Sunday, September 19, 2010

Elderberry Jelly...

Last Friday I went to Provo with my Dad. We were getting some more work done on the new van. Before returning home we drove up Provo canyon and stopped at Bridal Veil Falls. I've never actually been there as far as I can recall. My Dad said the Elderberries were ripe now and told me how he used to pick them as a kid and his mom would make Elderberry syrup and Elderberry Jelly. I've never jarred canned or the like myself. Dad climbed along the edges of the steep hill making me nervous and picked a grocery sack full of ripe Elderberries. And gave them to me. They appeared much like what I imagine Barbie doll grapes life sized would be. They also made me question, are you sure these are edible? Dad always knows. And he gave them to me. I tried to make some Elderberry Jelly. Followed an online recipe. WHAT a labor of love! Those aren't the easiest things to clean nor tediously pick. I only completed a third of the bag before calling that a batch and ending up with 4 pint sized jars. They sealed correctly, no popping sounds. I sieved the seeds too. But mine isn't set up like the picture, that was online. Mine will have to be called syrup. But it is done and Dad will get a jar, hopefully it will taste good. I still have my doubts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Unicorn and the Wasp

My Dad came out to help on some basic maintenance on the new van. He was going to just switch vehicles and head back home. But we don't like to do things the easy way! (sorry Dad). We said our goodbyes and then saw that the driver side front tire was on its rim. Completely flat tire that then had to be changed before going anywhere. While my Dad changed the tire, a HUGE, GINORMOUS, EWH insect buzzed my head and then landed on my Dad. I first thought it was a flying grasshopper, bad enough. Then seeing the black and yellow and that... I guess stinger? Any bug enthusiast' out there? The hand in the picture to show its size, is Duncan's. I know, let the highly allergic kid place his hand next to it. (It was frozen at that point) Duncan said that he would like to, "run some tests on it tomorrow".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jack's heart

Jack is a warrior in his own right. A fighter that has overcome much pain and struggle. He will carry this burden his whole life. Those that don't know him well and those that first meet him would not know off hand what burden he holds for such a young man. He is active and happy and doesn't choose to wallow in grief. I hope that he may keep strong with that strength as he gets older.

We went in for a few important heart appointments these past few days. First was his ECHO. We didn't get quite the glowing perfect WOW appointment that we'd hoped for, but it is not the worse we could get either. Jack's ventricle function has slowed. It's time for a heart medicine. We've been able to get by with only one tablet of low dose asprin a day previously. And the Cardiologist would really love to put him on a drug called Enalapril, but Jack is highly allergic to it. So this new medication I must be careful with and remember not only to give it to him each day but about the same time each day. They will be periodically testing his blood.

Yesterday Jack got his EKG and slew of tests. We get the unpleasant task of donating poop to the lab. This has put Jack into stress and has, since receiving the news, not been able to "go". We waited most of the day in Bountiful since we needed to get it to the lab 1 hr after ... going. Jack was also hooked up to a halter monitor. Thank goodness it wasn't for a month like the event recorder. He will get to take it off this morning.

Our mobility

This is the van we are going to be getting around in safely, thanks to my very generous and loving Dad. We found this in Orem at