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Friday, October 31, 2008

Skull Sticks


This just seemed like an appropriate picture to post for Halloween. I took this photo at the University Street Fair last spring.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Update - Week 17

At week 17 of 40, we're nearly halfway through this pregnancy. We had a doctor appointment on Friday that went very well, although the doctor was concerned that I haven't gained any weight and I was told I need to eat more. She used the doppler to listen to the baby's heartbeat. I didn't cry during any of the sonograms, but for some reason, listening to that heartbeat made me well up with tears. Perhaps just because I had my eyes closed which made it possible for my imagination to take over.

Things changed over the weekend when I started feeling a great deal of discomfort. After several calls to the consulting nurse and a handful of tums, the consulting nurse sent us to the ER on Sunday afternoon. By this time the discomfort had graduated to excruciating pain. After 5 hours in the ER, they determined that I have gall stones. Baby is fine. Now I'm on a non-fat diet. They gave me some pain and anti-nausia medication and told me to call my doctor in the morning. I have an appointment to see my doctor today to figure out how we will treat this moving forward. It may just be a watch your diet and wait and see kind of thing as they really don't want to operate during the pregnancy.

I'm still in some pain but feeling much better now, although completely exhuasted. My big task for this week is getting caught up on all the homework I fell behind on over the past several days.
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Do You Really Think the Same Conservative Tactics Will Solve this Mess?

The belief in Trickle Down Economics contributed to this problem, it is not the solution.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don't Step on My Catheter

Don't Step on My Catheter
by Michael H. Schwartz

Don't even think about treading on
That tempting little hose of soft clear
. plastic lying on the floor
There are plenty enough ways to
Incur my wrath without committing
That most heinous act of barbarism.

Mind your step, you fool, watch
Where you put those uncoordinated
. blobs you call your feet.
Its not just the punishment
That should prompt alertness on
Your part, nor even humanitarian

Compassion to guide your steps aright.
But think on this, the balance
Of all the laws of physics and the
Cosmic glue that holds the
Universe together, lie at risk

Of total disintegration at
The touch of toe on tube.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Year Later

It was one year ago today that my father passed away. I'm still learning how to wrap my brain around this fact. I keep wanting to call or email him. His email address is still sitting there in my address book while his instant messenger icon keeps telling me he's not available.

So much has happened in the past year: I finally quit my job, I'm back in college, I'm pregnant. Dad would have been thrilled about all of these things.

At his funeral, a family friend stood up and told us about a time she went to visit him in the hospital. Before she left, she asked him if there was anything specific he would like her to pray for on his behalf. He paused to think for a while, and then, at a time when any one else would pray for the pain to stop, or a cure for cancer, or wisdom for the doctors or something else along those lines, my dad said this:

"Pray that my conversations will be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, and that I will have the strength and wisdom to answer any question that is asked of me."
Yes, my father was something of a poet, but this was actually a paraphrase of a bible verse.

This quote of my father has stuck with me over the past year. First of all, my conversations could most certainly use more grace. I've been told over and over and over again that I can only control my own reaction in a conversation. The truth is that there are ways to counter hate and bigotry gracefully. I just have to learn how to do it and then I need to teach my child.

The second part of that statement has stuck to me as well. My father was a quiet man and was not in the habit of drawing attention to himself or making himself the topic of conversation. I, on the other hand, was irritated that I didn't know very much about him and that he didn't just, unprompted, broadcast all his stories to us. How simple it would have been to ask him some questions rather that sitting there waiting for him to open up.

I'm not bringing this up for the purpose of beating myself up, I have something else in mind. Do you have anyone in your life who is quiet by nature? Someone who is humble and not at all likely to make the conversation all about them? When you talk to them, is the conversation usually about you? Or do you ask them questions too?

I wonder how many people out there would be open books, if someone would just ask.

I'm paying more attention now, to see who's waiting for me to ask them a question about themselves. I'm not advocating an interrogation, but a genuine interest combined with a couple questions could make a big difference.


Tune in tomorrow and I'll treat you to Dad's poem "Don't Step on My Catheter!"
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Crow on a Log


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

This Needs to be Heard

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Raindrops on Flower Petals



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Monday, October 13, 2008

October always makes me think Orange





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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Most Like an Arch This Marriage

Most Like an Arch This Marriage

By John Ciardi

Most like an arch—an entrance which upholds
and shores the stone-crush up the air like lace.
Mass made idea, and idea held in place.
A lock in time. Inside half-heaven unfolds.

Most like an arch—two weaknesses that lean
into a strength. Two fallings become firm.
Two joined abeyances become a term
naming the fact that teaches fact to mean.

Not quite that? Not much less. World as it is,
what’s strong and separate falters. All I do
at piling stone on stone apart from you
is roofless around nothing. Till we kiss

I am no more than upright and unset.
It is by falling in and in we make
the all-bearing point, for one another’s sake,
in faultless failing, raised by our own weight.

The Collected Poems of John Ciardi (University of Arkansas Press, 1997)

6 years after our first date and I wouldn't change a thing.
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Re-creation of Doc McKinley's Dental Office

Last week my friend Sharon drove out to the Dorothy Page Museum in Wasilla, Alaska and sent me these pictures. Within that museum is a recreation of my grandfather's dental office. I didn't actually have any pictures of this installment so it was a great thrill to receive these pictures.

The dedication (pictured above) reads as follows:

Dr Lee L. McKinley


This re-creation of Dr. McKinley's dental office in Butte is dedicated to his efforts in pioneering "Bush" dentistry and his selfless commitment to the people of Alaska.

For over 40 years "The Flying Dentist" faithfully practiced his profession throughout the entire state serving people from all walks of life. It has been said that Dr. McKinley would often render services free of charge for those who's circumstances called upon his generosity.

In the early 1950's, he was also instrumental in adopting legislation that limited the power of the State Dental Board thus allowing more dentists to practice in Alaska.

As a youth, Lee McKinley was one of four sons of an Arkansas meat peddler. It was his fathers faithful devotion to good will and hard work that would eventually create a solid foundation in each boy. Individually the boys sought public service in the fields of dentistry and medicine. All four have become professionals in their respective fields.

From this early beginning, Lee McKinley entered college on probation as he was without a high school diploma. Undaunted by the work that lay ahead, he pressed on to graduate and practice dentistry in Detroit in 1934.

By the mid-forties, Dr. McKinley and family became disenchanged with the city life. With his son Blake and another youngster, Dr. McKinley loaded up a Hudson pickup and started out for Alaska.

Thus began the illustrious service of Dr. Lee McKinley in Alaska.

We are honored to create a tribute to such a fine man that gave so much of himself to the people of Alaska.

(A complete history of Dr. McKinley is available through narrative and video tape in the museum archives)
And here's a bonus photo of the Matanuska Valley from Wasilla

This is my contribution to Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

A little more about Grandpa:

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jaywalking Geese





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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Help a Lazy Girl Appease Her Curiosity

Ok, all you botany experts out there: I need help figuring out what this plant is. It grows at one of the UW buildings about 2 blocks from my apartment. I didn't notice it until a week ago, although I've walked past this building daily for nearly a year. I don't know if it's pink all year round, or just in the fall.



The "flower" seems to actually be some kind of pod that contains a moist orange fruit like substance inside.


Have any of you seen this before? Do you know what it is?

I'm sure I could probably do some research on my own, but that would be way too much like homework. :)

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