What a Day We Had!

Yesterday, Sunday, started out pretty good.  Juniper was doing well enough that we were able to go to church; she did fine there and only cried at one song, the invitation, I Surrender All.  I still don’t understand why some songs make her cry; Cedar thinks it may just be an emotional reaction (and I agree), but why just the last year or so?

Anyway, Juniper wasn’t feeling good and was cranky after we got home.  I had fixed plates of cold food for lunch (slices of sharp cheddar cheese, some lunch meat, and baby carrots — easy, and great for a hot day when I didn’t have a lot of energy).  She didn’t want to eat; I put her plate in the frig, and later when she said she was hungry got it out for her.  Her plate was on the kitchen island, but she was walking around eating.  She came to me obviously choking on something and her lips were turning blue; I tried the Heimlich maneuver but she was wanting to drop onto the floor and I couldn’t get a good hold on her.  She wasn’t totally blocked up — she was whistling as she tried to breathe — but was blocked up enough to be very blue and panicked.  I tried calling 911 on my flip phone (I still have an Oregon number, even though we’ve moved to Kentucky); wasn’t sure it went through, dropped the phone and was trying to get Juniper to sit up so I could try the Heimlich maneuver again.  911 called back, twice, the second time I picked it up but by then she’d gotten the chunk loose and swallowed it and was breathing again.  I thought she was dying, laying there on the floor, blue from lack of oxygen.  I don’t remember ever being so scared in my entire life.  And I admit I was more than a little panicked myself.  If she hadn’t gotten her airway cleared by herself, I don’t know if the EMT’s could have gotten here in time.

Maranatha (Juniper’s next-older sister, who has taught school her entire adult life and has had to be CPR certified) told me that there is a way to do the Heimlich maneuver even on someone who is unconscious and lying on the floor.  I need to learn how to do that, although I did talk to Juniper afterwards about chewing her food thoroughly and not trying to swallow big chunks, and hopefully this won’t ever happen again.  She has almost choked on things before (her dad had to do the Heimlich maneuver on her three times — she turned blue that time, too — when she swallowed a toasted marshmallow at a backyard picnic one time); this is one reason why I normally cut her food into bite-sized pieces.

Juniper was scared silly for a long time afterwards, and is still shaken this morning.  I don’t blame her — so am I.

In other news, the goats were getting out again, and I hadn’t been able to figure out how.  Bob next door saw them out and came down when I was getting them into the small barn (not where I want them to be); he helped me get a new latch on the door to that barn, and then walked the fence line and found where they were getting out and fixed it (it was a low spot where they were crawling under the fence).  Thank you, Lord, for good neighbors!  I hope they don’t find any more exit holes, at least not this week while temperatures are in the nineties.  I like goats, but they are much too clever about getting out of fences.

I’m starting to re-train the chickens back into getting their food inside the chicken coop.  I want to catch all of them in there, and keep them there for a week or so (there are too many to leave them in there full-time) so they will start roosting inside again instead of out in the trees.  It will also give me a chance to sort the roosters, and cull the ones I don’t want to keep — we have way too many of them right now.

Juniper now has something to keep her toys and art supplies and books in (and on).  I think it was meant to be something like a baker’s rack for the kitchen, but it’s perfect for her.  There are four basket-drawers, a wide low shelf, a maple ‘counter’ (it will make a good shelf for her books), and two narrow shelves in the ‘hutch’ part of it.  I’m going to set up my Good News Club easel for her to do art (if she ever starts doing art again — I hope she does).  Got a big white board to put on the easel, too.  I think we still have a few dry-erase markers, though I’ll need to check and make sure they haven’t dried out.

Now I’m going to go put stuff on Juniper’s new ‘desk’ and see what she thinks of it; then maybe write a bit more this afternoon.

Oh, and Cedar has tried dictating part of a story and sending me the audible file to transcribe.  The first time I listened to it, it worked fine, but when I was ready to transcribe it, the audible file didn’t want to do anything.  So I need to try that again, and see if we can make it work.  It would be great if I could do that much to help Cedar out — she’s so busy right now it’s hard for her to find time to write.  She’s got several books she needs to finish.  She did make time to put up on Facebook the pictures of the house that I sent her from my flip-phone, though.

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