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Odds and Sods

Just thought I'd throw a grab bag of tidbits together for you today.

First off, when looking at the stats for my blog, the one post that gets the most hits is when I posted a picture of myself posing as Uncle Fester from the Addams Family. If you Google Fester Addams, my photo comes up fairly quickly. So much for making an impact.

This morning, while lying in bed listening to the boys downstairs natter and chirp, waiting for Buddy to get up and drive them to day camp, Tio started goading Doc to go swimming with his ear ache. Doc has some blood coming out his ear a couple of days ago and he's had shunt implants so we're monitoring it to determine if it is just a scab or something deeper while we consult the doctor. We told him he should probably avoid swimming for various reasons. Then I hear Tio calling him a wuss and other great stuff if he doesn't go in the water. That forced me to get up and intervene.

On the other side of Tio, he really is taking his scootering seriously. He loves it and devotes hours a day to it. He's quite good at the tricks and turns and spins. It's a treat to watch. He's also working hard without complaint on the academic studying I've been giving him every day. I hope it helps him in the fall.

I've been exercising and stretching and bike riding every day to get in shape to fence. I lost 16 pounds so far but my goal is another 10. At the same time, I'm in no hurry to lose all the weight. The regular diet of no sugar and minimal fat and starch plus the exercise will get me there. I don't want to dump weight only to put it back on. I want to be comfortable with how I eat and exercise on and ongoing basis. Right now, cardio and muscle development to prep for fencing are more important.

The other day at camp Doc asked a girl if she'd lift her skirt up and let him have a peek. It was quite innocent but got the adults all in a twitter. They suspended him for a day and wondered if they should take more drastic steps. We told him he can't do that but didn't make too big a deal of it. It's normal enough curiosity for little kids that needs to be curtailed, but no need to panic. Nobody said if she complied.

Kit doesn't like to take his medication. He feels he should be able to do without it even though he has a very hard time getting through the day on his own. I've heard from other parents about their kids being reluctant as well with the behavior meds. It's a strange phenomenon that people will swallow painkillers, cough syrup, antibiotics and an assortment of other pills but draw the line on mental deficit drugs as though they shouldn't need them even when the evidence is clearly to the contrary. Many adults are the same way. There's an inherent stigma attached to needing mental help that just isn't there when it comes to other bodily dysfunctions.

The other night Tish and I saw a tragedy unfold before our eyes. Our home is on a hillside and we have a very nice view of the rolling hills the extend a few miles to the south. At 2 in the morning, during a thunderstorm right overhead, Tish got up. Standing in the front window she saw a lightning strike just beyond the local tree line that started a huge fire. She got me up and we called the police, who were already aware. All we could do was watch helplessly as smoke and flames lit the sky to a backdrop of more lightning flashes sparking up the night grey. The next morning we learned it was a neighbor's house that was burning. The lightning hit a propane tank and a second strike hit their barn. They lost everything. By a stroke of good fortune, the family got out of the house and managed to save their livestock but their entire home was lost. It was so strange to be standing in the quiet of the night while smoke billowed up and on the ground barely two miles away a family was scrambling for their lives, helpless as all their possessions, their entire history, their very sense of safety got wiped out.

It puts the petty disgruntles and inconveniences of our daily struggle, even the things we are lacking and need, into a different perspective. Even a slow struggle like cancer, deadly as it is, pales in comparison to getting your kids out of a burning inferno.

There, as they say, but for the grace of God go I, and we should all be thankful that we have each other to love and fight with.