Thursday, October 28, 2010

Every Name.

There is something about me that most people don't know.  In fact, I don't think my own husband even knows.

Each time I drive to the City (which is almost daily), I pass a veterans memorial.  About once a week or so, I stop.  I get out of my car, and I go to the Walls.  I read the names. 

I don't know anybody else who does.  There's hundreds.  I know a lot of them - or of them.  Or know their children, or grandchildren.  Their names are inscribed there for a reason.  They gave of themselves - walked away from so much - carry burdens that cannot be lifted - many of them gave all.  All.  For you, for me... for their country.  There are so many walls like this - more all the time.  Black, marble walls with white names.

I can't read them all.  Can't remember them all.

But on these walls... on the walls I drive by, on the walls I see nearly every day... on these, I can read the names.

And I do.

I read every one.  Every one deserves to be read.  To be remembered.  There are six who I went to high school with, who have already reached their eternal destination... six names next to which I rest my hand, and sometimes get teary eyed. 

But I don't stop their... it's where I go first, but then I move forward.  I start at the beginning, and walk all the way around both walls.  I read every name.

There is something I'd like to ask you.  It doesn't matter if you support war, or this war, or your home country or your own government.  That's not what those walls are about.  They are about the people who believed so strongly in something that they were willing to sacrifice all... and who were willing to do what most of us never would dare.  Not just the heroics and the danger to self... but the taking of lives.  The destruction.  The devastation.  The nightmares that won't stop, seeing the young faces in crowds and thinking for just a moment, it's that one person... that one enemy soldier who turned out to be still a boy and not yet a man.  It is that, those things we abhor, those things we despise... they were willing to bear that burden for you.  Remember that.  Remember that they believed, that they stood for what they knew in their hearts.  Remember that they chose to make the greatest sacrifice they could... for people like you and me. 

Remember that.

And read every name.  Even if you do it just once... read every name.  Each has a story, a life, a family... and each deserves to be read.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leg Update.

Have had a few people wondering how my leg is doing... so I thought I'd post an update.  I am 5.5 months post-op, and almost 33% of the way through the "active healing" phase.

The graft is doing well, after I split it open a while back.  Other than the scars from that, it looks pretty good.  It's turning colors, and is closer to the color of my regular skin.  There's something going on with one of the muscles in the front of my shin - it hasn't functioned since I bruised and split things. 

Yes, I bumped the contrast a little on this, so you could see the outlines of the muscles.  See that big gap in my shin?  That's not supposed to be there.
It's hard to sit idly by as adhesions form between the graft and the muscle facia, since I know eventually they'll tear free.  Surgeon sais absolutely no efforts are to be made to stretch or break them until after that 18 months, though, so... I watch.  The medial edge of the graft is adhered to my periosteum.  THAT part of it actually really hurts.  Very sensitive to the touch, very uncomfortable if it gets pulled on.

But over all, I am thrilled with how well it is doing.  It is healing, I have TWO functional legs, I am alive.

And as a friend said the other day... it's starting to look like a leg again.  :)

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Sunday, October 24, 2010


Meet Kaiah.  She is about 4 months old, and is from the a previous litter by the mother of our current fosters.

I have to admit... she's stunning.  Her eyes seem to shoot sparks, and are the palest blue I believe I've ever seen.  She's marked mostly like a lopsided siamese, but does have the "eye-shadow" on one eye, and the tips of her ears are peach.  But more than her physical beauty, she possesses a zest for life that amazes me.  And I want her in the WORST way...

Unfortunately, Kaiah is too loved by her family - they won't let me steal her.  ;)

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Have Kittens.

I know, I know, we're too busy to be fostering.  And yet... there are FOUR two week old kittens in our bedroom right now.  Two tiny bottles in our fridge.  And a container of Clavomox.  And we are remembering how much we love doing this.

First, I want to introduce Chaileh (HIGH-yeh) - the name is derived from the Hebrew word for "alive."  Chaileh did not survive.  Her mom had distemper while pregnant, and of the six kittens, three ended up with cerebral hypoplasia.  One died within the first week.  Chaileh did okay, and then we got called to go get her because she was fading fast.  We brought her home, filled her with fluids, put her on and under heat and she still shivered, and gave her as much antibiotic as her tiny body possibly could have handled... but it wasn't enough.  When it became clear she was dying, I did give her some pain medication so it didn't hurt.  THIS is why I don't hesitate to tell people - SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS.

This is Kiryoku.  His name means "Inner Strength."  Of our four remaining kittens, he was in the worst shape when he arrived.  Very passive, very weak.  Didn't have any interest in eating.  Could barely lift his head.  No hair on his chest or throat.  But he's a whole other kitten after just 48 hours.  Still looks silly with the missing hair, but is doing well over all.  We call him Yoku.

This is Tabibito.  His name means "Voyager" and boy, he sure is.  He's into EVERYTHING.  Has to see, has to touch, has to smell, taste... If we thought we could possibly add a 5th cat to our own permanent menagerie, he would probably never leave our home.  BUT, we can't.

We call him Tabi (TAH-bee).

This is Kaminari.  His name means "Thunder."  In the picture, he looks a little big gray and not all that cute.  In reality, he is stunning.  Jet-black, gorgeous baby boy.  Although he did pee all over the bed tonight.  Not his fault - we didn't make sure his bladder was empty before we let him wander.  He's got spunk, and out of all of them, seems the healthiest.  He jumps - or tries, anyway.  He can barely walk, but he launches his tiny self into the air, and usually either gets hung up on whatever he's trying to jump over or falls on his face.  Doesn't bother him a bit.  He likes to put his front paws on faces and lick noses, and he sucks his thumb while he sleeps.  I have GOT to find a way to photograph that fact.

We call him Nari (NAH-ree).

This sweet little girl is Kohtamashii.  Her name means "Fire Spirit" or, as we in America would say, "spitfire."  She is, too.  She's very intense.  She also is the crankiest of all of them.  Sadly, she also has hypoplasia, but not to the degree the other two did.  She's just got some of the classic signs - the head wobble, a bit of muscle weakness, lack of coordnation, and her feet don't really do what she wants a lot of the time.  But she will be able to walk, maybe even manage a clumsy run.  She can never be an outside cat, so it's a good thing she's already got an inside home lined up.  We call her Kohta.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

What We Remember.

In my shortage of words (yes, I actually do occasionally have a shortage of words), I have chosen a video.  I don't care if you watch it... but listen to it.  I don't have anything to say about war, or when it's right or wrong (or IF it's right or wrong).  All I can say is that I believe it is right to support those who are willing to sacrifice everything for something they believe is worth fighting for.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010


I apologize for asking for prayer and then disappearing.

Because of certain people reading this, I can't really say WHAT the mountain is yet.  But it's still there, looming up in front of us.  Big, scary, intimidating.  I know this is just a season... but it is a difficult and scary season, one filled with choices to make and things to do that are terrifying in so many ways.

We're okay though.  We will keep being okay.

We still love God.  Still serve Him.  And that's not going to change.

Soon, I'll be able to tell you about this mountain and to thank you for the prayers.

Meanwhile... I will try to come up with something to say here.  :)

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