Thursday, June 21, 2012

Strawberries - The Cure for Lyme's Disease

No, strawberries won’t cure Lyme’s disease, but there are plenty of people out there suffering from it and wondering  if they'll ever get better - just like I was last fall.  You won't find a lot of encouragement on the internet, so I thought I would post something positive.  Last October both of my knees were so swollen that I could barely walk.  I thought I just had a bad case of tendonitis but then the blood test came back “strongly positive” for Lyme’s .  That scared me a lot. Surfing the internet for information on Lyme's didn't help.  Seems like there's a lot of horror stories out there, so maybe you'd like to hear one with a happy ending.  Yes, I had a bad case of Lyme’s.  It actually may have been my second case, for I had nearly identical symptoms three years earlier and had fully recovered.  In this instance, I took a prescription of the antibiotic doxycyclene for four weeks and slowly improved thereafter.  I began to cross country ski again and even played ice hockey at Christmas.  The knees were still sore, but improving.  When spring arrived I was riding my mountain bike again.  I don’t know if I have fully recovered or am just in remission, but I can now fully bend my knees and squat without pain.  Last fall I could hardly bend them enough to walk down stairs.  Where do strawberries come in?  Simply this: a couple of days ago while picking strawberries it occurred to me that I could never have done this six months ago.  My knees would have killed me. Now they are pain free. So don’t be discouraged by all the horror stories.  I had a real “impressive case”, in my doctor’s words, and now I am fully mobile again with no residual symptoms.  Keep your head up, take your meds, eat healthy, get your exercise and last, but not least, pray.  You may or may not fully recover, but either way, life is good.

The classic strawberry picker pose, made famous by STK.

19 quarts, a season high for our little patch.  My PR back in the day when I was a professional strawberry picker  (@ 7 cents/quart) was 93.

Strawberries = Summer!

Daniel's & Gwen's Big Day

Not many fathers get a new daughter for a Father's Day and birthday present.  I  did, one day early.  Welcome to the family, Gwen.  Congratulations, Daniel, you finally landed her.

Gwen wanted a picture with some evidence of Daniel's neo-hippy, homesteading roots, so we set them in front of the woodpile and the sheep netting.  Gwen has a strong dislike for woodticks, so she didn't want to get in the grass.  Would have made for an interesting wedding if she had noticed one on her person during the ceremony.  But ticks are part of life and when your kids start bringing them home they'll lose their power to inspire good drama.

The best way to take pictures is when someone else is taking pictures and your subjects are looking off camera. 
All dressed up and nowhere to go....

Somebody's laying it on pretty deep here.

It was a warm, humid day and the boys were lucky that Daniel didn't have them wear coats.

You need a wide church when the wedding party is this many.

Norman Rockwell's America



Proud parents

There's a lot of love in this picture.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Alkukesa - Summer Begins

Tall and trim with impressive horns, Helga is one beautiful ewe.

Gunnar's horns are curling out nicely.

Tuovi at the Wiitala farm.

Sauna and well house.

Evening sun.

The old granary, now a woodshed.

So many good memories at this place.  It's always a pleasure to visit.  You can hear the quiet and really see the stars in the evening.  Thank you Peter and Patty, for taking such good care of it.

Portable electric netting allows us to move the sheep onto fresh grass.  It keeps the sheep in and predators out.  Our dogs have touched it - but only one time each.

Marja wanted to get all the sheep together for a picture so she tapped on an empty bucket.  When they all stood there baa ing she felt guilty and got some oats for them.  All you need to do is walk past carrying any kind of container and the choir starts up.

The Flock Expands

Sonja meeting her new flockmates, Ragnar and Helga.

Ragnar missed his fall shearing, so he was pretty shaggy.

Ever the ladies man, Gunnar makes his introduction in his typical straightforward fashion.  Alas, the lady wasn't in season.

Ragnar after he got his hand shears home haircut.