This time last week, my Dad paid us a welcome visit to help with some work in the garden. The new swings and flower beds all got a fresh layer of mulch. Amanda's Dad pitched in; it turns out that we need two truck-loads to get things looking nice. Thanks to Pop and GinGin for all your efforts...Cora will also appreciate it when she takes her first spill off the swings!
Pop took the next day to tackle a hazard outside. We heat our house mainly through the use of an external wood furnace. It's proven to be extremely economical; the "fuel" costs approximately $300 for the entire heating season, and it also heats our household hot water. The problem is that getting to the wood storage involves navigating some steps that have proven quite slippery. I want to remain as active as I can, so replacing the steps was a much needed fix. Dad made an excellent start on the job -- digging out the ground to make for uniform steps has been time-consuming -- and will be back to finish up in the New Year.
We celebrated Amanda's birthday throughout last week; meals with David and Phyllis, Dad, Claudia and Renata and Aaron, Mike and Emily, and Mr. and Mrs. Rose completed a hectic period in our social calendar. I managed to take Amanda out for dinner and a movie - we both enjoyed the new Sherlock Holmes - before all crashing on Sunday!
The first few days of this week were quiet by comparison, but still fairly busy. Monday brought an amazing meeting with some wonderful people in the VMI Mens Soccer locker room - more on that later - before meeting with a committee of fine folks that will help coordinate the Conway Cup.
Of course, the biggest news of the week is my recent visit to Hopkins. My examination went fine, and we're waiting on my blood tests to make sure I qualify for the drug trial. I don't want to get my hopes up before the blood tests come back, but a successful set of results could see me starting a trial in mid-January. The drug doesn't do anything about the motor neuron loss, but it brings about a change in your muscles that returns some strength and function. Regardless of the blood tests, it feels good to be getting in to the trenches to help fight against ALS / MND.