Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dad is home and fine

Greetings all - my dad is back from the hospital and doing well. Surgery was Thursday and the doctor said it went as planned. He was in lots of pain Friday and was loopy from the morphine. He's stubborn enough to continue to push to get better and he came home around 11:00 am today.

We certainly praise God for all this.

He's still healing but is off the super pain drugs and just on regular prescription pain drugs. The family has been great, as have our friends here in Greenville. I plan to return home tomorrow; I just want to make sure all is well this night and help mom if needed.

Kristy took the kids to her parents' house for the weekend. I understand that Stephen is coming back with a light saber and a guitar. Oh boy. At least it's not cymbals. Since he turned 4 he will now get to have all my old legoes, and that will be fun to build with him AND see what he builds on his own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mountain Folk

Heard this quote the other day in person and thought I would share:

"You have to understand mountain folk. We'll get up at 4 o'clock in the morning to either help you or shoot you, whichever is necessary."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Long-Distance Church & Throw Ups

There's a number of disadvantages to going to a church that's 40 minutes from our house. I can think of several but one was quite apparent yesterday. On the drive to church Stephen said his tummy hurt. Ok, I thought, maybe he's a little carsick since I took the curvy road (saves about 5 minutes). When I get to a good spot, we stopped and got him resituated in his seat. He said he felt better, so we went on to church. We got there and as soon as I walked in the door with him, he threw up all over. We ran to the bathroom and did some more. (Need to find a good dry cleaner BTW, since he got my blazer) Since he got his clothes pretty good, we got back in the car and went home.

Stephen is fine by the way - we think he just ate too much in Greenville this weekend and got too wild playing Saturday night. He was his normal self all Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, that 40 minute drive (while VERY pretty this time of year with the fall colors) was mighty long with a sick boy. Also, that means none of us get to go to church, since we can't get home and send a smaller contingent back in time for worship.

Yet, I have strong convictions about where we hold our membership. Our family is reformed, calvinist, and presbyterian. We have been members of the PCA since we were married and I love the denomination (for all our faults). I also love RUF and want to see it firmly established at WCU. I would certainly consider a church in NAPARC. And, I would NOT want to join a non-denominational church - Scripture indicates the connectional nature of the Church and I would not want to give that up, nor the oversight of higher levels. But then, it's one thing to live in Greenville, SC where you can find multiple churches of nearly any presbyterian flavor you want, and another to live in Cullowhee, NC where all the scots-irish seem to have switched to baptist and methodist long ago. I realize such constraints leave me with little choice right now, but we will go with that rather than move on those constraints.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In Memorium - Shannon Dodd

Shannon Dodd passed away on September 30, 2008. She is survived by her husband Tom (a former Clemson roommate of mine) and 2 adopted boys.

More info here.

If I had to attempt to sum up Shannon (which is not possible) I would have to say two things: hilarious and determined. The service in Westminster was beautiful - I believe she would have really liked it. For our mutual friends, please keep Tom, the boys, and the families in prayer. Our hearts are sad, but God is still sovereign, good, and sufficient.

Update on Dad - UPDATED

A quick update on my dad - he possibly does NOT have ALS. Apparently there is a type of cancer that produces ALS symptoms - he has now been diagnosed with that. The great thing is, doctors can do something about cancer. Also, once the cancer is removed, the ALS symptoms tend to fade over a few months. He's going for surgery on the cancer later this month, and we pray that this will take care of the issues.

Praise God for his unusual and amazing blessings.

(updated on 10/8 to correct a few details)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chestnut Weevils

This year, we've discovered that there is a Chinese chestnut tree in our yard. I was glad to find it was something "useful" as the tree has been dropping the nuts for quite a while. This is the bur in which the nuts grow and drop.

They look fuzzy - but I grabbed one to move it off my car, and ouch - they're really sharp! So we have these sharp things all over part of our yard for now.
Stephen and I went out one day to harvest the nuts. Stephen really got into it. Long after I felt 'done' (we had more than enough for a batch), he kept picking; he was determined to fill the bucket, which he did. I combined parts of different recipes to prepare one batch and we ate a few.
Several days later I discover white larvae in my kitchen trash. I proceeded to clean the kitchen and look for any other evidence of life in my kitchen. I remembered having thrown away some chestnuts that looked 'invaded'. I checked the bucket of nuts and there were lots and lots of them! Glad I hadn't gotten around to giving the nuts away, I got rid of them - my faith in my housekeeping ability restored.
After a little research, I found that they were chestnut weevils.

The eggs are laid inside the nut before they fall from the tree. The larvae then eat the chestnut, eat their way out of the nut and go underground for 1-2 years. With a 2-3 year life cycle, it will take a while to get rid of these. This was a rental house until our purchase, so the infestation is probably complete.

The good news is that a major control method, called sanitation, involves keeping the nuts off the ground and in something like a plastic bucket. Stephen has shown his aptitude for picking up chestnuts, so I will definitely enlist his help. This year is pretty much shot since there are nuts that have been on the ground long enough to yield more grubs - but I like to think our one harvest made a little dent.

Maybe by the time the pests are gone, I will know what I'm doing....