Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Blur

First of all, my apologies for being AWOL for the past 3 weeks.
It has all been a big blur.
I didn't expect to be gone from here that long but I will try to explain.
Let me preface this by saying all is well now and we have all lived to tell the tale.

After we last spoke on June 12th, i set about the task of trying to ready the house for my parents to arrive from Florida on friday the 17th for an extended visit.
There was a lot to be tackled, I needed to excavate the bed in the spare room/office which is where my computer lives, clean out all the debris of past art projects which had taken over all the usable spaces and surfaces and try to finish yardwork we had been putting off for a cooler day.
That cooler day came on tuesday the 14th, my Mom's 70th birthday. I decided that was the day i would get out and trim all the hedges and bushes and everything overgrown as shown in the photo below.
The restaurant is closed on mondays and tuesdays so it was a perfect plan. Cleaned all day monday, yardwork all day tuesday.

I don't have an after shot yet, this is the before shot, but i'll post one as soon as i can.
I always do the trimming and my husband does the raking and carting away and cleanup in my wake. A good system, as long as each person knows where the other is.
I have electric hedge trimmers, good sized ones. I was happily trimming along out front while the husband was busy out back first. I inevitably found myself in the all too often position with electric hedge trimmers, the cord was very close to where i was trying to cut.
I saw it and was in control.
That is until my husand came up behind me and yelled "don't cut the cord !"
at which point I jumped, turning startled at his voice right behind me, and promptly sent blue sparks flying as i cut the cord.
After finding another 100 ft cord, I continued trimming high and low until all was neat and tidy.
We decided we had earned a jump in the pool to relax and cool off around 5 when i suddenly remembered it was our oldest grandson's last little league game of the season and we promised to be there.
When we got home, I was really cold with chills, enough so that I ran a hot tub and just soaked for awhile.
I was covered in scratches from all the bushes and hedges but nothing that would warrant chills I thought.
Until the next day when i was on my way to work and noticed that what i thought was 2 scratches on my forearm looked suspiciously like bites. My first thought, was "Oh no, not another spider bite" ( bad experience in 2005, another story)  but as soon as my daughter took a look at it she said "That looks like a snake bite to me, our cat was just bitten by a black snake on his tail the other day" Her cat spends a lot of time under one of the large camellias i trimmed by our garden shed.
When my parents arrived on the 17th, my Dad confirmed he thought it was a snake too about which time i found 2 identical marks on my lower leg, same exact size and distance apart. Hence the chills. I have since been told there are an unusual amount of black snakes around this year and both pets and people are getting bit. Fortunately they are not poisonous, do not attack humans as a rule, only when threatened ( large electric hedge trimmers will work just fine) and usually just dry bite, no venom as a warning shot. The bites on my arm did swell and were filled with unpleasantries but as i said, i lived to tell the tale.

Then on the 17th as my parents were travelling up, my daughter called me from work and said she was on her way to the ER to meet her husband who was injured at work. The boss called her and asked her to meet them there, details were sketchy at first. He does constuction with a company that goes in and will remove hazardous materials from a job site, such as asbestos etc. They were working on removing a ceiling and the tile system in an elementary school. They had arrived to start, had been told the electric was cut off to that part of the building so that they could work. my son in law was on a very tall ladder, pulling the ceiling apparatus down when an electric cable dropped out of the ceiling, striking him in the chest, electrocuting him. The force was powerful enough that it knocked the ladder out from under him, he was holding a piece of the metal framework in one hand , which made a complete circuit and would not release him, so he was dangling from the ceiling by this metal, being electrocuted the whole time. The other workers knocked him free but then he fell to the floor unconscious, hitting his heels and head on the concrete/tile floor of the cafeteria kitchen area. The electricity escaped his body through his arm blowing a hole in it in the process. His co workers thought he was dead at first. The Drs. told my daughter had he not been holding the metal frame she would have been planning a funeral that weekend.
He basically suffered a heart attack as a result with his cardiac enzymes still not normal, hopefully will be soon, they had to piece his arm muscles together and try to close the hole with 38 stitches, and they put his arm in a brace to immobilize it, his heel was smashed and they put that in a boot. He had a concussion with some brain swelling, lost his short term memory and hearing. They wanted to admit him but my son in law just wanted to go home. Not good but we couldn't convince him otherwise. he spent the next 4 days returning to the hospital for tests and each day things got worse. We were told it is hard to know exactly how electrocuted a person is, they just watch for signs and symptoms to tell them. well, by monday we were looking at worst case scenario, his kidneys were shutting down and his heart enzymes were still very high. By thursday they would determine if he neded to go to Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore where "they would discuss his options"
By thursday the 30th they saw the slightest decline in both the kidney function numbers and the heart enzymes so we are hopeful. he continues to go back for checks, has had his stitches out and has begun physical therapy. His memory is getting better and so is the hearing in one ear.
In the meantime, their youngest and our youngest grandson, celebrated his 3rd birthday on the 21st and i did dinner and cake and presents at our house not knowing what was going to happen and to give my daughter a break.
Also during this time, the restaurant had it's busiest day,the 19th,  father's day, and we had invited my parents over to celebrate with dinner while we worked and surprised my Mom for her 70th.
In all the confusion, i now realize i have no pictures of any of that.

We kept the grandkids when we could and i picked up a nasty sinus infection/chest thing from that little 3 year old there, requiring a 10 day course of antib's that i am happy to report i am finishing today. But it has not been fun.

Last week on the 29th, my parents graciously drove my sick self over to Assateague Island to witness the launch of a Minotaur rocket  from Wallops Space center. We were getting play by play updates from my son as he was working the launch doing Comm's for the first time and we were all very excited.
I'm sorry to say that these pictures don't do it justice. It was magnificent. It was 11:09PM, balmy around 80*, the night was black, no moon, and there had to be a gazillion stars in the sky. it was like sitting in a planetarium. And as the rocket launched and ripped through the sky, it travelled over us out over the ocean.

Once out over the ocean, the rocket boosters dropped giving us some pre 4th of july fireworks

I have been unable to post here or read or catch up with anyone as my computer is in their room, they can't sleep with the light from the monitor so it stayed off most of the time, besides everything else going on.
Other than that, we had some freaky storms and really hot weather. Spent time in the pool with the kids. The garden is taking off with all the rain as is the mosquito population!
4th of July fireworks were interrupted for storms so i don't even have those to share! But we did all get together for a cookout at my daughter's on the 4th to celebrate our son in law's birthday so it's all good!

The swallowtails are starting to show up and I planted some new butterfly bushes after having ripped out an overgrown one that yard day.
 I have really missed my I heart macro sundays!

The visit with my parents was wonderful though, we worked on a few projects, went to a photography lecture on Chincoteague about the art of seeing by an reknowned National geographic photographer, made some jewelry, made soap ( i'll post about that later) ate way too much and in general enjoyed each others company. I'm sure i'm forgetting a lot right now, as I said, it's a blur.
They left this afternoon, heading up to New Jersey to visit with my brother and other family for a few weeks before returning.  I have a lot of catching up to do, lots of reading and writing.
In the middle of it all i missed my one year blog-iversary last week so i promise to make up for that too with a giveaway soon!
Thanks for sticking with me!


  1. Oh my, Laura! I am praying for your family....your son in law's accident sounds terrible. I hope he is now on the road to recovery, what a scary situation! Hugs (and peace and good thoughts) to you!

  2. I can't believe you can even put a sentence together after all that Holy Moly - wishing all of you a very non eventful summer! XOXOXO God Bless!

  3. Laura - I have been thinking about you and your son-in-law. I'm glad to hear he is on the mend. Can't wait to see you on the 16th. Hugs, Bette

  4. Hello Laura....this is my 3rd time attempting to leave a comment on your blog - my Internet here at the beach is dispicable! :-0

    First and foremost, I am so very relieved that your son-in-law will be okay. What a nightmare that he went through, so much pain, trauma and worry...and now the road to recovery. I'm glad to hear he is making steps and is home with the family. I can only imagine what he has ahead of him, but each new day is progress.

    I'm glad you had a good time with your parents and your Grandson's birthday. And congrats to your son with his first rocket launch! Now I know why we didn't hear from you for a few weeks! You can sure pack a lot of action in a short period of time! We missed you in Blogland.

  5. Your life sounds so chaotic at the moment. I'm so sorry about your SIL and your snake bites. Ouch! But glad you had a good visit with your parents. Your macro photos are stupendous -- really, really great! I hope things a calmer and healthier for all in your family!


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