New Beginnings for 2016

New Beginnings for 2016

Our life has been filled to overflowing with lots of new beginnings, which is always a beautiful start to a new year. After having my kids home for Christmas and getting back into the swing of everyday life, our Suburban, Sweaty Betty, starting giving us problems. She was such a workhorse. She had her quirks though. When we first got her two years ago, her sole use was as a farm vehicle. We hauled straw and hay in her, delivered CSA orders, and used her to haul manure from our neighbor’s farm to ours so that we could make good compost.

When my son Noah first rode in Sweaty Betty he said, “She blurs the line between luxury and comfort.” Haha

It’s true! Sweaty Betty was a BEAST! She was reliable, dependable, and comfortable to ride in for long hours at a time. When we first purchased her, she had this dirt film all over her inside and out. We tried to clean it off, but it was permanently stuck on. We got used to dealing with the grime since she was after all a farm truck.

Betty hauled us across country from New Mexico to Maine. She was meticulously looked over and repaired before we made the trip, and by the time we got to Maine, she started having an oil leak from somewhere. There was a crack in the engine and we knew she was on borrowed time.

When we left Maine to come to Vermont, she started to have more issues. Then the cold hit. Sweaty Betty got her name because her air conditioner didn’t work. Well, her heater didn’t work properly either. In New Mexico, this wasn’t too much of a problem because we’d only have a few weeks of bitter cold, and then everything would warm up during the day. Not in Vermont.

Because of her unwillingness to provide heat to me and Simone, Dom decided that he would take Betty to work with him every day. We couldn’t take the chance of Betty dying at any time, especially with a special needs child. If Simone would have had some sort of allergic reaction, and Betty wouldn’t start because of her issues with the cold, it would put Simone in danger.

So for a while, I drove Dom’s work truck when needed.

Then it happened; Dom was driving home from work one night and Betty’s windshield became completely iced over. With no defrost to help keep the ice from forming, he pulled over an hour away from home and called me to come rescue him from Betty’s frozen cocoon.

We had plans for Simone to start school at Montessori, and we had to postpone until fall 2016 because of vehicle concerns and not being able to get her into a new allergist appointment so we could get a medical plan from her doctor to keep at the school.

Dom and I knew we were going to need a new car, but felt stuck and had a difficult time making decisions on the kind of car to get. We both have our likes and wants (completely opposite from each other) and ever since leaving Maine, we have had a very difficult time making decisions. It’s like a part of us was destroyed and unable to make rational and educated choices. The trauma is still there and we aren’t completely recovered from what happened in August 2015.

After a lot of searching, we did find a car that would work for us. I’m happy to report we did finally choose a car. I was driving all over Vermont and New Hampshire test driving cars. I was exhausted and Simone was fed up.

The morning before we picked up our new car, I got a message on Facebook from a lady saying she had a dog and asked me if I wanted her. I saw a photo, and then we went out to meet her. Simmi fell in love with her and we scooped her up and took her home. After giving her a bath, and set up her crate, she settled into life with our family very quickly. Her name was Jessie, and Simmi changed it to Sandy, and then changed it again to Silly. Silly is now her official name, which is very fitting since she is the silliest dog we’ve ever had.

Silly loves to play is extremely gentle and loving and has the most beautiful brown eyes ever. She loves to follow us around, and can’t wait to be petted and loved. We have only had her for about four days now, and the only issue she had was being alone at night in her crate. The first night she cried almost all night, and I found that after I covered her crate with a sheet, she settled right down and fell to sleep. The second night she cried periodically but then would go back to sleep. The third night she only cried a few times, and last night only once.

She’s super smart and has been a great companion to Simmi. We put Silly on an allergen-free dog food and dog treats due to Simmi’s food allergies, and in the next few days, she should be completely transitioned. The other day, Silly licked Simone’s face and left a HUGE welt on her cheek. She still has the old food in her system which should dissipate soon, and then Simone shouldn’t get welts anymore.

The night we picked up our new car, I decided to do a little food shopping and we met a great family of homeschoolers. We stood there talking in the produce aisle for quite awhile as the girls all played, and then we met up on Saturday morning to go ice skating. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of them since my phone was almost dead. It was the first time Simmi has ever had a playdate with friends. Talk about a great new beginning!

So far, 2016 has started beautifully. Last year at this time I was physically destroyed by the Gluten Challenge that compromised my health in order to get a proper diagnosis of Celiac Disease. I am STILL not recovered one year later, even though I have adhered to a very strict gluten-free diet.

I have had to take drastic measures and go to a raw diet. I started in the beginning of January and recently took a break for a week. I will be going back to raw until I recover my health again. I am suffering greatly physically, and being raw is the only thing that has helped me in the past to quiet down my immune system and recover my health. I’m at that point again. I will be following the Autoimmune Protocol just raw.

Lots of new things happening this year!