Monday, February 28, 2011

Relentless in our search for ease.

There is a wind gap on the ridge.
Settlers and immigrants and soldiers
following the indian trading trail
centuries of bringing trade goods
to the rendezvous.
Around the first point there it is,
visible a mile away. A destination.
How far we go for a little ease.

The wind too must have thought it so
down off the glaciers of the ice age
finding the beach of an earlier sea
to move relentlessly century after century.
How far we go for a little ease,
if we are the wind.
One big flood, water cuts a valley, all downhill.
Wind too but not so fast. Relentless the earth spins
ocean steady of temperature as land holds back the glacier
or not, air rushing to and fro, lifting falling.
Falling, falling, falling off the ice onto the ridge
pushing the beach of the earlier sea
into the valley. "There." "The gap."

A marker as much as an ease perhaps,
directions are always helpful. "Turn right."
"Exit here." voice on dash, wind listening
to ancient beach and distant ocean,
what moves us to turn. To go a mile to ease a climb.
Relentless in that search we no longer
use our eyes, we do not see,
the voice in our head, our car
says turn right and we do not see.
So blind now and turning right
still taking the easy way we join nature
relentless down hill or up, on the way to the beach.
As was the wind, as was the wind.

By Phil Specht on Feb 28, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

No surprise here; this seems to be Ally’s pattern:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:57 AM, EST
Ally is HAMA positive, we will draw blood again in March.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011 4:36 PM, EST

This weekend we had 2 birthday parties for Ally! (If you are keeping track, those would be her 3rd and 4th parties for her 4th birthday!)
On Saturday we had about a dozen friends over with their mommies and daddies. We enjoyed a pancake breakfast, followed by the most delicious Abby Cadabby cake! All the kids played well together and Ally had a great time!
Today all the relatives and adult friends came over. Ally was spoiled with gifts! (Turns out puzzles and books are a big hit with 4 year olds, as well as shopping carts and tools.) Today we had pizza, brownie sundaes and left over cake. Delicious again!

On Wednesday we will find out the results of Ally's HAMA draw. Mommy and Daddy have to work every day this week, but Mommy gets next week off for "February" Vacation! We already have lots of plans in the works.

That's it for now, enjoy the snow again!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rembrandt. Aristotle before the Bust of Homer (1653, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

On your Grandmother's hundredth anniversary of her birth.

The written language has its own life.
The world opens forward and back in time.
Eventually into the mists as all memory fades.
Meanings change though events happen.

Next year (see how easily I slip into the future,
in the sand country of central Wisconsin's poor farms
and deep winter snow a baby girl was born in 1912
now deep in the past) it will be a century,
another mark of time.

My Grandfather, my cousin, Bonnie, on the other knee
sounding out the words in the Sunday comics,
laughing with delight as we first recognized some;
a laugh you got to hear repeated by my Uncle Lloyd
(the day he gave you that lucky fishing hat)
as your brother played pinball with him in the tavern.

Time works that way.
Generations pass down laughter in the good times
along with love of words ...or fishing.

Love of the written language
that comes from the century of oak for heat,
kerosene for light. I found books in the attic
of my Grandfather's back another century still.
He taught her to read on his knee as well.

Teachers College and one room schools.
Patient sounding out the words, it was phonics back then.

Like Dad, I too married a woman who loved to read.
Your pedigree set to be a man of letters
before your own day of birth.
Magnet letters following on the refrigerator.
The same three letter alphabet floating in milk
you text me now.

The affirmation of "Yep" always good for a smile.

and timeless

By Phil Specht on Feb 19, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday, February 07, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011 11:16 AM, EST

We had a wonderful weekend together. It is so nice to have Daddy and Ally home again.

This morning I brought Ally to the dentist for a follow up from her surgery. The dentist was fantastic! Did I mention how fantastic they were on the surgery day? The dentist remembered Ally's history, and he checked in with her Dartmouth doctors the night before. Except for the fact that we were at the hospital, having surgery, it was one of the best medical experiences we have had......okay, back to this morning. The dentist was pleased with how Ally's teeth look, and he said that we were doing a good job keeping them clean. It is very nice to have supportive people!

That's it for now. I have a parent/teacher conference with Ally's teacher tomorrow, we are going to draw HAMA next week and enjoy having Ally home for a while!!!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ally update

Saturday, February 5, 2011 3:41 PM, EST

We are home...and it is snowing....again!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:32 PM, EST

Daddy said Ally's pain seemed less intense today, but lasted for a longer duration. On the walk home (Daddy carrying Ally) she got a coughing fit, and puked up some mucus, into Daddy's idea what happened to the mucus, but if you are walking down First Ave, between 68th and 73rd, watch your step. The coughing fit continued when they got back to the Ronald. Ally was very upset, more about not being able to sleep, rather than the actual coughing. A bit of a snuggle from Daddy and everything was alright. I happened to be on the phone with Daddy when this was happening, and it was not fun to listen to. We debate about which part is worse, being there with Ally and watching her be in pain everyday, or being at home and not being able to be there to comfort her. I guess we both lose.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 7:20 PM, EST

I don't have too much to report. Things went well today. They used one rescue for Ally and then she rested comfortably. Strangely she popped up soon after she settled in and started crying that her legs hurt. They quickly gave her another rescue and she settled back down.
Auntie Kelly made it safely to the city, leaving the snow behind her!
Did I mention how awesome my neighbors are? They helped out again with the 20+ inches of snow! There was even a snowblower fairy in the neighborhood. I am not sure who he was, but some nice man came over and snowblowed the end of the driveway and the walkway after the plow came by and left a foot of snow at the end of the driveway, and snow up to my waist at the end of the walkway....thank you snowblower fairy!!! Come back whenever you want!

Two days left, and Ally is a super champ!
(I took the picture above this morning, when I was talking to Daddy and Ally on Skype. She perks right up in the morning!)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:18 PM, EST

Today was much smoother for Ally and Daddy.

Ally woke up a little after 7:00, which is late for her. She woke up perky and ready for they day. The 2 of them headed down the street for some breakfast, and then settled into the room to play with all of her new toys! They also made a trip to the playroom at the Ronald.

Around 12:30 the hospital called and they headed down the 5 blocks there. As soon as they got to the hospital they were shown to the room and Ally was hooked right up. She got her premeds, and by the time I called (around 2:00) the 3f8 was in, and she was feeling the pain. So far her pain has been much less than in past rounds (not sure what to make of that, but they did tell us every round would be different). This is good, for obvious reasons, but also because she only needed 1 rescue. The rescue meds help ease the pain, but they also relax her body so much that her breathing slows and then she needs oxygen, which she hates. With less pain meds her oxygen stayed level, as did her heart rate today, so they were out of there around 5:00 tonight! Daddy said he actually preferred this afternoon schedule (today, not yesterday), and if it ran like this for the rest of the week, would recommend doing it each time, as things move quickly. (When we go in the morning, there is about 1-2 hours of "down time" in the morning.) They are all set to head to the family dinner at the Ronald tonight and Auntie Kelly should be arriving in the Big Apple this evening as well! Yeah for an extra set of hands!!!

Ice Cream Cake: On top of the awesome...whoops, radical, banner and toys they wanted to give Ally an ice cream cake. She is a very picky eater and was getting cranky from being at the hospital for so long, so Daddy said they were all set. The Child Life Specialist came back a couple of minutes later and said the nurses would really like for Ally to have the ice cream cake (and for them to share it with her). This story was much funnier/more interesting in my head last night, and now I feel lame writing about it, but I promised, so I did.

Dental Surgery: Daddy mentioned Ally had this done and the nurse practitioner he was talking to relayed that several of their patients needed this done as well. It made us both feel really good that it WAS because of her chemo and not us giving her pediasure, juice and other things whenever she wanted them, and thus ruining her teeth....we always knew it wasn't our fault (no matter what that stupid dentist said), but it was nice to hear that it is common with kids in Ally's situation.

Okay, so things went well today. Auntie Kelly will be there to help out the rest of the week, and Daddy said they only got rain there today and it looks like rain there for tomorrow....that just leaves me to shovel up the 23 inches we are supposed to get!!! (By the way, have I mentioned how AWESOME (I can use that word, because I am not talking about Ally) our next-door and across-the-street neighbors are? They help us out a ton by using their snow-blowers in our driveway! Yeah to Ed and Frank!!!)

Snow stitching. . . .

Ghost Snow

Monday, January 31, 2011 9:36 PM, EST

Here is my ramble (Try to follow my segmented train of thought):
Today was a looooooooooooooooong day for Ally and Daddy. The plan was to begin around noon. The hospital asked them to get there at 9:30 this morning to get things started and whatnot. When I called Daddy around 2:45 they had not yet begun, were still in the playroom and had not eaten lunch. Despite this Ally rocked it out! She played with some of the volunteers, and gave Daddy a little break. Word spread that it was her birthday and boy did they make it awesome! When Ally finally got back to her room, around 3:30ish they had a huge banner with a pig on it and LOTS of presents! They had to find a bag for Daddy to bring it all home in. Who knows how it will get back to NH?!?
Daddy said Ally did great with the 3f8. She seemed to have less pain than in past times, and even had some pain rescues left over. (In the past she has needed all of them, and on one occasion needed an extra beyond the normal.) They were at the hospital until 9ish tonight. (Yup, that's 11.5 hours today!) Ally needed oxygen, which she HATES! She actually covered up her mouth and nose when they started it. Really, she just needed to cough a few times to loosen some stuff up, but she refused. Hopefully Daddy will be able to process that with her tomorrow, so they will be able to get out of there sooner. Speaking of tomorrow, the plan is for the hospital to call Daddy's cell phone when they are ready for them to come to the hospital. At least now they won't be stuck at the hospital all day. Hopefully they will be able to begin sooner tomorrow as well. Ally did great, and Daddy is the real hero of the day. He made sure Ally was happy the whole time and remained calm!!!
So much is going through my head that I can't make sense of it all, tomorrow I will tell you about the Ice Cream Cake! and the dental surgery. Right now I am just relieved they are back at the Ronald, Ally is resting comfortably, and Daddy finally gets to eat the left over cereal from this morning. I love those two!