Required Vaccine Safety Reports Were Not Done

Parents have differing opinions about childhood vaccines. That is okay. I am a nurse and my children received the recommended vaccines in the 1980s and 1990s. But my daughter had vaccine reactions and eventually developed fibromyalgia.

Because of my family’s experience with vaccine reactions I support informed consent and parent involvement in decisions about vaccines.

It is good to understand the history behind our current vaccination program. In 1986 the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed. So many lawsuits were taking place because of vaccine injuries that pharmaceuticals were relieved of any liability. Instead the government would compensate for vaccine injuries. More than 3.7 billion dollars has been paid out through this program.

Robert F. Kennedy has spent years researching vaccines, the ingredients in vaccines and the impact on childrens’ health. He looked at the law that was passed in 1986 and realized that the law included a mandate for improved  vaccine safety. The law required that the department of Health and Human Services submit reports to congress regarding the studies done and progress made for safer vaccines.

In August of 2017 a FOIA request was made for these reports. The result of the FOIA request for these reports has been made public. The reports cannot be found. It appears that they were never done.

Today the prompt for Five Minute Friday is: DONE

Visiting the Little Church in the Woods

During the second half of the 19thcentury many immigrants came to the United States to work in  textile mills,  copper mines,  factories and    quarries. Often the Church was the center of their community life.

Between 1886 -1888 a Finnish Lutheran Church was built in Jacobsville, Michigan. The bell tower of this church has an inscription in Finnish. Translated it is: Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob. Isaiah 2:3

Finnish Lutheran Church

This church has been restored, and every Sunday during the summer a vesper service is held in the evening, followed by coffee and desserts in the community center. We have enjoyed visiting and participating in the worship service.

Vesper Service

Joining Sue’s photo link-up at image-in-ing

If you plant a cherry tree, you might want to know . . .

If you plant a cherry tree the birds will come. The robins love my cherry tree. One year a group of cedar waxwings came and perched on a branch passing cherries to each other. And little birds that I haven’t identified come.

I don’t mind sharing some of the cherries—but not all. So I have started the practice of placing fake owls in the tree, moving them around every couple days. It helps.

The Cherry Tree

If you place a pretty owl covered in real feathers in the tree, it might be attacked. I was dismayed to see feathers torn off and a big bite taken out of the styrofoam core of the owl. A squirrel?Owl

If you pick the good cherries quickly you may have enough for a pie, and then extra to put in the freezer.

Cherries

If the springtime is very wet it may affect the cherries. The cherries may develop brown rot and then you must strip all the moldy cherries from the tree.

If the black aphids come and begin to munch on the new leaves of the tree, spray the tree with soapy water.

If the Japanese beetles come you might have to work hard to save the tree. Japanese Beetle

In the last couple years they have eaten half the leaves on my tree. I started picking them off and dropping them in soapy water, but it wasn’t enough. I placed a lure with pheromes that bagged 100s of these pests. Finally I resorted to treating the ground to get rid of the grubs that emerge from the soil in July as beetles.

My daughter is amused by the effort I put in to harvesting cherries from the tree that I planted many years ago.

If you like cherries as much as I do the effort may be worth it.

The prompt for the community of writers at Five Minute Friday is: IF  I hope you will visit the link-up and see how others were inspired by this little word.

Sharing this post with Tuesdays with a Twist

The Great Lakes are the Ocean of the Midwest

We spent one family vacation on the Delaware beach. It was restful to walk the beach listening to the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing on the beach. The ocean is God’s grand creation.

More often we spend time near  the  Great  Lakes  of Michigan.  Lake   Superior in Upper Michigan has a rugged beauty. We have some favorite family parks along the coast of this glorious Great Lake.

Lake Superior

Lake Michigan has lovely beaches. A few years ago I wrote about a writing conference that I attended. The conference center was within walking distance of Lake Michigan.

September 2012. My day started early.   I left my house at 6:00 am and pointed the car towards Michigan. I was on my way to the Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference.

The sun was shining when Tim Burns, conference director gave opening remarks. He pointed us to Habakkuk 2:2   Then the Lord replied: Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.In other words, write with purpose and clarity.

The conference began with messages that encouraged us to examine our motives for writing. Or to use Cecil Murphy’s term, are we paying attention to the palace guards? Are we listening to guidance from the Holy Spirit?

As the conference moved into the second day we heard from authors and editors about the changing publishing industry. The fiction writers’ panel was insightful.

Each afternoon provided an hour of free time.On the first day I chose to walk to the beach of Lake Michigan– just a couple blocks away. I have a deep appreciation for the Great Lakes. As I walked the wind was whipping my hair across my face. I could hear the roar of the waves from a distance.

On the beach, the waves were crashing and washed over any other sound.Lake Michigan

The seagulls were gathered in groups. As a line of gulls tip-toed into the water and then scurried back from a wave, laughter bubbled in my throat. I was amazed as the gulls soared and then flew sideways as the air currents carried them.

Standing on the beach I was in tune with the words of the Psalmist.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;                                                                          let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Psalm 96:11

It is good to take time to pause. Is there some facet of God’s creation that can give you joy today?

Please visit the community of writers at Five Minute Friday. Each week Kate Motaung provides a word that inspires us to write. The one word prompt today is: OCEAN

Linking this post with Sue’s image-in-ing.

Please visit my facebook page (I’d be delighted if you clicked like).

Joy Restored

Childbirth practices had changed since I began my career as a labor and delivery nurse. The use of pitocin to hasten birth had become common. The rate of cesarean section had risen from 15% to 30%. I saw a full term infant die after inappropriate use of pitocin. I didn’t like my role as nurse, and I told my husband that I wasn’t sure that I could continue.

I was aware of a group of doctors and midwives that attended homebirth. I interviewed with them and chose to take a cut in pay to work with them. It was refreshing to attend women in their homes, supporting them as they labored.

Women were more relaxed, and the family was often involved. I saw that God had given women the ability to give birth. I saw the strength of women. Sometimes intervention was necessary. Hospitals are important and are equipped to handle complications. We transferred about 5 to 10% of the women to the hospital.

The four years that I participated in home birth restored my joy as a nurse. When we are burdened and lose our joy, we may need a new perspective. I am thankful that God led me to take the home birth position (something that I never dreamed I would do).

This lesson stays with me. I need to step back from hard situations and ask God to give me a new perspective. He will restore our joy and renew us in the roles he has given us.

How about you? Could you benefit from a new perspective?

I am joining  the Five Minute Friday community of writers. Our one word prompt this week is: RESTORE

Flying to Finland to visit my Grandmother’s birthplace

In July of last year my husband and I flew to Finland to visit my grandmother’s birthplace and to attend a family reunion. We had a nonstop flight on Finnair from Chicago to Helsinki Finland. Relatives met us at the airport.

My grandmother’s travel to the United States was much more arduous. She traveled by boat from Oulu, Finland to the port city Hanko. From Hanko she took another boat to Hull, England, then a train from Hull to Liverpool. As far as I know she traveled alone in 1903.

In Liverpool she boarded the Ultonia (a former livestock carrier). She traveled third class in steerage. She had a bunk, along with many other immigrants, in the hold of the ship. This crowded space had inadequate sanitation, and many of the passengers were seasick. I can’t imagine what she endured.

She arrived in Boston and was directed to a train  that  took  her  to  Chicago.    From Chicago she took a train to  the  Upper  Peninsula  of  Michigan where she was met by two of her brothers.

My grandmother had told family members that she planned to go back to Finland to visit one day. But after completing her journey to Michigan, she decided that she could never make such a difficult journey again. Instead she asked her daughters to promise that they would one day visit Finland.

Vuostimo Finland
House that neighbored my grandmother’s girlhood home (now gone).

My mother, my aunt and my sisters have all made the trip. We are blessed by the ease of air travel.

Linking with the Five Minute Friday Community. Today’s prompt is: FLY

The blooms in my garden remind me . . .

The tulips have faded and the lilacs have come and gone. Now the irises are blooming.

Bloom in my garden

Blooms in my garden

The peonies delight me with their layers of petals. Spring has come again.

Blooms in my garden

Blooms in my garden

The rhythm of seasons and immense variety of plants and flowers point to our Creator and his promises.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

God’s word also promises that Jesus will return.

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call,  and  they  will  gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:30-31

It is good to keep Jesus’ return in mind.

I am joining Five Minute Friday with this week’s prompt: RETURN

Sharing this post with Sue’s image-in-ing

Crisis & Prayer

Today I am joining a community that is writing on the prompt: PAUSE

Life has been on pause.

No, that is not quite right. The nonessentials of life have been on pause.

A week ago my grandson developed a critical illness and has been in a pediatric ICU. My daughter has been at his bedside. My husband and I have been taking care of the other children.

We have been learning their daily patterns, seeing more of their school projects. It has been an intense week. Grandpa has earned the title of Grand Nap Master for his ability to coax the toddler to take a nap.

The days have been stressful but touched with little blessings. We are thankful for the prayers on behalf of our family. A dear friend sent me scripture verses. This one has encouraged me:

Psalm 62:5-6  Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

The evening before major surgery my grandson’s youth group held a prayer meeting. About fifty people, many of his friends, showed up to pray.

We are blessed by God’s love being displayed by faithful friends.

UPDATE: Our grandson is recovering after two surgeries for a bleeding brain aneurysm. We praise God for answered prayer. We are grateful for the skill of the medical team and the advances in medical technology.

Visit Five Minute Friday by clicking here.

Supporting Mothers: The Hike for Life

Over the years I have often participated in the Hike for Life on Mother’s Day weekend. It has been a family event, children included.

In the 1990s we hiked along the shore of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. Yesterday my daughter reminded me of her first hike. It was the beginning of her concern for mothers and their infants. The years that we hiked together have now been passed along to the next generation.

Hike for Life

Now my grandchildren participate in the Hike for Life. A couple years ago we all went together.

Mother's Day Weekend

This year they will hike, and I will go visit my mother who is in a nursing home in Michigan.

All women need support during the transitions of life.

The money raised by the Hike for Life goes to pregnancy care centers. These centers provide ultrasounds, parenting classes, infant clothing and diapers. The staff at the pregnancy care center come along side a woman that needs assistance.

It is wonderful when a woman has the support of family and friends during pregnancy. Sometimes she needs another source of support. //

I am grateful, too, for organizations that help women adjust to the roles of motherhood. The Mother of Twins group meeting was my favorite evening out when I had three children under the age of three.

My daughters have benefited from MOPS (mothers of preschoolers), and I have enjoyed being a mentor mom for MOPS.

When we were in Finland I was  happily  surprised  to learn that the    parents of young children ride the buses in Helsinki for free.

Flowers and cards for mothers are nice, tangible help is better. Perhaps, there is someone that you can encourage.

Today I am joining the Five Minute Friday community. Our one word prompt is: INCLUDE

 

Different Environments: New Perspectives

I am joining the writing community, Five Minute Friday, today. We write for five minutes (or sometimes a little more). The prompt today is: ADAPT

Family - Bouquet

 

It was a decision I came to after much thought, choosing to work with physicians and midwives that attended home birth. I had worked in the hospital for many years.

I continued to work in the hospital labor/delivery unit on a  per  diem   basis, while taking weekend call for the home birth group.   Nurse colleagues in the hospital who knew about my second job warned me to keep quiet. Don’t tell any of the doctors.

There is a big divide and limited communication between hospital based birth attendants and home birth attendants. Home birth practitioners are reluctant to transfer patients to the hospital until absolutely necessary. Hospital staff only see the home birth patients that are in crisis. They don’t see the healthy births that take place at home.

I learned so much attending labor patients in their home. I carried supplies that might be needed (IV fluids, oxygen), and arrived at the home when a woman was in early labor. I assessed her and encouraged her to rest in early labor. As labor progressed I helped her with positions changes, suggested a warm shower and offered massage. I made sure she stayed hydrated and nourished.

It was so much easier for a woman to work with labor in her home. (I had taught Lamaze classes, but rarely saw such focus and ability to cope with labor in the hospital setting.)

It was my job to notify the doctor of any problems, and to update him on the progress of labor(so that he/she would arrive in time) . Of course, sometimes a woman needed the interventions available in the hospital. Sometimes I urged the doctor to transfer the patient. A couple of times I rode to the hospital with a labor patient needing intervention.

Hospital staff and home birth practitioners could benefit from switching places. They could learn skills from each other and develop better communication.

As I worked with a foot in both settings, I tried to adapt what I had learned in the home to the hospital setting. The home setting had given me new perspectives on birth.