Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Thanksgiving

Thought I'd drop in a few more shots of Thanksgiving that I took--including Mom enjoying her "feast" at Maine Medical! Probably the most expensive Thanksgiving dinner of them all!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


What a windy day! The power went out as I was finishing my last blog entry so a few of the photos did not get posted. Here they are... Hank frying our Thanksgiving turkey outside...

What's a movie without a large butter popcorn???

I walked into the bathroom to find Toshi combing his hair in front of the mirror...too cute!

Giving Thanks

Well, another Thanksgiving is over and I'm exhausted...but thankful in spite of all the craziness of the past few weeks. Hank is out in the woods on this last day of hunting season (I'm on Bambi's side), Rob and family are on their way back to NYC, and the house is unusually quiet. Before I vacuum up the remnants of Thanksgiving dinner and start unpacking the Christmas decorations, I thought I'd take advantage of these few quiet moments to remember all I am thankful for at this time of year. goes...I'm thankful that Mom's health is improving after her bout with e coli. This is her third week in MMC but she is now well enough to be out of ICU and seems to be feeling better every day. She is anxious to get home, sleep in her own bed, and be back with Tabby.

I'm thankful that Kristen was able to join us for Thanksgiving in spite of her broken ankle. And I'm especially thankful for her wonderful caregivers at Casa, without whom I don't know how we would be managing all this. Did I say I'm also thankful for Kristen's ability to smile through every challenge she faces???
I'm thankful for a husband who cooks...and who has stuck by me through it all.

And I'll always be thankful for our family...

...and my amazing sisters...

Nancy...who can always make me laugh...
Andi...who cares if you can cook??? Joanne...who reminds me that it's OK to take a break once in a while and have fun...
and my "adopted" sister (my "little sister" at Russell Sage College and former sister-in-law), Carolyn...who has found her calling with the UCC church and been a source of spiritual support to Mom in the hospital...
And I'm thankful for old friends...

happy memories of simpler times...

and our home at Winn Farm.

I'm thankful that Taka and Toshi could be here for Thanksgiving...

and for the best Dad in the world. Daddy passed four years ago on Thanksgiving and we miss him every single day. Andi placed this arrangement on his grave and Nancy left the rose.

And I'm especially thankful for the good a rainy afternoon eating popcorn at the movies with our grandsons Toshi and Taka...

I'm not very thankful that I've put off the vacumming so it's time to end and get to it. Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and that a much healthier holiday season awaits for Mom, Kristen and Aunt Barbara. Love to all...

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones afterall." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Next???

Welcome to our home away from home...Maine
Medical Center. It's said that bad things come in
threes but it seems that we must be up to four or five by now.
Most important right now is Mom. This is her fourth day in the Special Care Unit at MMC. She was admitted to MMC 2 weeks ago (Nov. 9)with e-coli which she got from eating ground beef she had purchased at Shaw's. The e-coli made her very very sick and has affected her kidneys, heart and lungs. Today she looks a little better and we are hoping that she will regain her strength and be able to move back to a regular hospital room soon. She is still critical so we hope everyone will continue to keep her in their prayers.
On my way home from the hospital last night, I got a message on my cell phone that Kristen was being treated at another MMC branch, Brighton Medical Center, with what has turned out to be a broken ankle. Immediate turn around of car...back to MMC. Kristen fractured her tibia and can not bear any weight so she is in a wheelchair. Tomorrow I have to take her to an orthopedist to have her leg cast. Thankfully, Joanne was in town because of Mom's condition, so she was able to come to the hospital, take a look at the x-rays, and help us transfer Kristen home. I now really appreciate having a sister who is a physical therapist.
As if all this were not enough, on Thursday night when I got back from the ICU, there was a message from my cousin, Kathy, that our aunt, Barbara Smith, was in UCONN medical Center in Farmington, CT. Growing up in Connecticut, we were very close with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ed (Dad's brother) and hearing this news is very sad. Needless to say, we are all praying for Aunt Barb, Uncle Ed and family as well.
And finally, to add just a bit more stress, the results of our genetic testing for the BRCA 2 gene came back this week. BRCA 1 and 2 are the genes that are know to cause an increased risk for ovarian and breast cancer. Mom, who has breast cancer, tested positive for a BRCA 2 mutation in October so Andi, Nancy, Joanne and I had to be tested. It took 2 weeks to get the results and the wait was mind-numbing. It is an autosomal dominant gene so there was a 50% chance that Mom's children would be positive. And that is exactly how we came out...two of us are BRCA positive and carry the mutation and two are not. My sisters who are BRCA positive will now have to make some difficult medical decisions of their own...not really the news they needed this week. this point our family is due for some good luck. In the meantime, we all appreciate how supportive everyone has been...from Mom's neighbors to our colleagues at work to the staff at Kristen's group home...thanks to all. We still hope to salvage a Thanksgiving dinner out of all this...although even that has needed to change. Nancy had invited everyone for Thanksgiving but her house has stairs and Kristen needs a wheelchair so it looks as if Hank and I will have whoever is left in one piece to dinner here. Everyone will bring something and we'll keep it simple but family traditions live on. Rob, Tomomi, Taka and Toshi will be here for Thanksgiving so that will add some much-needed fun to the day. And if we can round up a few other healthy people to share the turkey with us, we'll be all set!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Monday, November 2, 2009


Rob wore a teal ribbon for Nancy in yesterday's NYC Marathon...
Taka made a sign to cheer Daddy on as he ran through Brooklyn...

Rob, Toshi, Tomomi, and Taka in Park Slope. (Taka just lost his first tooth...take a look!)
Taka was a knight for Halloween...
Toshi goes Trick or Treating in Brooklyn:
And in other news...Andi, Nancy and I just got back from our genetic counseling at Maine Medical Center...almost four hours of fun. Now we have to wait two weeks for the results.
Still hoping for your comments on the blog...

Anybody out there???

Is anyone still reading this blog? Very few comments for a LONG time now . Just wondering whether to keep it going.
I notice that most of the family now communicates on Facebook and I see that most of you are commenting frequently there. Maybe Facebook is now accomplishing what we set out to do on this blog? (The downside of Facebook is that I would be reluctant to put family/ medical information out there.)
What do YOU think? Please hit the Comment button below and let us know (if you don't want to open a free Google account, you can just post as "Anonymous" and put your name in the text of your comment).

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Rob just finished in the NYC Marathon...5 hours, 21 minutes, 56 seconds. Congratulations, Rob. You did it!!!
First photos...along the route...will post more later.

NYC Marathon begins!

You can track Rob's progress in the Marathon here:

Halloween at the White House

Love these photos!

for next year, Nancy?

Witch's Hairy Finger Breadsticks

Another Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone--we had a total of 4 Trick or Treaters this year!! Two from the neighborhood, and two "special" guests--a hot dog and a clown! Loved the costumes and the new look for this year!! Kit and Erin came over for a "spooky" Halloween supper--Aaron and I spent the day getting ready. Aaron was in charge of the table-draped with cobwebs and spiders and I was in charge oof cooking. I made a jack-o-lantern cake for dessert, and decided to make home made French bread to go with dinner. Then I decided to turn the dough into a spooky "spider" bread. Kit was in charge of "hacking" the spider's head off and slicing it up. Enjoy our Halloween visitors and dinner pictures! I love Halloween!! Nancy