Our Sunday Drive

Yesterday we decided to do some last minute Christmas shopping (I think I'm done now ;) )and then afterwards go for a drive to see the new Wind Farm that's being built here in Central Illinois. The Twin Groves Wind Farm will be one of the largest wind farms in the nation! When completed it will have 267 turbines producing enough power for 120,000 homes. That's a lot of wind power! These things are massive, the blades are 130 feet long! It's really hard to get the proper perspective looking at these pictures, but if you look at the picture of the truck, that's only 1 section! There are 3 sections and then the top portion that holds the blades.

While I think that using a renewable resource as wind is a wonderful thing, I'm glad I don't have to look at these everyday. I know that sounds strange considering we're getting a cell tower on our property. I can't explain it, the cell tower seems less imposing as these turbines. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy some of the pictures we took yesterday.

Here's one section on the special semi truck they use to transport them from the railroad to the site. It's just amazing too see. They had to construct special turning lanes on the roads because these trucks cannot make a 90 degree turn like normal trucks can!

Here's the crane adding a section to one of the turbines. If you look VERY closely you can see a normal pickup truck in front of the section still on the ground. That gives you a sense of how HUGE these things are!

These are the special carriers they had to build to transport the blades. Rob saw some blades coming into Bloomington on the train the other day. It took him almost 5 minutes to realize what exactly he was looking at!

Just another viwe of a partially completed turbine. Phase 1 of the construction should be completed by April 2007.

Here's a view of just a few of the completed windmills! In one picture we took you could count over 19 windmills!

Me & My Hip

Sorry I've been MIA for the past couple weeks! Things are just hectic around here between Christmas and the ongoing saga with my hip!

Some of you might know that I have been having trouble with my hip. If you didn't I'll try to make this as short as possible ;) I had my hip replaced when I was 17 due to degenerative arthritis that was caused by a staph infection I got when I was 15 months old. The infection got into my hip joint and I had to have an I&D (incision and drainage) done. My parents were told that I'd have trouble with the joint later in life. Well fast forward 12 years. The trouble started. Basically by the time I was 17 the pain was too much and I couldn't really "be" a 17 year old. I'd have to stay home when my friends went to the mall or the amusement park etc... It was horrible.

I ended up having my hip replaced. I was the second youngest patient on whom my Dr. had ever performed the surgery. Kinda a guinea pig/experimental type deal-o. I did not have the "normal" stem type replacement, but rather a new resurfacing replacement. The stem replacements only last around 10 years so at 17 I was looking at a total hip replacement at least 4 or 5 more times. By then my femur would have been too weak to have it done anymore and I'd be in a wheelchair. So we opted for something different in the hopes that over time the technology would improve and I could have a better replacement still. I still have all my own bone in both my leg and my hip joint, they just added a metal "cap" on the femur and a "cup" in the joint.

Well after 6 years I had worn through the "bearing", it's a thin layer of "goo" between the 2 metal pieces, so they don't rub and grind against each other. I went in and had that replaced. It was another full surgery, but not as long or as intense as the total replacement. I recovered and was fine, until the middle of November this year.

Now, 8 years after that first revision, it seems it's time again to have something done. The metal pieces in my hip are grinding against each other again. There is no pain, just the horrible grinding sound. It feels odd too, but it doesn't hurt. This time is a little different, because we can't afford to fly me all the way back to NJ to see the Dr. that performed the first 2 surgeries. I did find a Dr. here in Illinois that is familiar with a new resurfacing replacement and I have an appointment with him come the first of the year. Hopefully he can either fix what I have or I'm a candidate for the Birmingham Resurfacing Hip replacement. We'll see come Jan 3rd!

Anyway, the reason I explained all this is because it helps to explain my absence from my blog. With the trouble in my hip I haven't felt like stamping much. I guess it's a bit depressing, knowing that I have to have another surgery so soon. I was hoping to have another child this coming year, but now that's pretty much out of the question. It'll all work out in the end, it just kinda sucks right now.
Welcome to my new an improved blog. I hope you can find something useful, insightful, humorous or just plain silly here. Enjoy!
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