Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011


Thursday, May 26, 2011


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Monday, May 23, 2011


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Carolyn Donohoe

After an Illness You Become Cautious

After an illness you become cautious,
observing the sage brush buttercups
on the muddy path, grateful for
the clothes line, the washing machine,
knowing you have too many things,
clothes, books, shoes, furniture,
photographs, emails on your computer,
but you cling to them anyway, all the while
hearing Thoreau's voice, “Simplify, simplify,”
and knowing it would free you.

But for what? Just more loss?
You see the tiredness in his eyes
and know yours mirror his and
how much time is left to either of you?
It's like figuring out the monthly budget,
what time you have, what you owe,
waiting for, expecting the emergency
when there's none left. Oh all that
abundance of life and choice you
accepted as if there was no cost.

After an illness you become cautious
like a treasure hunter sifting through
the sandy minutes, dusting off the metal
shards of time together, feeling the light
dapple you as if you were a leopard in
a jungle created for your life, and
you bask in the febrile air, alert
to when you will leap up and pounce
on some ineffable gift that you knew
though distant was always there.

~~ Pat Maslowski

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Come the Rapture,


Friday, May 20, 2011


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:45 PM, EDT

I called NYC today and learned that Ally is HAMA positive. I thought I would be happy about that, because that means we probably won't have to go to NYC until school gets out, so I was surprised when I was disappointed at the news. Moving forward with treatment is always our goal.

We follow other children that we have met in NYC and here in NH. I was recently reading one of my favorite kiddo's post (we have only met him on one trip, but the boy was so positive, full of energy and in love with Ally, that Auntie Kelly and I couldn't help but fall in love with him too). He has had a lot of progression lately, and they are running out of options. In this same post we learned that another little girl, with really awesome parents, passed away over the weekend. There is a lot of bad news in the Neuroblastoma/Cancer world, as of late. Please send out some extra prayers for all the kids.

Monday, May 09, 2011

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." - Jessica Dovey


h/t cC at the BBB

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Wild woods violets

Woods violets but there on the lawn
behind the depression
of a basement once dug out
where the old house stood, my father born there, inside.
And before air conditioning, my mother after a hot august day
and half a night,labor now in a hospital, brought me home.
Tho I don't remember.

But my father's mother's violets, those I do
because Mother's Day you bring your mother flowers
and my stubby little fingers picked them with care
small child sensing the debt, showing the gratitude
brought them to her, her face in the kitchen window
keeping close watch and wondering, as mothers do
what her boy was up to.

By Phil Specht on May 8, 2011

Evanescence of Pain, Persistence of Joy

Eight months disgorging my guts
in public places;
three with a numb thigh, and heavy
corset in heated weather;
22 and one half hours of labor;
thinking I'd likely not do this again

Waffles on this mother's day morning
Watching him work, sweating a little
muttering under his breath as we
carry a wall back into a small room

Remembering the look of wonder: at one, holding
a dandelion's white head, and blowing --
the flower's children sent forth to the
next greening, growing, flowering

And the one who came after, quick and bright
and hot. Rushing into the split between today
and forever as if there were not midnight, no dawn
Blood and tears, and doing it again and again

Fathers both, now, and I am grown old
mourning what I can no longer persuade
my body to do; things left undone
And the bright nodding heads of their children
dreaming not quite yet of their children

All of us ~~ link after link, move the gears
of time forward. Life seems like this: Stopping in
the middle of the poem to make chicken salad.
And just now the raucous spring song
of a Carolina Wren breaks the peace

with joy

8 May 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011

After my mother's death, the kids were at the funeral home, writing her obit. Someone was counting words (cost). The first version was something over $800. . . So we cut it back, leaving out accomplishments, activities, etc. Got it under $500. . . More cuts. . . . Still concern about the cost (and how much she'd have hated paying that kind of money). Finally someone (me?) said: if we want a cheap obit, we need to have picked a different mother. . . .

She was one helluva lady, woman, activist, and mom. . . . .

Friday, May 06, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 8:58 PM, EDT (Ally’s Mommy’s 33rd Birthday)

Hello Again!
This morning we attended the annual Make-A-Wish breakfast. It was very moving when we walked in with the other wish families and all the donors stood up and clapped for us. Ally even managed to get 3 balloons! (We passed one along to another soon to be wish kid that lives near Grammie and Grampa Schulte.)

Sadly, today we found out that the City of Concord has cut funding for preschool, so Ally will not be able to attend next year. This is worrysome to me, as it has taken her up until pretty much this past week to be social with the other kids. It was the first time this week that she freely interacted with other kids while waiting to go inside. I am worried that if she has a year off, that Kindergarten will be too overwhelming for her. We are looking into other options, but are very disappointed at this point. Ally LOVES LOVES LOVES her teacher (and Daddy and I are so thankful to her, as we were not even sure school would ever be an option for Ally, and her teacher has made it one of Ally's most positive experiences)....if only the person who made the decision could have met Ally first...she would have changed their mind!

That's all for now. We will find out HAMA results next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 12:42 PM, EDT

Vacation has been great! I asked Ally the other night what her favorite part of Mommy being home all week was, and her response: "Max"
Max is our across the street neighbor. They moved in last fall, but due to Ally's crazy schedule and the feet and feet of snow we did not meet them until this week. Max and Ally quickly became friends. Max turned 2 in January, and has a pretty cool Mommy and Daddy. Ally often looks out the window to see if they are playing outside, and will often wonder what Max is doing when they are not together. They play very well together. I think a wonderful friendship has been made.

On the medical front: Ally gets HAMA drawn on Thursday, and we will find out the results the following Wednesday. If she is HAMA negative we could be in NYC the week of May 15th or May 22nd. Looking back, it was one year ago that Ally first became HAMA positive...I remember freaking out about it then. It is amazing what changes in a year. We always like to move forward with treatment, but then I think: if she is positive this time around, we will draw again in a month, and probably be able to put off the next round until school gets out, then I won't have to take another week off, and I could even end the year with 1-2 sick days left (that hasn't happened since Ally has been sick).

Ok...we are off to take a walk in the wonderful weather, and probably stop for an ice cream! I'll update later in the week about the Make-A-Wish breakfast!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

new venison haunch winner

By Phil Specht on May 5, 2011

start with an overnight marinate (Kraft zesty Italian dressing) of cold haunch of venison roast

blacken an onion add some corn niblets on high heat while lightly steaming cauliflower and broccoli flowers

thin slice the venison and then a quick stir fry with all the veggies

melt smokey Swiss and cheddar on top as plated

almost as good as the lunch crowd conversation here

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Just thinkin'. . . .

Every single site I use on the internets has a glitch. Some have many. Facebook has some kind of problem with scripts unable to resolve themselves. It can slow my browser for hours without notifying me so I can shut down that tab. It can crash my browser, or freeze my whole machine. HEP has a serious problem posting virtually *anything* takes two or three tries on nearly everything, sometimes 6 or 9 tries. The BBB after you edit takes you to a page, always, that it says doesn't exist. This problem in one form or another is going on three years. Other places change so often that no one can learn to use what features there *are*, give up and leave. One of my dating sites was hacked, which lead to a quick need for everyone (several million people) to get/insert new passwords. Time and the NYT take virtually forever (okay: ten minutes) to even load.

So I'm hoping that *nothing important* evah has to depend on the nets . . . .

We use the beast, make workarounds, adjust, get programs to deal with various glitches, but yanno? It doesn't *REALLY* work well, does it?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Fringed Polygala, Gaywings, Flowering Wintergreen (Polygala paucifolia Willd.)

By Brandee Wenzel

Easily mistaken for an orchid, this bright little jewel is always a delight to stumble across. A member of the Polygalaceae or Milkwort Family, this and fellow species in the genus Polygala produce compounds reputed to increase milk production in nursing mammals. In fact, Polygala is derived from the Latin “poly” meaning “many, much” and “gala” meaning “milk”. Ethnobotanical references to Gaywings were recorded in James Herrick’s 1977 Iroquois Medical Botany, in which the majority of use was indicated for skin inflammations such as abscesses, boils, and sores.

Fringed polygala emerges from creeping, partly underground stems, and is typically no taller than 15 cm (6 inches). Its upper leaves are oval and crowded at the top of the stem, which gives this plant its resemblance to wintergreen. The light pink to deep magenta flowers are made up of five sepals and three petals. The sepals consist of three small outer and two large, showy petal-like “wings”. Of the petals, two are united to form a tubular structure, with the third keeled or boat-shaped petal cresting in a delicate yellow or pink fringe or frill. The keel encloses the reproductive structures, and when a bug lands on the keel, these structures are exposed for pollination. Besides the showy flowers that are insect-pollinated, there are also inconspicuous flowers that are borne underground and which self-fertilize without opening.

Besides Minnesota, gaywings thrive in dry to moist conifer forests from the eastern half of Canada and northeastern United States down to the mountains of Tennessee and Georgia. Its bloom time is spring to early summer. There are over 60 different kinds of Polygala in the United States, with the greatest diversity in the Southeast. Those of us living in the northern United States are fortunate to have an abundance of this wildflower to brighten our woods in the spring.

For More Information: PLANTS Profile - Polygala paucifolia, Fringed Polygala, Gaywings, Flowering Wintergreen