Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be a hard.  When you've been hurt, and all you can feel in your heart is anger and sadness, it can be an epic feat to push those feelings aside and find room for anything else.  However, getting through the day, even just one day, with those feelings occupying your heart is almost a harder feat than pushing them aside.  (In my opinion anyway.)  I don't have room in my heart, or in my life, for those feelings.  I've never made room for them in my life, and I won't start.  So we forgive, and we carry on, lighter in the knowing that our body and heart are once again a loving and wonderful place to be.  Forgiveness is not necessarily something that you do for another person.  You must do it for you, otherwise your life, your heart and soul will be the ones that suffer.

Go on, you'll feel better. SO MUCH better.

I do.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Raising Meat Rabbits

If you follow me on instagram, or we're friends on Facebook (or in real life) you'll know that we have had a few new additions to our family.

This is Chester, our Buck.
 And Rosemary and Pepper, our Does. (Yes, rabbits are called Bucks and Does.)
These guys are a New Zealand White crossed with Flemish Giants.  This mix is a very popular cross to breed for meat rabbits. 

With our income being cut pretty much in half in the past year, since my decision to stay home more for the kids, we have been looking for ways to become more sustainable.  We've talked about raising chickens (and may still talk some more) but Steve is not keen on the idea.  (Plus, raising chickens for meat is really not that cost effective.) We have no room for cows, pigs, or lambs.  So rabbits was the answer.

I grew up eating rabbit meat, as our next door neighbour raised rabbits.  We would have rabbit at least twice a year, usually on Christmas and Easter (we used to make jokes about eating the Easter Bunny, and thought we were very clever!) Rabbit are one of the cheapest and easiest meats to raise.  Not only that, but rabbit meat is incredibly good for you. It's low in cholersterol, low in calories, low in saturated fats, high in protein, low in sodium, all white meat, and has 100% of the RDA for B12.

We made the decision rather quickly, found some rabbits, and boom, we're raising rabbits!

We've built one "rabbit tractor," which is a portable cage that moves around the backyard, fertilizing the ground and the soil that I plan to till up and turn into more veggie gardens next spring.  Steve will be building a second one for Chester this weekend, and we'll need to build one more for when the does are pregnant so we can separate them and they can have their litters in their own cage.  We'll also likely need a few more cages for growing out the litters in, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  We plan to breed the rabbits in about a month, when they're 4 months old.

The woman that I got the rabbits from has a pretty decent sized operation that keeps their family in rabbit meat all year round.  She also does the butchering herself, and I'll be heading over there to watch her slaughter and clean a round of them the next time she does it, so we can learn how to do it on our own.  I'm also excited about having a whole slew of rabbit pelts, and am reading up on how to tan them.  We'll also use the bones to make stock, likely replacing our usual chicken stock with rabbit stock from here on in.

Aside from the sustainability aspect, knowing where our meat comes from is important to us as well.  Knowing that these rabbits will have a good life, be respected and treated well, and then killed in a humane way, and every last bit of them put to good use.  A lot of people have problems with eating rabbit meat, but I find that it's only because they're so damn cute.  You can imagine eating a massive cow, or a slippery smelly pig, but somehow rabbits make people squeamish. Not me though!  (And not the kids either, they're very much on board!)

We're excited about this little venture, and hope it will be a fun and prosperous little endeavor!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

As suspected

We had our long awaited Developmental Pediatrician appointment today.  Over a year we've been waiting to see this person, the "ONE" who could tell us what Griffin was dealing with.

And, its as we suspected.  Griffin has Aspergers (which they now call High Functioning Autism, or HFA, having dropped the Aspergers Syndrome diagnosis with the DSM5 - the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.)

I feel relieved that we finally know.  I feel hopeful that Griffin is going to have a rich life ahead of him full of all the things ANY person deserves. I feel slightly annoyed that we had to wait that long to hear someone tell us something that we already know, but that feeling will pass. 

So many changes and good things have already come out of the therapy that we're already getting. I wish I had known earlier that those therapies were available to us as a family without the diagnosis, but we're getting them now and that's all that matters.  

Griffin is an incredibly smart kid.  He's reading easily at a grade level ahead of his own.  He is funny,  compassionate (when the mood strikes him) and very creative.  He's going to be JUST FINE.  We now have some more options available to us to give him the guiding hand that he needs.

And for me, that's all it really boils down to, having a kid on the high-functioning end of the spectrum - he just needs a guiding hand.  Maybe just a little more than ANY kid, spectrum or no, needs to be parented. Yes, we need to work with him on things that come naturally to other kids - like making friends.  But, at the end of the day, so what? All of our kids need to be taught things to succeed in life.  Griffin is no different.

I'm exited about the future, about the doors that are opening, about the places that Griffin's abilities will take him. 

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
Dr Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!