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We salute the Grammy nomination of the late great Dave Van Ronk's final concert album:
". . . and the tin pan bended and the story ended . . ."
DVR Grammy CD
Watch the 47th Grammy's and look for DVR's Wife and Producer, Andrea Vuocolo Vanronk, and our beloved Christine Lavin [who helped edit it]
February 13, 2005 8PM on CBS.

click here

William Valdez is our Son-in-Law Extrodinaire.
You can support our troops via this site, and support William, personally, if you wish. His TFT ID is 1862195
Thank you!

don't recycle bush


Listen to Hober

US Faces of the Fallen:
•US Fatalities in Iraq

•US Fatalities; "Operation Enduring Freedom"

Civilian casualties update
  Wednesday   June 22   2005

Boring, but here's my next medical project. I go to a neurologist(?) at Everett Clinic of Neurology, and get to play "Find the numb /tingling /annoying neck to fingertips source!". Oy.

I dunno what to expect. Waite did mention something about a bunch of fine needles being inserted from neck to digits, or maybe not exactly that, being used to locate the source. Ain't that swell? I imagine they do something electrical to find it, but what if it isn't a total numb day? Oh well. I have no clue where to begin to look. I just saw a snap /bio of the guy doing me 7/18. Zap!

This weekend was Mom's 81st b'day. She's so beautiful still! Gordy took some snaps before of her in a very grainy black & white film that really exacerbates her wrinkles, and creates new flaws -- great for an old Man, but Mom? Not good use of film -- she looks nasty.

The gibberish phase seems to have gone with the most recent Rx she tried -- yay!!! That was very scary. She often mixes up words now, or can't find them, but that was horrific. Oh, I so try not to let my mind go where Mom's future issues will be. Insidious. INSIDIOUS and EVIL DISEASE!

Also, I got to mark Mom's b'day with a trip to the ER. Gordy dropped us off (me and Mom) and went to his Dad's day dinner, and while Mom got antsy, after we finally got discharged to calm her down, we tried to get info on any Taxi's up north that we couldn't find in our phone books (all of them were out of biz in ours -- and per our local operator]. I didn't get to just heal or rest because Mom really is (never has been) a bad "visitor". She needs to talk all the time, and I needed rest and let the Rx work..hah! Had to go 2 rounds of injections to calm the belly, including bentyl (which may have exacerbated it) and then the "green cocktail). Ugh. But that helped!!!

OH yeah, last bit o' total trivia. Seems as if my water heater is breaking /broke. Who would've thunk it when between G & G they keep the dishwasher 24x7 and wsher, the same. GAK! Ut oh -- big expense looms.

But, I guess things, when all is said and done, aren't too bad?

 09:52 AM - link -    

  Wednesday   June 15   2005

Public Broadcasting Targeted By House
Panel Seeks to End CPB's Funding Within 2 Years

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 10, 2005; Page A01

A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government's financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children's educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster."

In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which passes federal funds to public broadcasters -- starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million -- Public Broadcasting Targeted By House
Panel Seeks to End CPB's Funding Within 2 Years

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 10, 2005; Page A01

A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government's financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children's educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster."

In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which passes federal funds to public broadcasters -- starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million for more link here.

Subject: This time, it's for real: Save NPR and PBS


You know that email petition that keeps circulating about how Congress is slashing funding for NPR and PBS? Well, now it's actually true. (Really. Check at the bottom if you don't believe me.)

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS:


A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and other commercial-free children's shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch.

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years. The loss could kill beloved children's shows like "Clifford the Big Red Dog," "Arthur," and "Postcards from Buster." Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

Already, 300,000 people have signed the petition. Can you help us reach 400,000 signatures today?



P.S. Read the Washington Post report on same.

[FYI, here is what I included in my signed petition -- it is very easy to sign up, quite painless, and you don't have to personalize it -- ..zoe]

My belief that we NEED PBS & NPR is so great, that even though I live on a fixed income due to my being disabled, and have had to reduce the causes I support financially, I have not, nor will I, ever be a part of our potentially losing these educational, independent, fresh forms of communication and education.

If the government could make the decision to help keep NPR and PBS on the air-waves, as I have, despite the budget being difficult to reconcile, I truly believe it will perform a great service, and beginning to get our people informed, and that, is priceless!!!

If I can comprehend and sacrifice and prioritize properly, I hope and imagine that my government would be able to do the same.

[heck, they've already censored poor cookie monster for "health reasons" (he can't say cookie, he has to modify it to say cookie is good sometimes..what were they thinking?) -- is this censorship for kids?!]

 05:34 PM - link -    

  Sunday   June 12   2005

I ended up pulling an all-nighter -- I just couldn't get my eyes closed and my mind shut off!!! Dang.

I tried to watch some DVDs, but none really caught my full attention, although, Barbara Stanwyck in "Stella Dallas", no matter that I know the story -- made me cry, a lot!!! A really good "chick flick" IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion) -- she's an amazing actress!

I played some mindless 'puter games, that get the blood up trying to use the ol' eye /hand coordination, and trying to stop G from snoooooorrrrrrriiiinnnnggggg zzzzzzzzzzzzzz argh!!! and I couldn't read, the eyes too raw, so I got inspired, and decided to reach out and "touch" a few folk via email.

One person I tried to hook up with is my "2nd cousin", Jenna. She's a very special woman, and maybe another day I'll write about her -- but for now, please take my word!!! I wrote her and asked her to revisit something she did a while ago; send a video to my Mom.

Mom is starting to get more and more dramatically in and out of the Alzheimers. This AM (oopsie, technically, Sat AM) she had this weird thing, where she had imagined, or brought a false or old memory, or retained a dream as true, regarding me and Mom cooking in the AM, and apparently disagreeing about how to cut this thing...now that by itself isn't bad, the problem comes in that she couldn't find words to describe what she was talking about food-wise. The words were missing, she couldn't even find words to describe it, or the ability to draw it, or sketch it.

It was lucky that she took it lightly, and we all laughed at the guessing game, and I went along with her belief that we cooked it, and it is somewhere hiding in her drawers or pillows, or maybe mine? -- she was looking there for this "entree"...but no luck. I hope by today she'll have forgotten the incident entirely -- toes and fingers are crossed.

She's also been having a lot of hip pain -- for sure there is a bursa on her right hip, but methinks there is more to it, as she's received "orders" for Tues. to go to WGH for ultrasound in the kidney and spine area...shit! She's so brave sometimes -- she takes pain "well" -- and at this point in her life, why should she have to? I hope it's something easily repaired, if they find something.

She had a great time on Friday at the Salon, The Gallery, in Oak Harbor. We are very lucky to have a lovely, generous, vivacious, and talented, woman who does our hair, Robin! She always checks in with Mom to make sure she is ok food-wise, and will send out if she isn't. How's that for wonderful?

And, Mom loves to read the magazines, and be around all the young (most of the customers and all of the stylists are young) energy, and the "girl talk". And, there is usually treats to munch on besides the coffee. So it's a long day, but a good one for her.

Another discovery today (yesterday) occured when I decided to call my eldest nephew, Gregg, to check in and finally "cry uncle" and let him know that I knew he and Kate split up, and tried to give him my love and support, and a safe place to chat -- but he seemed a bit aloof -- he spoke about things, but it felt "off". I hope it isn't something I did, and it's merely that he was tired ?!?

But, get this -- he's going to go, probably in September, to CHINA, to teach english!!! This will be for a year. He has no clue where he'll be, or what grade he'll teach, or what his accomodations will be, but he's going for it. Whatta guy!!! I'm very impressed.

I asked him to please try to stop by, no pressure, just TRY, before he leaves for China. I think that in a year's time, Mom will not know him, and her health will be severly changed for the worse...God I hope I'm wrong...but I had to tell him the truth, so he could make an informed choice. So, my toes and fingers are crossed on that happening too!

Did I mention that I started a recent surge of email exchanges with Judy back east? Here's another perfect conundrum. This woman is one of the most generous souls on earth, as is her husband, and apparently, she has been hit with some heavy health issues to deal with. I'm not sure the nature of it all, but I do know she has surgery and will be starting chemo soon -- where on her body the cancer struck, I don't know, but she is so absolutely the nicest person, and the illness HAD to have hit her by accident, she has no need for a "life lesson" in my opinion, there was a mistake, and I'm angry that Judy has to deal with this. It's just wrong!

But, she's a hoot, she replied in her genuine, and funny way, and made ME laugh -- look who's caring for who -- this is exactly what I mean -- I'm sure this disease was an error on "Universe's" part! Sort of like "Here Comes Mr Jordon" -- another tear-jerker flick -- later redone with warren beatty.

So, NOW that the sun is shining through the clouds, my eyes are starting to slam shut -- and I'm getting that spacy over-tired, fuzzy feeling in my body and mush-minded to boot. I really don't want to sleep the day away, but it may be what's in store for me.

I also am getting tummy "clutch...well more like twinges" and I really don't want to push it and end back into the ER -- so I'll take the sleep and try to play "catch up".

So, please send happy healing thoughts Judy's way (she lives in CT) and also protective and joyful vibes to my nephew Gregg for his adventure, and I'll take some "let's get her sleeping on a normal schedule" again help ...

Time to try to get Gordy to STOP SNORING again for a bit! In all this drama, there still lies the mundane, eh? LOL

 07:01 AM - link -    

  Friday   June 10   2005

Does this mean some voles don't pay child support?

June 10, 2005

DNA of Voles May Hint at Why Some Fathers Shirk Duties


Some male prairie voles are devoted fathers and faithful partners, while others are less satisfactory on both counts. The spectrum of behavior is shaped by a genetic mechanism that allows for quick evolutionary changes, two researchers from Emory University report in today's issue of Science.

The mechanism depends on a highly variable section of DNA involved in controlling a gene. The Emory researchers who found it, Elizabeth A. D. Hammock and Larry J. Young, say they have detected the same mechanism embedded in the sequence of human DNA but do not yet know how it may influence people's behavior.

Voles, not to be confused with the burrowing, hill-making mole, are mouselike rodents with darker coats and fatter tails. The control section of their DNA expands and contracts in the course of evolution so that members of a wild population of voles, the Emory researchers have found, will carry sections of many different lengths. Male voles with a long version of the control section are monogamous and devoted to their pups, whereas those with shorter versions are less so.

[for more, link here!]

Listen, you dirty rodent, I'll see you on Judge Judy!

 10:58 AM - link -    

  Wednesday   June 8   2005

Just a quick entry because someone actually told me that they noticed I've been quiet of late! Who knew?

So, the latest has been mostly about me trying to catch up on sleep...oh I'm am soooo zonked! And, also, there is a plethora of Momstuff that needs attending, her hips have been really painful, and I think I've mentioned that Mom doesn't tend to "cry pain" easily. In the days of yore, she used to have root canals done with [this is not for the queasy -- I'd turn back if I were you...] no, none, rien, nada novocaine! Youch -- what was she thinking?

I heard recently, that thanks to mostly Mary Travers' strong will coupled with the "powers that be", that she's home again after the long arduous journey of bone marrow transplant. I'm am in awe of her courage! You go Mary!

In case this is the first you're hearing of this, you can write her if you feel up to it, she's kept strong through contact with her fans, friends, family et al sending her email. I've been keeping track of her progress mostly via Christin Lavin's website -- this was taken from there (it includes how to contact Mary):

May 26, 2005


Mary was released from the hospital this week, exactly one month after the bone marrow transplant procedure, and is so happy to be home! The graft 'took" and she reports that the donor marrow is making wonderful cells, ALL FOR HER!

She sends her thanks for all the wonderful messages and letters of support, encouragement and humor that have been coming in for her since early December...

So, a warm, gracious hello from Mary...and she'll be sure to keep the extended PP&M family posted as to how she's doing.

-Paul Kehoe

Please do email Mary at: (ForMary@peterpaulandmary.com) and check out the website, Peter Paul & Mary, for additional updates.

I have to stop a second and make mention of one of my major angels in my life, and that is Christine Lavin. Although I'm not working on her website anymore, I've not been able to get up the time and energy, she has proven to be a dear friend and mentor in many ways. She always is there when one of her peers, like Dave Van Ronk, or Mary Travers, is in need of help. She uses her website for more than promoting her own music, but to entertain her fans, to promote new artists that she finds in her travels (not just musicians, but artists who are enthusiastic about their craft, such as jewelers et al).

If she sees something off-broadway, or a play that doesn't get good press, but she is moved by it, she speaks of it and her experience watching it on her site. She is a veritable fount of information, and a performer extrodinaire! If you haven't seen or heard Chris yet, you absolutely must the next time she's in your area -- she's a hoot, and she's accessible and you'll feel better for it, no matter your mood before heading out to the show!

Here's her ever-changing schedule. Check Monthly at least, as shows get added frequently!

Other things of note, is that tomorrow my brother is 55! Yikes, he's so oooooolllllldddd! [JSQP! that is initials from what I said when he was in 3rd grade /miss maglady's class Happy Birthday to you...and many more!"]

And, Mom gets x-rays on her spine, and I get to talk to the attorney about handling Mom's estate, and getting her on Medicare. And Kim, poor Kim, will be working on sorting and fitting all the things in my garage, into sensible, logical, accessible areas in the new storage space I built inside me garage!

So that's what's up. The catties just got their "velcro claws" clipped, and now I have to set up an appt. for them at the V-E-T. Oh my! What fun? [help, i'm held captive by the cuteness of my kitties!]

This week, I'll try to get back to adding more snaps from Grammy's, Doris' b'day party.

 12:41 AM - link -    

  Saturday   June 4   2005

Medical Addendum....

I forgot to mention that Dr Parikh told me about, what he calls, "Parikh Breast Jewelry" ... In area "a", where the mass was against my chest wall, he left a "Ribbon" shape, in area "b" he left an "S". When I asked why the "S", he chuckled a bit over the phone, and said, Superwoman of course! [by mutual agreement prior to the biopsy, we both agreed that leaving the marker in the nipple area would not be good for me re: my FMS /MPS and sensitivity -- that was one of the most amazing things about Dr Parikh, he actually listened, and made no judgements, he just accepted my word and historical experiences with my body and how it reacts].

My Appointment with Dr Waite

He checked out the healing process, and all is well, but, I took a perverse pleasure, when he first had a look-see, he did a sort of inhaling of breath, and wow, he didn't have a feel for what I went through until he saw it himself. Seeing is believing. And, even he said, something about quitting after #2, then knowing me, said, there was no way you would, right? So that was a positive reinforcement.

But, we also did some procedures at the office on Thursday.
I showed him some "bumps" that are making themselves known on the underside of my forearms (is there a name for this part of the body?) and some bumps happening on my hand.

We couldn't find an exact match in his books (eeeuuuw, I had to stop looking -- gross) but he asked me if I had ever been checked for SPRUE. It sounded familiar, but there were no bells going off so he decided to take some samples, and some blood and check it out.

If it is SPRUE or Celiac's, that could explain my stomach pain all this time!!! When I read about it, apparently there is a genetic predisposition, but it can start at any time, or not, sort of like FMS. So, the very good news is, that this could be the the Dx I am seeking to stop my stomach cramping, and nausea and PAIN beyond the pale!!!

The remedy would be totally qluten free diet and no wheat or oats (actually, oats right now are being revisited as maybe ok after all as discussed on some Celiac /Sprue sites on the net). It would mean a HUGE change, but to be of my Rx, and to be able to have NO PAIN again, wow...dare to dream?

So, that's the latest. More hope. I'll keep you posted.
OTOH, if this isn't the Dx, then we are looking again at "exploratory surgery" and before doing that, I need to sign up and see if I'm eligible for for the "alternative option" re: ARD, which I found on the net; Clear Passage Therapies.

But, again, there is new hope!

 12:07 AM - link -    

  Friday   June 3   2005

Amid the "big picture" I know that this sentiment is silly, almost bordering on "can't *ANYTHING* make her happy?" etc., but truth be known...I am a bit blue with something akin to "Surviours Remorse".

I can only rationalize it by saying that it has been a process that has been the center of my universe since April 15th, and my preparing myself for the worse ... and being the tenacious person I am, it's hard to switch gears?

But, maybe larger still, I feel as if I have let my friends who have been there for me down in not having cancer, and not joining their "sisterhood".

Here I have been, nervous and anxious, and reaching out for help, and some lovely souls have come though for me, and have sat by my "virtual" side waiting for each test, taking each let down and blow right along with me, and who have extended themselves for me. And, here I am, clean [knock wood], and able to avoid further invasive procedures, and the hard choices, and radiation and /or chemo or hormones, etc. because I avoided the bullet -- and yet many of my friends have not been so lucky. I am so sorry that they had to go through this, and who have had to revisit the past to help me out.

Yes, there is some survivour's remorse.

But, from this x-ray on, I will also have 2 markers in my breast, one being the "ribbon", the other, an "s" [which Dr Parikh had dubbed, with his unfailing good humor and spirits, "super woman" ;-) ].

Again, I must thank everyone, silent and vocal for their generosity and kindness and bravery.

 11:18 AM - link -    

  Thursday   June 2   2005

Unreal !!! All three sites are BENIGN !!!


*I''m Cancer Free !!!*

thank you
Thank you again dear ones for everything!!!
Words don't do my gratitude justice!!!"

words from an email I wrote earlier...:

"The Exclaimation Point Just Came in and it is official!!!

I just heard from the Oncologist, Hank Kaplan, MD extrodinaire...and everything is benign!!! Un-effing-believable!!! Thank you all so very very much!!! Your support and caring and sharing of personal experiences brought me to this place...without you there /here this couldn't have happened.

He received the final results last night, and spoke to the radiologist, Parikh today to make sure that he had no concerns about getting more tissue -- and he said that Parikh was very positive and said to get my 6 month baseline on my left one in October (because this started on 4/15) and all is good!

Apparently, what was stated as something "inconclusive" really turned out to be a double label on one of the slides, that they received, so they weren't sure if it as site "a" or site "b", but since all the sites (3) turned out very benign -- that was a non-issue!!!

happydance Hallelujiah!

[insert happy dance here]


 10:48 PM - link -    

  Wednesday   June 1   2005

I saw my first photos of the travelling "gilmos"!

Gregg (Jim and Mary's eldest) and Jim (my brother) took some time off to go to Italy together. What a wonderful time they must have had -- a much needed time to share and make new memories together while playing "catch up" and having debates and the like. Were that I was a fly on the proverbial walls or better yet, able to join them as myself LOL!

The Boys

 01:47 PM - link -    

"walk this way..." Igor [prnounced Eye-gore] from "Young Frankenstien" [pronounced Steen] -- there's more!