Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Todd Gipstein


Today I picked up a rock that looked like an arrowhead

(out of habit I'm always looking)

but it was just a piece of stone

that if worked had been rejected.

When my son was young (but past the age of needing

the occasional lift on the shoulders) we would hike the hills

in search of artifacts and poke around the "Indian caves."

He became "Indy, boy archeologist;" and

I earned the title "bogus archeologist;"

because by then he had studied enough to know woodland tribes

never lived in rock shelters, even as I estimated 3 feet of time-soil

lay over the ashes of a campfire built as the glaciers passed to the west

and remained sure the spring too handy and the cave too protected

not to invite habitation to wanderers in a strange land.

So now that his spirit inhabits the same space

time continuum as the first nation people's ancestors

I would like to ask him to settle the argument.

Was I right to feel their presence under the bluff?

Or now his with the red tail's cry?

I do know a young "Indiana Jones" is with me

every time I bend to hold the past in my hand.

By Phil Specht on Mar 28, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Friday, March 23, 2012

DFA is killing the blog at the end of April. Suggesting we join them on facebook or tweeter. . . .

practice tweets they were, I saved them to pester a tweeety bird poet friend, lol
By Phil Specht on Mar 23, 2012

- the intolerable half load of 140

By Phil Specht on Mar 23, 2012

burdened beast of speech betrayed


for no two ideas

essential for debate to be held half hitch


but half hitched



corner gps found

blackberry bound

could be friends almost meet

had eyes left gaze of tiny screen

thumbs quiet

index finger salute to Jobs



trees the right height

thrush throat

morn to be born

territory but no mate

no nest, first melody

melody tableau

warbler tree high

lark meadow low

Friday, March 23, 2012 2:46 PM, EDT that I have calmed down the situation is not as bad as I thought.

By the time I knew Ally's button had fallen out, it was too late to put another one in.

In reality we have not used her button very much in the last couple of months. If she does a good enough job eating, we have been letting her sleep without her night time feeds. We keep track of her blood sugar every once in a while, and they are always good, even when she has not had her feeds.

Daddy and I discussed having the button taken out at her next set of scans (which are in just a few weeks). It looks like Ally made the decision for us. I was mostly freaked out because I had not mentally prepared myself or Ally for the button to actually be has been our blood sugar safety net, and we will still need to talk to the endocrinologist about low blood sugars. The emotional upheaval (on my part...Ally is completely fine with the situation) has passed, and we are looking forward to this new, unbuttoned Ally.

The doctor was fine with letting it close up, and just told us to put a band-aid over the hole. By the next morning the hole was completely closed up on her stomach. We will be cautious with it for the next week or so.

Ally has promised to step up her eating...our goal is for her to be 30 pounds by the end of the school year (she is hovering around 27 right now). Of course, as soon as she hits 30 pounds we will up the goal to 35, but she doesn't need to know that right now!

So, it looks like everything will be ok...on the up side, she no longer has to do the CT scan, so she won't have to drink the yucky liquid (we have always put it through her tubie, to avoid the yucky taste). There is always a silver, Ally is REALLY happy her button is gone; she is starting to realize no one else has one, and there is something "different" about her...not sure how I feel about that.

Okay...that's all for now. Nothing exciting coming up. I will post if we have any new information; our next thing on the horizon is an MIBG scan sometime in April.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today ~~

The first Redbud
Pears, plums, cherries, almonds, forsythia, yellow and white

The second day of spring, and 80 degrees

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:25 PM, EDT

So....this evening Ally and I went to my school for Kindergarten Math Night. We spent a wonderful hour with the K kids, then helped to clean up. We finished it off with a 45 minute drive home. We spend about 20 minutes having a bedtime snack and which point Ally heads to the bathroom to use the potty before bed. This is the time (at least an hour too late) that she tells me her mic-key button fell out at my school!!!!!!!


Yup....her feeding tube button fell out and she didn't tell me! By the time I knew about it the hole was closed no more button for Ally!

I am at a loss for words.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On the last day of Winter, the Universe gave to me:

One tigertail butterfly
Two blue skippers
The song of one Carolina Wren
A handful of Coltsfoot
And one happy peeper

Ally hamming it up!

Vernal Equinox ~~ Tuesday, March 20, 1:14 a.m. EDT

Spring Season begins in Northern Hemisphere of Earth

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012 8:29 PM, EDT

I chatted briefly with Ally's NH oncologist today. She has been in contact with Ally's NYC oncologist. He feels stopping all treatment at this point would be acceptable. We are a bit nervous about that, and our NH oncologist understands our feelings. There is a delicate balance we need to perform to keep the neuroblastoma away, but not have horrible side effects or long term issues. So.....Ally is due for scans (now just the MIBG) in April. At that point we will sit down with the NH oncologist and see what our options are.

This week Ally and I are on our own; Daddy is in Texas for training. He will be back on Saturday. We have plans for almost every night this week...yeah!

That's it for now!

Again. Exactly. (Yay!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not a good day. Starting with the paint.

The bathroom floor, and the kitchen floor are now paint free. Not so the cat, several rugs, many towels, and the floor in the future studio. At least it's all dry now, so there won't be further tracking. Feel worst about the blue bottom cat. But I swear I couldn't think of anything else to do. (He got wiped. Several times. But a bath is out of the question.)

And no. Beau played NO part in any of this. All courtesy of the cat. And maybe my son. But who knew that stacking paint cans on stools could be so dangerous?

The gist is Stevie had one of his fits overnight, knocked down something that knocked over the stool and the paint cans which came open on hitting the ground, and then. . . . then began one helluva day.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

News on the Mountain

We have wolves!
Pete talked about
seeing one, tawny,
yellow eyes, instead
of a brindle back,
tan, beautiful.
He saw him standing
on a ridge.

We have wolves!
According to Dee
who works in wildlife
they have come down
from Yellowstone.
There is a path
through public lands
straight from there
to here.

We have wolves!
Now in this mountain
community where
mining, logging,
even bison roamed,
though that didn't
work out too well.
Thunder spooked
the herd who ran
pell-mell down the mountain
all the way to Johnstown
tearing up fences
from here to there.

Old Hyatt the rancher
had to pay
for their repair, and
he subsequently decided
maybe bison weren't
the way to get rich.

We have Wolves!
We sit at the dinner table
all of us, as if
to say, something
has been put right,
brought back where
it belonged, and
we had shared in the guilt
for its being gone.

Not that we would
mingle or feel
altogether amicable
with wolves
for they are predators
(like us)
but knowing they
are here is comforting
is right and just.

We so seek
to make the world
in the image we imagine
of ourselves
of brightness
and niceness
tamed and controlled.

While the world
is better with
a wholeness
with the beauty
and fierceness
and brilliance
of wolves.

And we howl inside ourselves
grateful, awed
with the knowledge
there is a beautiful wolf
(Pete said he'd go out
to see it in his underwear)
somewhere here
on Storm Mountain.

~~ Pat Maslowski

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coltsfoot day!! (Had to go back six years to get a spring this early!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ah, Spring, the first girl. . . .

Today, I saw my first Coltsfoot.

Later, it will look like this.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monsters of War

gunpowder and dynamite

trigger finger itch

dead child dead

dead child crying

to ears that no longer hear

any but voices that never leave the head

By Phil Specht on Mar 11, 2012


Moonlit Aurora Borealis

amniotic sky

reflections of a lost twin

ever circling

tide or maternal heartbeat

as the seas rise and fall

to your memory

when you too, alive

shared water ...

water to put out the prairie fire

in the northern sky

By Phil Specht on Mar 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012 5:28 PM, EST

Still no word on next steps.

But...Ally lost her first tooth today!

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2:00am

Ric Ergenbright

Thursday, March 08, 2012

girlnomad Ukraine

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012 1:17 PM, EST

Ally is HAMA positive. This is a bit disappointing, as we are pretty sure this was her last chance for a final dose of 3f8. There is a little confusion about the actual end date of the protocol, so we have a call/e-mail in to the NYC doctors. Hopefully we will know by tomorrow.
Regardless, we are not sure what our next steps will be. At some point NYC wants us to come back so they can do their post 3f8 workup on her. This would involve a set of scans, blood tests and various other procedures, to see how her body is functioning, after 4 years of cancer treatment....a bit daunting to think about!

Other than that, we have already been out in the snow once today, with plans to play/shovel again. It is nice to finally have snow on the ground!

Everyone is healthy again. The antibiotics have really helped Ally's hearing! This is great, I was getting tired of talking loudly and repeating myself.

As soon as I know what our next steps are I will let you know!