Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009 1:03 PM, EDT

An open letter to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Pharmacy/Pharmacist:

You are on notice! If you continue to cause us undue stress and make it so Ally cannot follow her assigned chemo schedule I know hundreds of people who will write a complaint letter on her/our behalf! Also, next time show a little bit of concern when I am calling you on the phone and explaining that we really do need chemo drugs delivered on time! that out of my system.

So, Ally's week went really well, other than a huge mix up with the chemo drugs Daddy and I administer in the morning. Everything turned out okay though. Not really, but we made it work.

We got some really exciting news this past week. First, we are headed up to the hospital on Wednesday for a super secret event. We don't really know anything about it, just that is is an exciting event at the Children’s hospital. :-) I like fun surprises. Also, we were contacted by Make-A-Wish. Ally gets a wish! They are coming by on Thursday night to talk with her.

Lots of stuff going on! I will be sure to update on Wednesday when we return from the hospital. I'll also keep you posted about Make-A-Wish.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In Praise of Nails ~~

Hidden. Humble. What holds
what is to its perfect
and exact is-ness

Coat of many colors, bright, gold & silver
somber gray; etched, twisted, ringed,
formed, smooth

smile, surrounded by dimple
Easy, after all, and nearly
too simple

Bright and heavy in the hand. Proud,
necessary. And deeply

18/19 September 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Peace and War at Niagara or the Pentagon

falling thunder. striving to carve rock

yet unable

pulling downward but the rising mist

free to pull us too

the tug of earth and sky

flesh and soul of a planet at war

so ever more gently than the creature that subdues it

claiming two gases in bondage

essense of creation

released by fire

or falling and rising

or the terror of hydrogen alone



pushed inside itself to its freedom

crushed by the weight of uranium

enriched not by transcendent thought

but flung past all other dendritus

to purity

as we too were circling

(faster than escape velocity should we leave?)

would we be enriched as we abandoned

our home of water and rock

to purity

or haunted by falls mist memory

of mushroom clouds?

stuck in a centrifuge of religion

God the desert sun

flinging us upright

the nightmare an unwelcome

dream turned to glass

the mirror to the soul

Zoroaster's Twins

By Phil Specht

Friday, September 25, 2009

This is it (short form). The week prior to the 12th my phone line had been acting up (cutting out for minutes at a time). Finally, the afternoon of the 12th, it was out for three hours, and using my uproad neighbor's phone, I called it in. Repair scheduled for the 18th. Please stay home between 8 o'clock and 5 o'clock. (my experience is 8 to 8.) My son and his daddy came for the birthday weekend, so staying home was no problem. The phone line however was not fixed. I assumed Monday. Nope. Went to the store in town after five on Tuesday. Turns out there was an area-wide outage beginning at six on the 13th, which was cleared on the 14th. At which point they *assumed* my outage was cleared also. No repairman was sent on the 18th. Deeply apologetic, they promised the next day, the 23rd. Of course, no repairman showed. Waiting until after 6 on the 24th, line still out, I went to country store again. And asked what I needed to do to get them to repair my line. And was informed in a hostile fashion that "a repairman had been dispatched". . . . At 7:30, a hot, sweaty, tired and frustrated repairman, Mike, knocked on my door. Evidently in the area wide repair, my line had been physically disconnected and a good bit of my actual phone line had been removed. He didn't think he could finish last night. I gave him a glass of water and two Tylenol (his head was splitting) (mine too, lol!), sent him home to bed with a promise that I'd be first this morning). He called at 10:30 this morning: I was good to go. The Verizon computer called shortly thereafter to inform me that *they* had found the problem and corrected it.

My son had removed my stove in preparation for a new one, and I couldn't go to town to arrange the delivery of the new one. So have been cooking with a crockpot and a waffle iron (makes very fancy grilled cheeses)(can boil eggs in a crock pot, but not macaroni, which just dissolves). So Monday, I go to town and get delivery together.

Some days one understands why "May you live in interesting times" is a curse.

Thursday, September 17, 2009 7:05 PM, EDT

Good News! The tumor appears to be even smaller today! The technician and Ally's oncologist were comparing today's scan with the one taken in February and they saw a major difference. I reported in the past that the lesions on Ally's legs have gone away (meaning the cancer has left the bones), but her legs still needed to heal. It is hard to tell bone stuff from a CT scan, but from what they could tell, her legs are healing as well.

Yeah for awesome news! Thanks for thinking of us all day. It was actually one of the smoothest running days ever. We got her contrast dye around 9:30, and had 3 hours to get 12 ounces in her (which is a LOT of intake for Ally). While we were walking in the hall we met Ally's oncologist and she was SUPER nice to walk the length of the hospital with us to unlock the playroom in the cancer clinic. There, Ally happily played until it was time to head to "Pain Free" where she went to sleep for her scan. She was back within 30 minutes and we were out of there 30 minutes later! She almost fell asleep on the ride home too.


Fun Tid Bit: Ally went apple picking 2 times in the past week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 9:28 PM, EDT

We (Ally and Mommy) are headed to the hospital tomorrow for a CT scan.

I'll be sure to update as soon as we know something!

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Moon-- September 18 -- 2:44 p.m. EDT


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Friday, September 11, 2009

About two weeks ago, I ordered a book, American Dreamer (a biography of Henry Wallace) from Amazon. Shortly, I was inundated with email from Amazon about the order. I figured they were having an email problem. NOT.

Yesterday I picked up my mail: Five books. So last night (this morning) went to Amazon: five separate orders over three days. . . . I'd used one click. . . . Found the help pages, and got called in exactly five minutes by a nice girl. Who told me that I *had* placed five separate orders, and their recommendation was that I stop using one click because I didn't know how to use it. My first order was placed at one a.m.; the second, at six a.m. the same morning. I said no: the problem was theirs ~~ I'd gone to bed, and the computer, on dialup, was disconnected. . . . She did not agree. Evidently believed that for three days, at random hours, I pulled up the page, and hit one click, lol!

Final solution: contact the seller, and return the books, and get refund. . . . Book is $1.80. Shipping is $4.00. So I pay another $16.00 ($32.00 in shipping costs altogether), to get a $7.20 refund. . . Don't think so, lol!

I thought perhaps they (Customer Service could warn IT that they were having problems with the system). Nope. I asked her where she was: from the Philippines. . . Asked if that is *where* she was. . . Yes. Asked if it was a good job? Yes. I said, Good, enjoy it. And goodbye.

Better luck than with India Customer Service, but truly total lack of understanding, or power. . .

Next time, I need to pay attention *when* the weird emails start: as in cp. order numbers, and solve it *before* shipping. . . .

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Seems like somebody should be celebrating *something* doncha think? Anything? It'll not be back for another century, after all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 5:22 PM, EDT

Some random info:

The Jimmy Fund Marathon collected $4.5 million! Thanks to everyone who donated.

Jason ran the 1/2 marathon in one hour, 45 minutes! Our friends were very close behind. Thanks for donating to that and to our friends for running!

Ally is doing well with chemo this week. She had Monday off for the holiday. We are headed to DHMC on Thursday of next week for a CT scan.

As you can see Ally got her own car, at the age of 2 1/2. Thanks Auntie Lynn, Uncle Jason, Auntie Mary and Uncle Butch! Check out our flickr site for more pictures of Ally's new car!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Today's catch inna punkin patch. . . .




Father's Day Lake Trout

The cord cut

lungs full of the magic ether

we who walk the earth upright


the sound of your cry

so sweet

your day of birth

a circle spun.

They could celebrate a holiday

for fathers

anyday they wanted

for me the day I became one

most special.

The Father's Day Holiday,

you shared it,

morning sun cutting through mist

to form a rainbow;

and as I turned the boat

between the pine tipped

islands of the north

hooked the ancient trout.

You were there for me at the end

of a struggle

net in hand.


we landed that trout

a team, a bond,

father and son

held through eternity

because you were there.

I miss you son.

Nevermore than when I return

to that sacred lake

after you left us too young.

Let me be the net man

next time.

~~ Phil Specht

Friday, September 04, 2009