still out there paying attention, or just wondering what in the world happened to Mark, I've got some updates and some answers!!

Homestead updates:
This year was not a bad garden year, but not our greatest either.  It was cold and really wet early on and our green beans (like most other folks in the area) just didn't come on well.  That being said, we ended up with about 70 something pints against the 130 something pints from last year.  Not awful, but we're hoping for better next year.  The other crops survived the cold spring reasonably well, and we had a number of harvests like this - less the butternut squash and sweet potatoes - over the season.  The pictures don't include the obligatory over abundance of summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes that most everyone has most years!

I had some good help getting the crops out of my weedy garden some days.  I love when they ask Papa if they can go work in the garden with me.  The two city girls have developed a love of working the garden. It makes a Papa proud!  They've also developed a love of digging for worms.  Don't get that one, but I always tell them "Have at it!"  A couple of the grands just didn't seem to be up to helping out!  Maybe next year!
Getting the last of the tomatoes and peppers

Ok - Gratuitous grandkid picture!! 
 With all that help De , along with a little assistance from me, got a lot of canning done and we were able to put up a nice variety of yummy things for the family and us.

Sweet potatoes and carrots

We love all the colors!!

We also had some great family times!  One of the highlights was being able to dance with Daughter #1 at her wedding!  It was a wonderful, magical day and we added another amazing son-in-law to the family.

Daddy didn't cry...  too much!

Lastly, I got some answers to my long running health questions, but had a couple of rough spots along the way.  After months of appointments and tests and a half a dozen doctors I have a diagnosis: It's not Lupus, it's Polymyalgia Rheumatica.  It's an autoimmune condition that attacks muscle tissue. It's not, at least on it own, degenerative but it causes a boatload of pain and some serious fatigue.  There's no cure, but it's surprisingly easy to beat into remission with a couple of years of low dose immune suppressants.  In the grand scheme of things that's good news!

There were some rough spots along way that are a lot more amusing looking back on them than they were at the time.  One of my mid-stream pain medication protocols didn't suit me very well and I ended up passing out while on my feet.  At a fancy company "Winter Celebration".  In front of 500 coworkers and spouses, and with a 4 piece string ensemble playing in the background.  I ended up with a concussion and don't remember much but I'm told there were a handful of medical professional spouses looking after my pasty, prone, and out-like-a-light self as I lay on the floor right in front of the hors d'oeuvre table.  I was out for about 20 minutes, and only have a few 'snapshot' memories of the next two hours.   I'm told there were security folks, and two policeman, and no less than two fire trucks with crews, all before the paramedics arrived.  I have a lot to live down!

The concussion is mostly better but I'm still light sensitive and get frequent headaches.  I also hurt my right hand on the way down.  I expected it would eventually get better with time like most hard bumps but it didn't.  After shameless procrastination and considerable urging from De I finally went in "just to have it checked out".  It took me awhile so sort out the radiologist's report (the family doc just said 'fractured'), but near as I can tell I ripped one of the ligaments in my thumb clean off the bone and took a chip with it.  I see the hand doc tomorrow who will tell me if it's Ginsu knife time, just a cast, or something else.

Even with all that, I'm doing better that I have in a long time.  They have my pain meds tuned up pretty well with no narcotics involved.  I'm getting around most of the time without my cane, and that just in time to dance with my daughter at her wedding!  I'm on a good path and am looking forward to feeling even better!  One more time, I am so blessed!

Col. 1:9-12



  1. First off, SO good to hear from you! Secondly, you have such a great positive outlook on life and your gratitude shines through no matter what. Your lovely family is growing, growing. Fun to see the pictures of it all. I'd say you got quite a bit from your garden even though you may not have been able to take care of it in the way you wished. Amazing the way those wonderful veggies will fight right next to the weeds for their own space. It's wonderful that your health problems are now getting under control. But nothing like passing out cold to get maximum attention from 400 people. Way to go! Hope the hand "thing" can be quickly resolved. Keep us updated, please.

  2. Thanks, Mama Pea. Wasn't sure there would be anybody out there!!

    It's so nice to be feeling better. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to get up and feel good.

    I've decided that sons in law and grandkids are worth every bit of the aches and pains of getting older. I love it all!!

    I'll let you know how things go and try to got posts out a lot more often.

  3. Mark! It's always good to hear from you. I'm so sorry your physical problems have continued, but also I know it's a relief to know what's going on. Glad you still did so well with your garden. That's a lot of jars of canned goods!

    1. Thanks, Leigh! Health has been a challenge, but prayers and help from friends carried me through. I'm definitely on the upswing and feel so much better than I did 6 weeks ago.

      I'm eager to get back in the garden for another year!!

  4. Mark what can I say? Echo “you are blessed!”

    So much going on at your homestead and all heading in a positive direction. Congrats on the new son-in-law and the lovely bride!

  5. Thank you, Goatldi! I have been blessed through it all even, or maybe especially, on the hard days.

    De and I are definitely enjoying another addition to the amazing family that God has blessed us with!