Sunday, March 18, 2012


Life is....busy.  We are both spending too much time at work, and then trying to accomplish too many other things as well.  Mark's mother has been sick since September, and passed away in February.  Now Mark is busy working on executing the will, as well as making arrangements to make sure that his stepfather, who has dementia, is taken care of.  Mark also has a very full travel schedule for the month of March, so it continues to be busy.  For now, he's home this week, and I am glad to have him! I am volunteering at a local low-cost spay and neuter clinic, as well as doing afterschool tutoring.  

On a brighter note, some of Mark's research has received press releases beyond the normal academic journals and meetings.  Here's a link to one of them:

His lab is really making great strides towards an effective treatment for Batten disease, and we are all hopeful.  Of course, getting the treatments past the FDA continues to be a significant hurdle that will still have to be fought.  We have become friends with a family that has an adult form of this disease, and recently got the news that the oldest sister has begun to show symptoms.  My heart goes out to this family that has already lost 3 members to Kufs disease.  These diseases are so devastating!

Other notes...we came home the other night and found not one, not two, but three bluebirds stuck in our wood stove.  Mark had to take is partially apart to get them out and we released them in the dark into pouring down rain.  We hope that they survived!  The sad thing was, we found a dead one in the wood stove yesterday.  We aren't sure if there were four originally, or if a fourth one came at a later time.  We definitely need a screen of some sort for the chimney!  And we have no idea why it is always bluebirds.  We actually have bluebird boxes around the property and some of them stay unoccupied.  Maybe the boxes need a "Vacancy" sign?

We have a new visitor here.  This cutie showed up a week or so ago.  We are trying to get her to trust us enough to get her to the vet to see if she has a chip, and to treat a wound that she has on her back.  The wound is absolutely gross, we think a coyote took a chunk out of her while trying to catch her.  But she is friendly and sweet and gets along with the other dogs and cats here.  Hopefully we can find her owner, or a new owner soon!