Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It is amazing how much the kids have grown and I am missing it all! I remember Mary and her brother Mic playing in the leaves much as McKinley and Kegan are doing in this pic. McKinley has the same blonde hair as her mom, my Mary, and I did at this age. Wish I could go up there during this Indian summer period in the Midwest but that isn't going to happen for a bit.

I told Mailene, my new Worker's Comp. Case worker, that she'd recognize me as I'd be the blonde with no tan! She laughed and said that will change after living in Florida for any length of time. Some of the women who are avid golfers and play tennis are as brown as George Hamilton. I'd prefer not to be!

I met Mailene and saw my new orthopedic surgeon yesterday. He does not agree with either of the two orthopedic surgeons from Lexington as far as the surgeries they wanted to do, but he wouldn't do surgery either not knowing what the "episodes" are that I'm still having. He wants me to use Lidocaine patches on the sorest parts of my knee and quit using the knee brace for awhile as the metal stays in it are pushing on the sorest parts. Oh boy - no support when the knee gives out and we have hardwood and tiles in most of this house too. He wants a new MRI to go with the x-rays his office did yesterday. My new worker's comp. case worker is an MD so she really knows her stuff.

Headache is banging away so I'm glad I see a neurologist on Monday. Mailene is getting things going quickly and I am glad of that as I'd like some answers to all of this so I can get on with my life without hurting 24/7, not knowing what is causing the episodes. I still have small ones every week, but had a wicked one Friday afternoon and spent most of the weekend in bed with a heating pad. Steve wanted to take me to the ER but the nightmarish overnight visit to UK's ER was enough to make me stay home and deal with it. My right arm is still partially numb and the headache is a banger and then some. I see a neurologist next Monday and it sounds like she'll be doing a batter of tests.

I finally found my iPod and am listening to the first book in John Marsden's Ellie Chronicle Series - Who knows how many there will be in this Marsden series about Ellie and her friends, but there are three titles so far and I'm listening to the first one - While I Live. For those who have not read any of Marsden's 7-book Tomorrow Series,, the first book in the Ellie Chronicles, may be a bit confusing as there are so many references to the war and the relationships that developed among the Ellie and her friends. Having read Tomorrow, When the War Began when it was initially published in the mid '90s, I had some knowledge of what Ellie and her friends went through when they returned from a camping trip in the Australian bush country to discover Australia had been invaded. Their homes were either burned to the ground or deserted. These teenagers, who grew up in the bush, were soon an effective group of guerrilla fighters intent on rescuing their families imprisoned by the invading army. The war is over in While I Live and Ellie's family is trying to readjust with their farm acreage split up into 4 sections with three other families living there as well. I had a sense of deja vu as I listened to Ellie discuss Gavin's deafness and the changes in her relationship with Homer after a treaty was signed and Australia was split into two countries. The three are out hiking when they hear the shots ring out from Ellie's farm. By the time Ellie dashes back into the farm house, it is too late. Her mother and the family friend living with them are dead - their bodies barely recognizable from being shot up close with high power semi-automatic rifles. She races toward the barn to find her father and sees two of the soldiers lying dead. She knew her father didn't go down without a fight, but he, and a third soldier, are both dead on a barn floor. The war may be "officially" over but raiding parties from across the border brought it gruesomely back to life for Ellie. She wants revenge, especially when she wakes up one morning and realizes Homer and Lee are gone, knowing they have joined the resistance group trying to rescue prisoners kept in camps across the border. It becomes even more personal when Homer becomes one of them.

Marsden is one of the most famous young adult authors in Australia. There is even a John Marsden Prize for Young Australian writers. The movie version of Tomorrow When the War Began has recently been released in Australia. Not suprising as this series has been reprinted 17 times. I've seen at least three different cover art for the paperback reprints. Wikipedia (no - I don't want to go into the authenticity of this source) has a good write up on the series for those who are interested:

I thought of Marsden's books when I first read Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now, with England being the invaded country. Daisy is not as strong of a protagonist right from the start as Marsden's Ellie is, but she grows into her role as the protector of her younger cousins. Due to the media hype about Mockingjay - the final title in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Series (not as big as Twilight) librarians need books to recommend when tweens and teens come in asking for more books like Collins' series. Marsden's Ellie is a strong female protagonist like Katniss, but with a contemporary war torn setting. Daisy isn't as strong of a protagonist, but the invasion focused plot is similar.