Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Every picture tells a story story. . . . .

The event was billed as "nonpolitical," and Beck steered clear of the partisan commentary that has made him a hero to many conservatives and a nemesis to many on the left. But political overtones were unmistakable, and the rally drew a large crowd - including many who said they were new to activism - that was energized and motivated to act.


Trapped (twenty seven words)

Held against will, rooftop floodwater, mine collapse

Prison, poverty, more

Please send help

Resignation, twisted hope

Broken, determination

King "I am not free 'less all are free"

By Phil Specht on August 28, 2010

to the most patient farmer . . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ally's Mommy writes:

Friday, August27, 2010

We had a great day at the zoo today.

The Quiche! The Quiche!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What can I say? I *love* this face

Joe Cocker - Take me home

Maybe we`re standing on the threshold
With our eyes open wide
Let the river keep on flowing
We can reach the other side
Caught in this endless revolution
Under helicopter skies
To lose becomes unthinkable
And to win is the only road now

There`s a bridge over the water
I can see it like a rainbow
If you love me I`ll be waiting
Take me home to the other side

All the men and all the women
Who sacrifice their love
Never taste what we took for granted
No they don`t know love at all
Some of them broken some of them wounded
And so cynical from the pain
I was quiet as a grave yard
Till you heard me calling out your name

There`s a bridge over the water
I can see it like a rainbow
If you love me I`ll be waiting
Take me home to the other side

Life was victorious
Now it can`t be denied
We`ll stand together
Cause love is on our side

There`s a bridge over the water
I can see it like a rainbow
If you love me I`ll be waiting
Take me home to the other side

Finishing up my first month at facebook

And it has been an exhausting month at that. Trying to fit everything you want to say into about 400 characters. . . . Recognizing that no one will ever get a full view of a comment without clicking. Saying hi-bye with a like click. Somehow, it's also got me downloading youtubes like krezzy. (On dialup, it's about an hour for a minute ~~ Hence the 4 minute version of Mozart's Concerto Number 3 for Horns instead of the 8 minute version. . . .)

But. Told you that to tell you this. After a sleepless night, got up and hit the nets. All my bloggy places are asleep, so I hit my bookmarks. One of my favs, but she doesn't blog much had a new badge on her blog, so I hit that. That place had a facebook page, so I hit that. One of the likes of that lady is a place called Duct Tape Marketing. When I got there, a friend of mine in Tokyo also likes it. Might could say "small world." But that would be a bit obvious, eh?

Must be the full moon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 3:08 PM, EDT

Ally is still HAMA positive. Grrrr. The plan is wait another 3-4 weeks and test again. The doctor said it is coming down. I e-mailed him that we are anxious about so long between treatments. This is such an aggressive cancer we feel we need to always be fighting it, or it is going to come back soon. We know he knows best, but we just want to make him aware of our feelings and thoughts.

Today we met up with the school nurse for Ally's preschool. She was very nice and after 30 minutes of talking about Ally's medical history I let her know we are mostly just concerned about her missing school because she gets a cold and ends up in the hospital. Hopefully she won't miss too much school.

Happy Whistle Pig Wednesday!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

William Blake

Hallowed Ground

Adam walked here

hand and hand with Eve

Such a garden is sacred.

quench your thirst, wine falls from the sky

as God's grace.

Must grain be fertilized only by blood?

Must we who take bread together

need sins forgiven when born?

We walk upright, we know the future

we know the past all too well

spending so much time there as we do.

Hush the loud debate

for where you stand has seen it all

and demands respect

as hallowed ground.

By Phil Specht
August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Bounty Casserole

One giant, over-aged summer squash (it will defeat your peeler, lol!), prick holes with knife, bake for an hour, cut open scoop out seeds, and discard them. Spoon out squash meat, discard shell.

Two cups diced squash meat
One pound ground pork, broken up and browned
Three garden ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced
One small can of corn (fresh corn would work, too, if you have it)

Mix together

Layer in casserole dish alternating with cheese slices (in this case Munster) or shredded cheese

Bake about an hour in a 325ยบ oven


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 4:19 PM, EDT

The dentist was not so fun today. Ally was a great patient, never once cried or refused to open her mouth. It was more what the dentist had to say that was upsetting. (And kind of the way he said it as well....)
They want to put Ally under anesthesia, scrape out all of the decay and then cap all 20 of her teeth. We have to check all this with her oncologists and see what they think about it. The more upsetting part was that the dentist had a general air about him that the condition of her teeth was our fault; for not brushing properly and allowing her to use the sippy cup whenever she wanted; even though I explained to him that she has had extensive chemo and there was a point where we had to do whatever we could to put weight on her. I guess I am just getting overly sensitive about things, because he never came right out and said anything like that, but some of his comments made me feel that way and it took a lot of self control not to say anything to him.

Tomorrow is Ally's blood draw, we will get results next Wednesday. If the oncologist thinks the teeth capping thing is a good idea then we will look into scheduling it after we find out HAMA results.

Note from listener: It sounds like that dentist never read past the first three reasons for tooth discoloration on this list:

The fourth item on the list is:

Disease. Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) can lead to tooth discoloration. Treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration...

Has he ever treated a young child who's had cancer, before? I suggested that they seek out a pediatric dentist. I can only wish upon them a dentist like mine who is so kind he even has "We cater to cowards" on his advertisements.

The feelings Ally’s Mom was getting are not to be discounted. She was picking up on something there giving her important information. So I recommended: “Trust your gut. Go for a second opinion and if you like the second dentist better, go to that dentist. You owe this first dentist nothing. He doesn't deserve to care for Ally and take your money if he doesn't see the larger picture. There is another dentist out there just right for Ally. Ask friends for a few good names.”

Then I googled pediatric dentists in their area and found several. My favourite is the practice that has this on their website:
"We love children and that sentiment guides our hand. Each of us recognizes the incomparable precious bond you have to your children. Therefore we respect and value the trust you place in us in caring for them. While reactions and results can never be guaranteed, our sincere best efforts are absolutely assured."

She's a Rainbow - Rolling Stones

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:04 PM, EDT

Ally is going to preschool!!!

We got an official call today. Her school begins September 7th. It is 3 days a week, for about 3 hours in the afternoon, at one of the local elementary schools. We are super excited! There is even a bonus 2 hour "family time" that Grammy and/or Grampa will be able to bring her to on Fridays.

On top of that we are also visiting the dentist tomorrow. Ally's teeth have taken quite a beating with all of her treatments. SHe is finally healthy enough to do something about it. Tomorrow we are just going to talk to the dentist and see what they can do for her. Hopefully they will be able to do something, even though they are her baby teeth.

On Thursday Ally will get her blood drawn for HAMA. We will have results the following Wednesday. Please pray they are negative, and that we get to NYC (but not the first week of preschool!) soon.

Happy Sunny Day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Say I am You"

by Jelaluddin Rumi

I am dust particles in sunlight,

I am the round sun.

To the bits of dust I say, Stay.

To the sun, Keep moving.

I am morning mist,

and the breathing of evening.

I am wind in the top of a grove,

and surf on the cliff.

Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,

I am also the coral reef they founder on.

I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches.

Silence, thought, and voice.

The musical air coming through a flute,

a spark of stone, a flickering

in metal. Both candle,

and the moth crazy around it.

Rose, and the nightingale

lost in the fragrance.

I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,

the evolutionary intelligence, the lift,

and the falling away. What is,

and what isn't. You who know

Jelaluddin, You the one

in all, say who

I am. Say I

am You.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:16 PM, EDT

So...in all the craziness of the HAMA draw/results I never mentioned the good stuff.
Last weekend we had a super fun time with Mommy’s family. Many of the relatives made it to the gathering where we all had a great time in the sun. We also received a very generous gift that will help out with our next trip to NYC. Thanks to everyone for participating in the Family Silent Auction! [Note: The family raised $1200 for Ally and parents, by auctioning within the family some family memorabilia.] I got some of Great Grammie's yarn, which I plan to make into something for next year's auction.

This past week I had to work Monday and Tuesday so Ally spent Monday with Grammy and Grampa and Tuesday with Daddy. She loved both days (I think she is getting sick of me being home all the time.) On Wednesday we visited Auntie in Portsmouth and had a great time. On Thursday Grammie came to visit us! And, on Friday we went to the beach and met up with some friends. It was a great week!

This morning, on their way home from the bagel shop, one of our new favorite songs came on the radio ("Tighten Up" by The Black Keys) and Daddy said how much he liked the song. Ally’s response: "They sound like monkeys!" Great...now Ally is a music critic.

I am expecting to hear about preschool soon. I am hoping she still has a spot.

We draw HAMA again on Thursday, with results coming on the 25th.

Federal stimulus funds for teachers may face a fight in Utah

By Joseph M. Dougherty

Deseret News
Published: Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 5:31 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — When President Barack Obama signed an education jobs bill into law Tuesday, the clock started ticking.

The bill provides $10 billion in funding to the states for teacher or school staff salaries. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has until Sept. 9 to apply for $101 million designated as Utah's portion.

If he applies for the funding, a special session of the Utah Legislature would be required because the dollar amount is higher than $10 million.

The State Office of Education estimates 1,400 to 1,500 school employees' jobs could be saved. Federal estimates put that number as high as 1,800 jobs.

Lost jobs generally mean more students per classroom.

Herbert said Wednesday that he is committed to reducing classroom size in Utah, because it is critical to the success of schoolchildren and the future of the state.

"This may provide an opportunity where we can do something meaningful to address that challenge," he said.

But it will take some study to see if accepting the money is the right thing to do, Herbert said, adding that he has meetings with legislative and education leaders planned for early in the coming week to consider "the ways to best seize this opportunity."


Moar at link



Ah. How things have changed in Utah. When I was in the public school system there, Utah was proud to have the highest per capita expenditure on education in the country.

Now it ranks dead last ~~
Spending per Pupil and Average Teacher Salaries in Selected States, 1993-1994
Oklahoma $3,889 46 $26,749
Alabama $3,815 47 $28,705
Arkansas $3,657 48 $27,873
Mississippi $3,297 49 $25,235
Utah $3,203 50 $28,056
(source link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/backgrounders/school_funding.html )

The ranking was the same in 2006. . . .

The "so called strings" attached are that IF a state accepts the money, it is not allowed to lower its OWN funding of education. Seems fair to me. If you give money to someone to keep their family from starving, then they're not allowed to take their own food money for the kids and go gambling.

Still Life With Harvest

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:43 PM, EDT

So, we got the call from NYC. The plan is to draw HAMA again next week.

Reading between the lines (because the staff at MSKCC is always rushed, do not fully answer questions, and sometimes make it seem like it is a huge inconvenience for them to answer questions about my child's medical care) it seems like, if the HAMA is not where they want it to be, we will go ahead with another round of Rituximab, and we will be able to complete that here, in NH.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2:53 PM, EDT

Ally is still HAMA positive.

I am waiting for a phone call from NYC to see if we are going to do Rituximab again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Missing Jerry Garcia

traveling light

we come through time

searching for a home

traveling sound

we go around

til the path opens

after the rush

it all slows down

and if it feels right

play it

and again

By Phil Specht on August 10, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hula Girl making Button Soup

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:22 PM, EDT
Wow...it has been 2 whole weeks since our last update....and not too much has happened!

We have been having a lot of adventures. This past weekend we took Ally to a local pool and she was brave enough to walk in, up to her armpits. She even allowed Daddy to hold her in a swimming position while she kicked her feet. This was the most she has ever done in a pool. We were super proud of her.

Today we went to Squam Lake Science Center. Ally had a blast. We met up with some other friends there and even managed to catch the otter feeding (which sounds interesting, but when you are standing there with 60 other people in a cramped, hot space...not as interesting as one would hope).

Last week I had to work and Ally spent her days with Grammy and Grampa. They had all kinds of adventures as well...blueberry picking, pottery painting, acorn stew, and lots of other fun times. They found a wonderful park in Epsom as well.

Yesterday Ally had her blood drawn for her HAMA level. We will know the results on the 11th. We are hoping that it is negative so we can get this next round of 3f8 in before school begins again. Speaking of school....Ally's oncologist said she thought it was a wonderful idea to send Ally. Now we just have to wait to make sure she didn't get bumped to the waiting list.

So, this is what a normal summer is like....pretty nice, I think I will take more please!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Reverie on the American Nightmare

Reverie on the American Nightmare

By Tom Bearse on Aug 2, 2010 5:36 PM EDT

I found the Financial Times story cited by maha, to which puddle linked, emotionally wrenching.

I was downtown today, walking by other downtown workers in the skyscrapers, on the sidewalks and along the skywalks and, viewing each one, thinking how insignificant they were. No business, or a scant few, sees any value in an employee anymore, regarding them only as fungible assets to be cast adrift as the economic climate demands. I felt like a useless cog, too.

There was a time when I worked in the City-County Building and saw daily these people who worked in offices like the Council research office or the City Budget Department or the Neighborhood Planning Committee, all civic minded agencies who worked in an era when attention was paid to such matters. They were accountants and midlevel bureaucrats who lucked out and caught on with a city or county office, obtaining steady jobs with benefits and pensions. I used to think to myself they were like ghosts, occupying positions in agencies from a bygone era, soon to lapse into extinction.

Now I am starting to feel like a ghost, a strange sensation when I think back to the late 60's. I was preparing for college and the idea was bracing. I thought of myself as about to wade into a huge wave of progressivism and activism, left like the wake of the Great Society and the Civil Rights movement. The corny old world of close-minded, 9 to 5, colorless, grey flannel bureaucrats from the suburbs would be drawing to an end, and endless possibilities for social progress seemed to lay ahead.

I look back at it now, and I think of all those peace and love hippies I matriculated with as the CEO's, bankers and business moguls of today who have managed to destroy a generation's work in establishing collective bargaining rights, medical benefits and pensions for workers, leisure time; all the trappings of the American Dream from the black and white TV shows of my youth, for a return to the Gilded Age. They control the capital, and have erased all the gains made by average working people to accumulate even more of it. It's pretty obvious by now how far backwards in time we're traveling, and it's pointless to deny that we've caused it ourselves.


This is the link the above was in response to: