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    HELSINKIKNIGHTS   36,122
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A Tough Year & One Major Gripe

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This past year has seemed like one long nightmare.

A year to the day after my cousin died, my uncle was taken off life support, following pneumonia and surgery, and died. He was just a few days short of his 71st birthday, but his life essentially ended at 35. He was a captain in the Green Berets and served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam. When he finally came home, the army offered him the rank of Sgt. on active duty, so he resigned. He was such a mess mentally, that he never worked another day of his life. Still, he was a lot of fun and much loved by his wife, children and all the rest of his extended family.

We drove to Arizona for his military funeral, which was wonderful and really makes me wish my father's wife had not prevented us from having one for him when he died in '95. He was a Korean War vet and definitely deserved the same honors as his brother.

Prior to this, my daughter and I contracted one illness after another this winter, topped by a weird virus which caused nausea and anxiety attacks.

We were just getting better when, while driving home from the vet where her cat had just died, we hit a pile of slush on an otherwise dry highway and went over a cliff. We flew 30 feet through the air, hit and broke a huge pine tree, landing on our roof 100 ft. down in a ravine. My daughter was driving and did everything right. It was just the luck of the draw.

My daughter got our seatbelts undone, grabbed our purses and, discovering that the back window had popped out, slid out of the car, called for help and climbed the ravine after helping me out. As she clung to the guard rail, trying to flag someone down, the 8th car finally stopped and a very kind woman helped me the rest of the way up.

We walked away from this accident with bruises and a glass cut apiece, for which I will never stop giving thanks. Needless to say, we both suffered some psychological damage. I struggled for weeks to get my daughter in to see someone reasonable, but rather than treat her for the PTSD she was suffering from, she was diagnosed with everything from bi-polar disorder to ADD.

After yet another stomach virus put her in the ER a month later, she walked out of the hospital, filed a complaint at the clinic and had me take her to the local herb store, where she bought herbal and homeopathic remedies and has been fine since. The ER staff, while very supportive, tried to tell us it was all psychological, but when we got home, we discovered that two of her friends were actually in the hospital with the same virus. One of them had to be sedated for a week in order to fully recover.

She's headed back to California in the fall to attend film school, after graduating from homeschool high school in May. We are marvelously proud of her.

Another joyous note: We lost our much loved corgi, Wellington, last November and through a set of mysterious circumstances, guided, no doubt, by Wellie himself, we now have a wonderful
6 month old corgi puppy named Arthur. He is an absolute joy and loves herding our other dogs, Rhia & Simon.

At this point, I've rattled on enough, so now for my gripe:

Is there anywhere one can buy cotton shorts or pants that don't have spandex in them these days? Living rurally, we only have Wal-Mart, but I've searched websites and catalogues, too. I finally gave up the other day and bought some men's shorts just to be comfortable. I can't stand spandex! Short of making them myself.... any suggestions would be most welcome.

Rainy Blessings from the Southwest
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HELSINKIKNIGHTS 6/20/2009 2:37PM

    Thanks, guys. I'm still a little shaky driving on mountain roads, but I know it will get better with time. Never liked it much anyway! Blog update coming soon, with tons of GOOD news.

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SUEB38 6/20/2009 9:30AM

    Holy s**t! I can't believe you went through the air like that - yeah, thank the stars you two are ok! I hit a dead deer in the middle of the highway once, and flew a bit then, and THAT scared me - and that was nothing like what you went through! Blessed be!

I'm so sorry your year has been awful, but am impressed that you two haven't given up. You got a new dog - not to replace the previous one but to continue with the love - and you are still doing Sparks and you and your daughter didn't give up trying to help with the whole stomach problem thing.

Good luck - hopefully it will get better!

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TEXX30 6/20/2009 8:01AM

  Good grief, lady! You HAVE had a rough year! emoticon I am sorry for everything that has happened. I know that this can sound trite - but it is heartfelt: everything does happen for a reason, and we grow from the trauma in our lives. It never makes sense when those we love die.
And I'm also sorry about that illness. I'll tell you, there are many out there that I really don't think the doctor's diagnose right. Unless it is cut and dry (such as the flu, or bronchitis, or cancer...something that is EASY to diagnose) many times they get it wrong, and different doctors diagnose different things. It's frustrating. I hope that everyone is feeling better now.

You know, you're right. It really is difficult to find 100% cotton pants. I was poking around Amazon, and almost all of the pants that I saw had a cotton mix. I found one pair of armani pants that were surprisingly only 88 bucks, but the highest size they had was a 6! Good grief!

Overstock.com had a few 100% cotton pants, but I wasn't sure what kind you were looking for. There was a "Tulle Cotton Drawstring Capri Pants" and a "C&C California Women's Organic Cotton Pants" that is 100% organic cotton. Maybe check Overstock.com out!
Good luck, and take care!!

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