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Phone days

Today is one of those days.  The phone seems to be ringing off the hook.  Well, it does seem that way.  Neighbor calls twice.  Son once.  Daughter-in-law once, interrupted twice by other calls that I ignored.  Other son called once.  Political three times.  Unknown twice.  And at least one call since then.

It’s very frustrating.  I’m trying to write *ring* when the phone is *ring*ing.  I want to ignore *ring*,…be right back.

*back*  No I don’t plan to vote for your candidate.  Stop asking!

Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah, wanting to ignore the phone.  I would love to turn off all the *ring*ers, but my family is traveling today.  If they have problems, *ring*

*back*  *ring*

*back*  Anyway, like I was saying, if they have problems, they’ll call me to let me know about the issue and to possibly get me to help in some way.  Even though, *ring* I’m limited in what I can do *ring*

*back* because I don’t have a vehicle.  I could call a tow truck or send a friend to help or locate a phone number or just offer support or relay the call to another family *ring* member.

 

*back*  *ring*  No, I don’t want to do a phone survey.  *back*

*sigh*  Where was I?   Oh, yeah, *ring*  “What!?!”  I say to the phone before picking it up and saying, “Hello” very nicely, politely.  *back*

Okay, well, I don’t think I’ll be *ring* able to get any writing done *ring*

*sigh*

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This year my dogs have had more ticks than any other year.  I believe it’s because of the warm Spring and the amount of rain.  Anyway, here in Virginia, the larger, dog ticks are not a threat of any disease.  Out West they could be carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but not here.  They are just a nuisance.

Deer tick size from newly hatched to adult

The tiny, deer ticks are a problem.  These ticks are carriers for Lyme disease which causes a multitude of problems for anyone who does not get it treated right away.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection.  Antibiotics work on it very nicely. In the early stages, symptoms include all-over itching, stiff neck, fever, chills, headache, lightheadedness, and more.  In the early stages, a bullseye pattern may be present around the bite mark.   This bullseye can be small like the one below or it can be quite large with the furtherest edges being twelve inches or more apart.  This is known as Stage 1.

Deer tick bullseye pattern that indicates the presence of the Lyme Disease bacteria.

The symptoms of Lyme Disease can come and go.  They are not constantly present.  Left untreated, Lyme disease spreads to the brain, heart, and joints.  In Stage 2, symptoms include paralysis or weakness in the muscles of the face, muscle pain and pain or swelling in the knees and other large joints, and heart problems, such as skipped heartbeats (palpitations).  This stage usually appears from a few weeks to several months after exposure.

Stage 3 symptoms show up anywhere from month to years after exposure.  The most common symptoms are muscle and joint pain.  Other symptoms include abnormal muscle movement, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, and speech problems.

Deer tick are not born with the Lyme disease bacteria.  They get it from the rodents that they feed upon shortly after hatching.  Snakes, hawks, and other rodent hunting animals help to keep the rodent population in check, thereby reducing the number of Lyme disease carrying ticks.

Whenever you go out into nature, or just in your yard, keep in mind that wherever there are deer, there are deer ticks.  Check your body for ticks and shower when you come inside.  Know the difference between dog ticks and deer ticks.  Look for the bullseye pattern.  If you see it, get treated for Lyme disease.  The doctor may decide to draw blood for the Lyme Titer test along with antibiotics , or may decide to give the antibiotic treatment alone.

Ticks only transmit the disease after they have been feeding for a certain amount of time.  If the tick is just crawling, then it’s not a threat.  Usually, the tick must be feeding for many hours before it transmit the disease.  Being aware is the best way to ensure that you don’t get this disease.

Deer tick vs. Dog tick sizes

My advise is don’t take chances.  Immediately check yourself and others as soon as possible.  Write on a calendar when exposure has occurred.  Keep an eye out for the bullseye pattern.  See a doctor if you suspect exposure to this disease.  It’s better safe, than sorry.

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Today is Earth day.  On this day, thousands of people world wide get together to celebrate the Earth.  There will be giving thanks for the Earth and the many bounties that She gives us.  They gather to talk about solar power in all its many forms and uses.  Electricity and heated water from these cells is a renewable, non-polluting form of energy.  They talk about windmills of all sizes, from small to absolutely huge.  They argue with those concerned about aesthetics citing that windmills provide electricity with no pollution.  There will be talk about cob houses, adobe, straw-built homes, yurts, Earth ships, biospheres, and other types of low impact housing.  There will be talk about electric cars, hybrid cars, and other alternative energy vehicles.  They talk.

Many get together to protest all the wrongs that are being perpetrated on the Earth and Her living beings.  They complain about Monsanto and genetically-modified organisms.  They complain about pesticides and herbicides and the many man-made chemicals that pollute the Earth.  They talk about topics like honey bee colony collapse, in which an entire hive disappears overnight never to be seen again.  In some cases, hundreds of hives disappear overnight.  They also discuss water pollution and treatment chemicals, such as the addition of fluoride to most city water supplies.  They also discuss the depleted uranium that was added to U.S. weapons and as shielding material in most armored vehicles.  They discuss the effects of this uranium on the people of Iraq and their unborn children and future generations.  They talk.

People will talk about electronic waste products and what to do about it.  They will talk about picking up trash along the streets.  They will talk about recycling.  There will be talk about using recycled products.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  They will talk about how most Americans do NOT recycle, and even if they do, many items that could be recycled have no where to go.  There are few businesses that do recycling, and those that do only recycle items they can make a lot of money from recycling.  They do not just talk.

There will be others who will get out there and DO something.  They will be in their gardens.  They will pull weeds, plant seeds, till soil, mulch, transplant.  They will put their hands into the soil that is a part of the Earth.  They will become one with the Earth in Her quest to create life, to create food.  They will tend their animals, milk, water, feed, collect, and share their land.  They will build barns.  They will bale hay.  They will fill silos.  They understand that the Earth supports them and their animals.  They do not just talk.

Then, there will be the people who do nothing on this Earth Day.  They will sit in front of their televisions or computers.  They will not think about the Earth.  They will not consider how their food came to be in their refrigerator.  They will not think about the natural resources that went into making their computers and televisions.  They will listen to music without thinking about the natural resources that went in to making the instruments, microphones, sound board, stages, props, and more.  They will not think about the Earth.

They will not think about the Earth.

They do nothing.

 

I will not do nothing.

I will feed and water my chickens.  I will collect eggs.  I will water my seedlings.  I will enjoy the wildlife that shares my home.  I will recycle.  I will save my used batteries and toner cartridges, and I will take them to the electronics recycling fairs.  I will use responsible products, rather than harmful chemicals.  I will not use herbicides or pesticides on my vegetable or herb gardens, or my flower beds.  I will be responsible.

I will Do something.

Will you?

 

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Like most of the people I know, I have e-mail.  To be more accurate, I have three,…five,…many e-mail accounts.  Yahoo!, Google, Yahoo! again with a different name, webpage, webmaster, and family e-mail accounts…*phew*  Let me make it perfectly clear, I do NOT check every account every day.  Who has that kind of time?  I have a life.  That life is not governed by e-mail or Facebook or website.  If I have things to do in the garden or yard or with family or pets, I ignore my online life.  After all, home life is more important than playing Words with Friends or checking someone’s online status or reposting funny images.  So, as the garden gets busier be prepared to see less of me online.

Just thought I’d let you know that your e-mail might go unread for a few days.  Don’t get upset.  Be patient.  I’ll get to it and you,…eventually.

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