Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Diverticulitis, I got it! I don't want it but I drew the short straw. However, it's going bye-bye come the first of the year - thanks to a little thing called surgery, along with approximately 1 to 1.5 feet of my colon.

I've been battling this disease since September 2006 - here it is December 2006 and currently on my 6th relapse, which occurs several days or so after I complete my cycle of antibioitics. I've taken several different types of antibiotic these last 4 months, anywhere from 7, to 10 to 13 days worth and in some relapse more than one type at a time - Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole (known as Flagyl and NASTY!), Augmentin, Levofloxacin.

This last relaps landed me in the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights, which is my second stay in the hospital as a result of this disease. Although, diverticulitis was involved and did become irritated again the bigger problem was something the doctor's were referring to as "C-Diff" or Clostridium difficile colitis. Things appear to be under control at this point and I'm back on the Flagyl, as well as a Probiotic to help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines.

Since September I've had 4 cat scans, as well as a colonoscopy not to mention all the poking, prodding and needle sticks...Oh, almost forgot I had my prostate checked too, at least that's what the doctor told me. It felt like he was checking my tonsils... I've also become a regular in the emergency room. I am down 35lbs to 150lbs, which I haven't seen since my High School days, yikes! Also, in this time I have had to watch what I eat and have not been able to eat the things (junk) that I normally would - no alcohol, no pizza, no chips, no crackers, no nuttin good and I am not too happy about this, especially around the holiday's.

Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully the surgery will be a success and I will be on the road to recovery soon.

Here is some information on Diverticulitis from emedicine and some from WebMD -Diverticulitis


My daughter Emilie and I at the beach.

This was taken at York Beach Maine in August/September of 2005.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Piggy, Piggy, Piggy...

Here is a picture of the new piglets that my friend recently purchased. There are over 15 here but I was unable to get an exact count - you try to count them as they're darting in and out, climbing over each other and wrestling for food.

The males have already been 'fixed' and will go to market when they're at the right size. The females will stay and be bred when old enough to replenish the stock.

This is only one of 3 pig pens. The other 2 have adult pig; pigs that are well over 400lbs in size. The females in these pens are used for breeding and the males - except for the one lucky guy that's kept for breeding, will go to market. Many of the sows in these pens have already been bred and are due in early spring.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

LaMancha (Goats)

I took advantage of the unseasonable weather here in New England today and visited my farmer friend who lives on the south shore. It was in the mid 50's, which is unusual for this time of year. It has been awhile since I'd visited, so it was over due.

He's added a number of new animals to his menagerie since I last visited; beautiful show chickens (bantams) - some pairs and some trios, call ducks, 20+ pig - some new purchases and some from new litters and 3 female LaMancha goats (pictured).

As you can see from the picture these goats are unique in that they have no ears, which is a distinguishing feature. All three of these goats are pregnant and due in early spring. The picture shows three generations; the grandmother is on the right, her daughter in the center and her daughters daughter (granddaughter) on the left.

These three girls are extremely friendly, have a wonderful disposition and love to be involved with whatever your doing. They're already producing milk and need to be milked daily, which my friend is glad and eager to do. He enjoys the taste and say's you can't beat fresh goat milk, not to mention how good it is for you. We can't wait till the babies arrive, as they're sure to be adorable.

History of the LaMancha Dairy Goat

Monday, December 11, 2006

Spotted Salamander

Have a gander at what my dad came across just the other day! Keep in mind that it's December here in New England, so a find like this now is extremely unusual but let me clarify...

It's not that this little guy was on a walk-about. My dad was actually de-installing his sub pump from just outside the basement so it wouldn't freeze. The pump sits in a deep hole that was dug just underneath a grate and crushed stones. Well, this guy had chosen this same place to hibernate for the long, cold winter. Perhaps he was drawn to the cold, dark and damp hole. I didn't want to handle him, so I didn't measure him but I would guess he was close to 7" long.

My dad kept him outside in a bucket, so not to wake him from his winter nap, until we were able to visit. Emilie was excited and refers to him as a lizard. We took a number of pictures before releasing. I placed him near the edge of the wood, under several planks of wood and covered him with some additional cold mulch. Hopefully this will suit him well and keep him safe until March when he'll awaken and make his way to the vernal pool next door for some nookie!!

My dad finding this guy is reassuring to know that they're still out there and doing fine. It also brings back some good memories of when I was young. Come the first full moon in March, ideally on a raining night, we'd put on our rubber boots, grab a flash light and head to the swap in the hopes of finding and seeing these guys on their migration.

I think I will introduce Emilie to this come March 2007.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's Begining To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Hereeeeeeee's the family Christmas tree!

JoAnne and Emilie did an awsome job setting up and decorating the ole family Christmas tree - wouldn't you all agree? Just waiting to be loaded with present...

Emilie's at that age now where she is completely taken by Christmas and all that goes with it. It gives me a renewed appreciation of how special this time of the year really is and just how lucky and fortunate a person (boyfriend, father & son) I am.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jack-O-Lantern 2006

Although Halloween 2006 has come and gone, I thought I'd post a couple pictures of JoAnne's handy, carving work. She did this free hand and completely blindfolded, so you know that I watch my P's and Q's and that I am always on best behavior!


You're a peach Hon!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

I was out in the yard on Thanksgiving morning cleaning out the chicken coop - well it's not really a coop just yet, more like a pen but it needed cleaning regardless so let's not split hairs here OK? Anyway, as I was pitch-forking the bedding out I came across a nice fat Woolly Bear caterpillar. We'd seen a number of them as the fall approached but never this late in the year. I guess the mild New England weather has kept these dudes, as well as other insects and critters, on the move and from going into a full hibernation.

I scooped this dude up and placed him in my jacket pocket for safe keeping and not to lose him - I didn't squish him either AND I actually remembered he was there too! Anyway, as I typically do, this dude was going to Emilie. Let me tell you Emilie eye's lit up when she saw him and screamed, "a woolly bear". She was in her glory with this critter. He was relegated to a Winnie the Pooh dixie cup for several days, which was it's safe haven from when Emilie wasn't holding him and playing with and making him do tricks, stunts etc. She came to us with the boot from one of her dolls - a 'hootchy mama' boot if you will. You know the long, knee high black boots...anyway guess where the woolly bear was 'stuck'?!?! Between you and me he wasn't stuck, he simply found a safe place to stay hidden. Eventually he made his way out and Emilie was once again in her glory. We let him go just the other day, much to his relief and looking forward to finding a safe place to winter.

Woolly bears caterpillars were thought to predict how a coming winter was going to be. According to legend, the wider that middle brown section is (i.e., the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, a narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter. But most scientists discount the folklore of woolly bear predictions as just that, folklore.