This evening while reading about some of the latest rumored ReDS outbreaks, I realized – while I have practical experience in dealing with the disease, and keep up with the news like anyone else, I don’t really know that much concrete information about the disease! So I spent some time researching facts. For example, there are about 25 million people known to be infected, with a suspected 5 million in the early stages. That means, out of the 7.6b people on earth…1 in 250 has ReDS!

1 in 250 people has ReDS

I founded the Public Health Information superstructure to develop materials like this poster that will help people understand the disease and stay safe in an uncertain world. Wanna help? Join us on the site, or use this poster to help your community learn about ReDS!

Animal planning

October 13, 2019

Ever since I heard that a family on the long-running soap opera Neighbors kept a pet sheep, I’ve secretly wanted one. My British friends told me that, with a pole and tether, the sheep are happy to munch on grass all day – eliminating the need to mow the lawn.

Now I want a sheep for more a practical reason…the wool would be useful for the winter season, and we could sell the extra we don’t spin into yarn. They’re hardy little creatures, but is it fair to keep an animal outdoors when the dust kicks up and the air quality warning is at Red?

And it would necessitate building a barn as well. We could do with the extra storage space, but I find myself wondering…will we stay here long enough for it to be worth the effort?

Video diary, week 2

October 11, 2019

Funny that an overcast, chilly day might be considered a positive omen for the week to come, but lying in bed this morning, I realized that the “plonk plonk” I heard in my half-waking was rain dripping on the gutter, and I felt relief.

The summer season has overstayed its welcome, and there’s been a palpable tension around town, with energy pulsing stronger the longer the heat lasted. In this weather, starting any task becomes an absolute chore, against which one has to weigh the time to be spent in the sun, how willing one is to get sweaty and to fight against dehydration. Around here it’s been made so much worse by the hurricane winds carrying pollen and dust from the north, with no rain to wash it away. Some days I have to wear a face mask indoors to prevent my sinuses from flaring up.

This late in the season, I was expecting a thunderstorm to break the heat’s hold…but this morning’s drizzle was light, and it brought the chill with it. More like a rolling drop of melted wax, than a rubber band snapping.

So, today is a day for planning. I need to get out the coats and boots, change the bed linens, check the insulation on the house, make sure the garden will have heating and can drain without freezing up…plenty of little tasks to keep me busy for the next month or two.

I’m in no hurry. The weather will probably fluctuate a little more before settling on the crisp temperatures that make the autumn season my favorite time of the year.

Video diary, week 1

October 3, 2019