Ideas on assisting in the relief effort without going in person. Much can be done without leaving your house. Give those affected by disaster some hope, and use some of these ideas to help them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

April-June Updates From Leslie

6/6 - at least I think that's the date. Oy. Anyway, I'm trying to take a few moments every time I'm at the computer to update 1 or 2 things. It's going to take a while to get caught up, but I'm down to 121 emails, so I'm psyched!
Val, in Biloxi, is doing the great service of checking all of the sidebar links to make sure they are right - and am first fixing any on the Networking site and will correct all once she's through them all.
So - I just might be back. Not nearly to the extent I was or that I want, but I'll get there yet!

Hey there.
I can't believe it's been nearly 2 months since I have been able to actively work on the relief sites. It's truly breaking my heart.
I've changed the index pages so they better reflect the timeless nature of the information held within it's referenced links, but it still bothers me that I just don't have the time or energy to continue researching.
My mother continues to improve, and hopefully more rapidly as she begins her cardiac rehab in earnest tomorrow. But we all know that strength will only dwindle over the coming months and years as the valve continues to fail with no hope of replacement. Anyone have a new aorta they're willing to part with? (trust me, macabre humor only)
Until then, I am working on a mutual dream of ours to start a business in hopes that she can be an active part of it for even a year before she must really slow down again. I'm also doing much of the household maintenance and all of the yard work. This leaves virtually no room for reading, research, writing and blogwork. For that I am sorry.
I will keep trying to come back. Will update the occasional page, but unfortunately will not resume my previous activity level for another month or more.
I think of and pray for all of you every day.

Hello everyone.
I know not many are reading, but I wanted to share some information...
Gary in DC just sent me some information regarding MS cutting funding for its 15 mental health centers. We KNOW this is a very bad thing for the people of MS. If you know anyone in the mental health field - Licensed Social Worker, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Critical Incident Stress Team, Stephen Minister, etc., please have them start contacting volunteer centers to go assist. This is VITAL to the recovery of the people - which ARE the states of MS, AL and LA.
A new round of pet food recalls is beginning. Most animal shelters haven't recovered for the first round and are now dealing with another. Val in Biloxi told me their main shelter ran out of food. Ran out! If you are an animal lover, PLEASE consider sending donations to the Humane Society of Southern MS (HSSM.org) or do a search for gulf coast animal shelters to choose your own. Adopt a pet when you volunteer. It will help take the pressure off their already over-burdened system.
Personally - my vertigo is finally easing up a bit. It usually takes my brain about 6 weeks to adjust to a new skill set and we're right on schedule. I'm hoping to start adding a little of the blog work in again as my brain improves. I have nearly 90 emails waiting for me as I remain optimistic that I can do it ALL.
Mom is doing incredibly well. She's about a month ahead in her physical recovery and the depression doesn't seem to have hit yet. They have her on an antidepressant NOW, so hopefully that portion of the post-op crap won't crop up.
My wild child Cicero died. I trapped him instead of the injured Black Guy and so took him to be neutered. He tested VERY positive for Feline Leukemia, so they put him down. He's buried under our purple martin house with 2 other cats - Markie and Porky. I miss the Cute Kiddo!
Black Guy has an injured front paw. I think it was broken, because he's starting to put some weight on it when he walks. Not when he runs, but that's ok. He's getting there. Eating like a little horse, but that's fine.

I hope to do more soon. I know I keep saying that, but it's true. Possibly more this week even! Woo.


4/19 Well, some of you know and some of you don't - and I have no clue who reads this. I'll try to do an email update as well, but can't promise a thing.
Mom's out of the hospital from her surgery. She came out of anesthesia 2 hours early, got the breathing tube (extubated) taken out an hour early and came home 1-3 days early.
After some generic resistance, she's doing her walking and has already moved up to the next bracket of difficulty - on the day she was scheduled to come home. WOW.
Sister is gone back to Baltimore and I'm incredibly overwhelmed. BUT, I was able to drive myself to 3 places - all less than a mile away and in 2 trips, but that's generally unheard of for me.
I've sent out 5 boxes this week and will probably send out another 5 next week. Maybe more - I don't know. One of my stops was a church rummage sale just down the road. I'll be going through the dregs tomorrow for more stuff, but got what I could afford today.
Am also sending out boxtops and labels for education to the Bay/Waveland School District tomorrow. I hope it isn't too late for this year's tally, but I truly am not sure. Mom had her heart attack right when I was planning on sending them - end of March.
Am going to do dribs and drabs on the sites as I'm able. Tonight I'm doing some, but I have to start a quilt tomorrow - Saturday at the latest, so that will take a lot of my time.
We're also looking to get a long arm quilter. I know - what is THAT? Go to Nolting.com for a better idea of the model we're seriously considering.
It means yet another out building on the property, but we've found a nice place that builds to spec for very little money. After I see HOW good they are, I'll be talking to them about getting into the transitional home business. They don't have many pictures on their site, but it's AmishWoodWorks.com to get a general idea of what they are capable of. I think it would be a great avenue for them to go in, but we'll see how our building goes first.
Mom really wants to move on that because she has seen her mortality, and it's not long. Because they couldn't do all of the work they had hoped, it appears she has 2 ish years left before the valve completely fails.
It's just incredible how PINK she is. There is blood in that body! Woo! She hasn't looked this good in a couple of years.
So, that's it for now. I miss you all and hope to be back within a few more weeks.

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July-September Updates From Leslie

Wow - virtually a month since my last update to everyone.
Obviously, life hasn't slowed down at all for me. If anything, it's increased substantially.
However, I am trying to keep my hand in things a bit. I am updating a few pages every month, and am finding I'm ok with that. I'm still working on the CoHR, so that's at least once a month.
There's a new organization that has been added. Disaster Accountability Project. Please work with Ben. He's really working to make things better for the next time - because there will be a next time.
There's a new promotion through Boxtops For Education - please check it out - it's more than just the little clipout things to help the schools.
I am also trying to update the "weekly" features with items that are still of consequence, but written are year or so ago. The Letter of The Week right now is about Make a Difference Day. Read it, act!
I'm still working on things - just not nearly as visibly.
Love everyone,
8/15 Well, it's official. I've finally admitted I can't continue. I've sent email to those I've been most active with. For all others, there's this.
It's so difficult to face the reality that I have to end this run, but I must. My mom isn't recovering as well as the docs hoped, and my dad continues to decline with his dementia.
Money is an issue with Mom's medical bills. Dad just broke his hearing aids, so there's another $4500 out. Their retirement fund is tied into stocks, and with THAT aspect of life tanking, it's difficult to say how much they'll have by year end. My DSS check is minimal at best, and while quilting is a great hobby, it sure doesn't pay the bills - especially when I just can't do anything close to FT. So, while it might help, it isn't the answer.
I'm continuing to a small extent with 2 of the families on the RPR site, along with small packages to different groups - as I can collect needed items.
I'm also hoping to continue hosting the CoHR on a monthly basis. I actually feel good about this month's. For once there is a fairly large amount of information about the children and their plight through the entire recovery process.
I will probably write editorial type posts as I get information and the ire.
If there is anyone willing to continue the work I've begun on these sites, please contact me @ KatrinaCoalition at AOL.com. We'll talk.
My contacts are VAST. I have some pretty strict rules, and because it's so closely associated with me as a person, those rules would need to be adhered to. But - the work is important. Please consider it.
Thank you to all those who've written to me supporting my decision to "resign". It means the world to me. I hope someday to meet at least a few of you - you became my family, my friends, my support, my hope.
I'll never stop thinking of you, praying for you, working for you - even if on a substantially reduced level.

7/18 Wow, my hair has grown since this picture was taken. Will try to get a new one up.
Well, I'm making a quilt for the March of Dimes fund raiser in Biloxi. I do hope it brings in a buck or two for them. However, I know what quilts usually go for at fundraisers, it isn't impressive.
Life here in NY is still hectic. I've done this week's submission of the Carnival of Hurricane Relief. There is SO little out there from emergency services personnel that I know they are suffering in silence. Well, the NOPD isn't. Which I'm glad for.
But it's very frustrating to see they have virtually no voice for them.
I'm still working on the quilt shed, and am very hopeful it'll be complete in the next month. I am getting so tired of dealing with it - on my end. The guys working on it - they could keep working on it for the next 6 months for all I care. But I'm so exhausted all the time.
Blueberries are coming on. Much sweeter than last year! Sun will do that for a fruit.
Am still sending boxes down for people and organizations, but am still just sick over not being able to do more online. One of these days life might allow me to choose this again. I don't know.
More soon....

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