Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Setting Heaters and a Miracle

This morning I finished setting water tank heaters - we use the big circular sinking ones. I put them in the tanks, attached the extension cords, tested the GFIs and left them unplugged for now. We've been fortunate this year - last year we had to use heaters for most of November - this year we haven't had to use them yet, but some cold weather is coming over the weekend. We plug the heaters in whenever the air temperatures are below 40F - some of the horses don't drink well if the water isn't warm. We try to save on costs by unplugging heaters when the horses aren't in the paddocks or dry lots - electricity is our highest cost after labor, feed/hay, bedding and property taxes - but in the coldest weather - we usually get some stretches of below zero F weather - we have to leave the heaters plugged in overnight or else the tanks freeze solid.

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On a non-horse topic, as I was walking to the barn this morning, I saw a miracle drive by. There is a lady in our neighborhood who had a heart transplant on Halloween, and has just returned home from the hospital. Her sister was driving her to her weekly hospital appointment - she has to have a weekly heart biopsy to check for rejection and adjust her medications. She waved at me - it's a joy to see her - she's a wonderful person and one of the most active people in our community, although her activities had been increasingly limited by her heart failing. She was very lucky - she wasn't on the transplant list long as she's otherwise very healthy - she had no other diseases like diabetes and her weight was normal, and she is a small person, so a heart that would fit her wouldn't fit many other people. Some unfortunate person died, but she's alive because of their and their family's generosity. If you feel moved to do so, please make sure that you sign your organ donor card and leave instructions for your family to consider donating your organs - you could make a big difference to someone else.

There's another miracle attached to this one - our neighborhood - about 350 houses - has recently organized a volunteer corps to help people in the neighborhood out who might need short-term or regular assistance due to injury, illness or advancing age. The origin of this group was a discussion about how to help our senior citizens stay in their homes. There was a meeting last night, with over 30 people attending, including people from her church who don't live in our neighborhood, to organize the help our neighbor with the heart transplant will need after her family returns to their distant homes. We now have a caregiver manager - someone has to be with her 24/7 for a number of months to watch for signs of rejection - a food manager to organize meals, a driver manager (that would be me) to coordinate driving her to appointments and wherever else she needs to go, a finance manager to coordinate donations and disbursements, an errands manager, and sign-up sheets for people to volunteer for specific times and tasks. There's a lot to do and a lot of people willing to help - I'm very thankful that I live in a place with caring neighbors like this!

8 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea for the neighborhood! I am far too isolated to be involved in something like that, but I've been so lucky to have such good friends ready to lend hand in my own time of need. Just one pair of helping hands can make so much difference. Just think of what 350 homes banded together to help each other out can do!!

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  2. Wow what a lovely neighbourhood you live in. I love it when people can get together and help for no other reason but to help each other!!!!

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  3. What a wonderful community! My mom is my walking miracle! Longest surviving liver transplant patient in Canada! will be 22 years in June. Also the first transplant of its kind as she had basically no portal vein function. There was an old convent/church where she stayed in London Ontario, but your area sounds so wonderful!

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  4. What a lovely story and how appropriate for Thanksgiving.

    Brrr! The horses' waterer froze once last winter due to an electrical glitch. Thankfully we could haul water from inside relatively easily and they were only minus the auto-version for one day. But I'm not looking forward to the sustained below-zeroes, that's for sure!

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  5. A perfect Thanksgiving story about your neighborhood. There was a link posted to your neighborhood's website on Buckskin and Bay awhile back - you live in an amazing community.

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  6. What a beautiful miracle life is! You are very lucky to live in such a caring community.

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  7. I love the stories of you community. What a wonderful group you have. How special!

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  8. What a lovely, united community to read about. Thank you for sharing this small miracle on a week of thanksgiving the big and the small.

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