Friday, September 18, 2009


Jeff's brother Mark and his wife Kelly like to garden, can, and preserve. Although this summer was not a year I could tend a garden, our various fruit trees produced beyond belief, so we called them to see if they wanted apples. After they had plucked their fourth large bucket, Kelly said, "I thought you were kidding on the phone when you said you have 10,000 apples."

No kidding.

We probably have closer to 20,000 apples, still, despite having whacked-off two big tree branches that were cracking under the weight. Perhaps 100-200 apples fall off every day of their own ripening accord and rot in our grass.

So the title "PLEASE TAKE OUR APPLES!" is not meant to be clever. It's an invite/command. I'm practically yelling at you. The tree is in our front yard. Help yourself. For free. Any time of day or night. I only ask that you not injure yourself.

They are Golden Delicious, and even if you don't prefer this type store-bought, you'll likely enjoy them fresh. They are good for eating, canning, applesaucing, and pie-filling-ing. Probably 1/3 have worms (we don't spray anything here, very naturalistic... and lazy), but 2/3 of 20,000 is still a whole lot of good apples.

Speaking of good apples...

We've felt very lucky to have such a good fruit year. Despite a lack of veggies, I have frozen gallons and gallons of cherries, strawberries, and peaches. Our pear tree was so full it cracked in two and we lost half the tree. One exception was our apricot tree. It blooms quite early and was hit by a late freeze. At the time our 10 apricots ripened, we were still at the hospital with Bridgette, so we couldn't have harvested them anyway.

In ending, I report on babs.

First, the bum. It's still raw. Off and on it's so raw she can't sleep. Occasionally it looks good, but it's all very unpredictable. It can look good at 8 a.m. and be bleeding drastically by 10 a.m. She's finishing up a round of Diflucan, so the yeast is under control for now. I worry that it will come back as soon as she's off meds, but we shall see what we shall see.

Second, the food. I'm attempting to widen her food choices, but it's really hard. I walked down every aisle at Wal-Mart and basically came up with the same foods we're already feeding her. Oddly, I've found she likes peaches, and she digests them pretty well. She's continued to be picky and not eat much, and then last night she downed 1.5 bananas in one sitting. Another aspect of unpredictability, I suppose.

Third, the support. I think I've mentioned, but Hirschsprung's is a highly male dominant disease. I'm in touch with a handful of moms around the world who have Hirschsprung's daughters, and one of those girls is just one month older than Bridgette. They were in hospitals across the country from each other having their pull-thru surgeries at the same time.

While at the store, the mom asked her daughter to pick out an outfit for Bridgette. How cute is that! Izzy pointed out this darling thing (that you can't really see in this photo very well, but trust me) and it's just the right size for Bri to keep wearing as the weather gets cool. Thanks, Isabella!

Fourth, the locomotion. Now that Bridgette has qualified for therapy through Kids on the Move, we are in "process." There is paperwork to do, more thorough assessments required, and meetings to attend. Some of those have already occurred but most are scheduled in the next week or two. We hope to have Bridgette's assigned physical therapist, Betsy (I have yet to meet her), starting regular sessions about mid-October.

In the meantime, we still try to help Bridgette stand, roll, and crawl on her own, and she continues to hate us for it.

I'm not sure how to determine whether this delay is related to her HD trauma in year one or is a personality quirk (perhaps a control issue, not liking to move out of alignment for fear she'll fall) or is an offshoot of a more serious mental problem or is a separate physical issue like hypotonia or .... ??? We have thought of a long list of potential reasons. We asked her which to focus on, but she responded with a cryptic, "Nang, nang, nang."

We'll have to work through the potential causes to fully understand how to help her.

Last, the tantrums. Yeah. She has definitely started throwing tantrums. Thrashing. Yelling. I hope some of her frustrations can be worked out once she starts moving.


Joy said...

Thanks for the apples we have great plans for them! My kids loved climbing you tress and picking them.

Chelsea said...

I am coming for apples. If I call first, will you visit with us while we pick them? Babs is DARLING!! So, so cute. About the tantrums: stand strong mom. Some kids (one of mine included) have such fury you can almost feel it burning your skin. But it does get better!!! Also, I think of it as early training for the teen years.

Please let me know how I can be part of your support system. I have no idea what you're really going through, but I'm always willing to keep you company on the journey!

Kel said...

We'd love to visit with you while you pick, Chelsea. Bridgette loves to chill outdoors. Give us a call!

Aria said...

Your peaches look so delicious! Good luck with all of your canning and I wish we could take some of those apples off of your hands. I'm so glad that Bridgette qualified for the Kids on the Move program! Good luck with everything -- Bridgette is just darling!

Angela said...

Love the pictures of Bri in her dress! :-) Isabella throws tantrums too, but they mostly happen after she tries to fill her diaper. She still hates the feeling and tries to hold it in. Then she usually acts out to tell me she hates her life. Sounds like a teenage girl to me.
If my Mom lived near you she would be making lots of apple pies for me. Wish we could partake of your fruit. We will have oranges, grapefruits, and limes in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Fruit! I love fruit! Oh, to live somewhere where food just... grows. Here, it has to be seriously coaxed. And, so far, this year we have gotten one acorn squash. That's it. And that squash plant was a volunteer! Nothing I planted this year produced - anything. All that watering for nothing.

Keep loving that little girl for me.

Love you,

Kelly said...

The apples are beautiful and taste wonderful. They made excellent apple sauce, apple chunks, apple pie filling and apple butter. Yum!!! Thanks Kelly and Jeff.

Tantrums...Not my little Bridgette!