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Adventures in Vermont : A Series of Unfortunate (Mental Health) Events  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2010/1/15 19:00:00 (1360 reads)

Yesterday was a day to remember. Or maybe not. It was one of those I would love to forget.
The last several months have seen the not so gradual decline of the mental health of my daughter. Now, I have posted about her previously and mentioned her diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and General Anxiety Disorder but some other sinister monster resides in her brain and it last reared it's ugly head and ruled her mind 4 years ago. I watched 4 years ago as my daughter's annual holiday mini crisis spiraled downwards and we found ourselves in Emergency Room after Emergency Room with a calm, albeit tired, child. It was like a light switch was thrown - one minute she was raging in the car; a violent cursing tempest with curly red locks and the next she was walking in the hospital making us look like hypersensitive, whiny parents while she sat calmly denying our claims of her brutish behavior. It took a particularly rough night for a doctor to finally see her behavior when some poor unsuspecting physician walked into a room at Georgetown Hospital. He was fortunate enough to have good reflexes as my then 8 year old daughter ripped the phone off the wall and sent it sailing towards his head. The first documented case of her violence...

It's been a relatively peaceful four years since then.

But the monster has returned.

In December my daughter was admitted to the Howard Center in Burlington, VT after assaulting (including chomping on) one of her para-educators (that's an aide in schoolspeak) the previous day. This was not a one time occurrence but she had been escalating for weeks and the school just kept restraining her until I arrived and then she was sent home. Waving my little white flag, I took her to the ER and she told the mental health worker she would like to strangle me with as much remorse as one might have when they pick up that second item in a Buy One Get One Free sale. With a look at her recent behavioral history and her disturbing outlook, she was admitted. Good, right?

Two days after she was admitted, she assaulted two staff members at the clinic after one of them decided against reading her book out loud in the clinic school and the other had the audacity to come to his rescue. The next day, Magellan, that all powerful mental health insurance provider, deemed my daughter "stable" and ready to go home. I'm sure this had something to do with her clinician saying "Other than that thing that happened yesterday, she's been the model of stability".

Right.

I hear Ted Bundy was a pretty nice guy too... other than those pesky little murders...

Okay, my daughter isn't quite there yet but dude... if she's stable then I recycle with Marilyn Manson in more than just my dreams.

They let her out after 4 nights. Their suggestion? Put her on a schedule and don't let her play too many video games.

So, I take my "stable" daughter home, make it through the holidays and managed to only get punched in the face once - on New Year's Eve.

That brings me to Thursday January 14th.
I will get to that later tonight or tomorrow. I need some more Riesling.

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Adventures in Vermont : A Series of Unfortunate (Mental Health) Events  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2010/1/15 18:53:57 (1196 reads)

Yesterday was a day to remember. Or maybe not. It was one of those I would love to forget.
The last several months have seen the not so gradual decline of the mental health of my daughter. Now, I have posted about her previously and mentioned her diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and General Anxiety Disorder but some other sinister monster resides in her brain and it last reared it's ugly head and ruled her mind 4 years ago. I watched 4 years ago as my daughter's annual holiday mini crisis spiraled downwards and we found ourselves in Emergency Room after Emergency Room with a calm, albeit tired, child. It was like a light switch was thrown - one minute she was raging in the car; a violent cursing tempest with curly red locks and the next she was walking in the hospital making us look like hypersensitive, whiny parents while she sat calmly denying our claims of her brutish behavior. It took a particularly rough night for a doctor to finally see her behavior when some poor unsuspecting physician walked into a room at Georgetown Hospital. He was fortunate enough to have good reflexes as my then 8 year old daughter ripped the phone off the wall and sent it sailing towards his head. The first documented case of her violence...

It's been a relatively peaceful four years since then.

But the monster has returned.

In December my daughter was admitted to the Howard Center in Burlington, VT after assaulting (including chomping on) one of her para-educators (that's an aide in schoolspeak) the previous day. This was not a one time occurrence but she had been escalating for weeks and the school just kept restraining her until I arrived and then she was sent home. Waving my little white flag, I took her to the ER and she told the mental health worker she would like to strangle me with as much remorse as one might have when they pick up that second item in a Buy One Get One Free sale. With a look at her recent behavioral history and her disturbing outlook, she was admitted. Good, right?

Two days after she was admitted, she assaulted two staff members at the clinic after one of them decided against reading her book out loud in the clinic school and the other had the audacity to come to his rescue. The next day, Magellan, that all powerful mental health insurance provider, deemed my daughter "stable" and ready to go home. I'm sure this had something to do with her clinician saying "Other than that thing that happened yesterday, she's been the model of stability".

Right.

I hear Ted Bundy was a pretty nice guy too... other than those pesky little murders...

Okay, my daughter isn't quite there yet but dude... if she's stable then I recycle with Marilyn Manson in more than just my dreams.

They let her out after 4 nights. Their suggestion? Put her on a schedule and don't let her play too many video games.

So, I take my "stable" daughter home, make it through the holidays and managed to only get punched in the face once - on New Year's Eve.

That brings me to Thursday January 14th.
I will get to that later tonight or tomorrow. I need some more Riesling.

Comments?
Adventures in Vermont : Excellent Adventures/Bogus Journeys  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2009/11/10 14:53:03 (1025 reads)

It's been months since I've posted and depending on how you look at it, this year has been somewhere between an excellent adventure and some seriously bogus journey.
In the spring I managed to find someone willing to trade my Oberhasli buck Second Born for a sheep. Then I found someone willing to trade the sheep for a different breed of sheep and suddenly, I found myself milking an East Friesian Dairy Sheep. First off, since the vast majority of you have never had the pleasure of a glass of sheep milk, it tastes like Half and Half... with about half the fat of Half and Half. It's divine. So then we found ourselves making sheep cheese - feta and mozzarella mostly. And then we bought Bulgarian yogurt cultures so we could make thick, creamy Bulgarian yogurt. And then we put the thick, creamy, homemade sheep milk yogurt into soap. And then we opened www.skincense.net so we can sell that soap. And while we were at it, we started making body butter, sugar scrub and some other goodies too.
The creation of this little company makes perfect sense. We have all these farm animals that I love but they weren't being terribly profitable (they still aren't but that will hopefully change) and I still have this monster vet bill that I can't afford to pay. I have this bath and body fetish that keeps me hunting for new and exciting products (although I really haven't lately) and it marries those two things very nicely. Soooo, that's where I (and my time) have disappeared to. We are making bath products. Now all we need are some customers. So, while I intend to keep this blog going and hopefully will have a little more time this winter to keep it updated, there's the past 7 months in a nutshell. I've been busy. And productive.

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Critters : Floating Hatching Eggs.  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2009/4/19 17:40:28 (970 reads)

Every year we hatch several types of poultry eggs. A few weeks ago, I purchased some Black Copper Marans eggs on eBay and today is Day 19 of their incubation. (Chicken eggs, for you non-farm types, hatch at 21 days).
So today, I "floated" the eggs to check the overall health of the developing chick. Floating is great, it gives you an idea whether the chick is alive or if it died at some point past the original candling in which the eggs were determined to be fertile.
Using lukewarm water, I placed the eggs in a bowl deep enough so that the egg can freely move around in the water. Place the egg in the water and wait until it settles. Once the egg is sitting in the water, if the egg begins making random movements in the water, you know you have a chick moving around in the shell and all is well.
NEVER do this with an egg that has pipped or whose shell is at all compromised or you can drown the chick. If the shell is perfect, the additional humidity will help the chick on his way out of the egg.



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Critters : Eggs!  Share on Facebook
Posted by Aimee on 2009/4/6 14:40:01 (989 reads)

Anyone who has chickens knows you get an abundance of them in the spring. What may have been a hen or two laying productively through the winter becomes this insane deluge of poultry ova sometime around the Spring Equinox. After losing our beloved Silver Laced Wyandotte to a fox over the winter, we were eggless. Then suddenly all those chicken reproductive systems sprung to life and I had 4 dozen eggs in my refrigerator. I boiled two dozen of them yesterday to make deviled eggs...



Because I am watching my cholesterol I will not be eating many of those soon to be devilish eggs but I will snag a couple. (If my physician is reading this, I'm just kidding! )

Meanwhile, I put some eggs in the incubator. The eggs on the left are our own Black Marans eggs. Eggs in the back are from our own, so far infertile, Shetland Geese and the eggs on the right, the ones that are the exact same shade as the ones on the left, are Black Copper Marans eggs. I mention they are the same shade because Black Copper Marans are supposed to have the darkest of the Marans eggs. Dark brown. Not medium brown. I bought those suckers on eBay for $30. $30 for 6 eggs. Now, the problem with buying hatching eggs on the internet, particularly Marans eggs, is that evidently those who sell on eBay and eggbid think those who buy on those particular sites have never heard of Photoshop. What's worse, they aren't even good at photo manipulation. I mean, any fool can adjust the brightness and contrast. Why not do a color replace and make the other items in the background look exactly as they should?? Anyway, so many of the photos are badly doctored to make the eggs look darker and clearly, I am one more sucker who ended up purchasing eggs that were lighter then they looked in the pic. Some sellers will tell you that the eggs will lighten during the laying cycle and this is true... but making your eggs look like a chocolate egg via photoshop and claiming they are that dark early in the cycle are two different things, folks.



Anyway, over the weekend, one of our Black Marans eggs hatched.



Another hatched overnight and I will get some pictures once I put them in their makeshift brooder this evening.

The other big news of the weekend is that Second Born, our Oberhasli buck, finally sold! Well, actually, he was traded for a Merino sheep. Said sheep doesn't really have a formal name but has been referred to as Mary, Rosemary (goes well with lamb), Dinner and Chop. This is our first sheep and already my daughter is asking for another. Unfortunately for the lamb, she will only be staying until June and then she will be paying a visit to the butcher.



I am considering purchasing an East Friesian sheep to milk. I hear sheep milk ice cream is fabulous. We could make it in the spring with the absurd amount of eggs our chickens are laying. Just a thought...

We also pruned our apple orchard this weekend. Or at least, we attempted to. Not having a world of experience in fruit tree pruning, we took a stab at it. Our small orchard has not been maintained in at least 10 years but our goal is to see some normal sized apples this year... as opposed to the egg sized gnarly looking "fruits" that the tree has been bearing.

Off to collect eggs...


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