Prince Snow Farm


She's My Hero

Those of you that have been following me here in blogland for a while, know that my daughter suffers from something called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS). C (age 8, turning 9 in November),  has suffered from this mysterious illness since infancy. She was diagnosed at age 3 by a pediatric neurologist at Hasbro in Providence, Rhode Island. Never heard of it?  You are not alone, although it is recorded in medical books back into the 1800's.

Cyclic Vomiting is just what its name suggests, vomiting in cycles. Every person's cycle is different. Many people have an episode after a trigger,( stress (good or bad) / or a food perhaps),  has been present. Others, like C, are triggered by time. C is what is called a "Calendar Kid". Since early childhood, we have literally put an estimate on the calendar, and have pretty accurately determined when C's episode was coming. Luckily, as her age has progressed, she has gained a few days each year. When I started recording at age 3, her episodes were 50 some odd days apart, in early 2012, they were hovering around 80 days.

Then, a miracle happened....the summer came and episode. One hundred twenty, one thirty....then this past Sunday, on the 154th day, an episode hit. We knew it was coming that night. How? Every time an episode is coming, C's world spins upon waking. Horrible nausea and vertigo rock her little world. She is then fine for the rest of the day; however, we know it's coming that night.

C always wants to stay up late the night an episode is coming. She knows that somehow, once her little body has fallen into a deep slumber, SOMETHING is triggered within her brain or stomach (this is the mystery), and the episode begins. Sometimes it's midnight. Sometimes 1:00 am. This time, she fell asleep at 9:00pm, and woke up vomiting at 9:45pm. I grabbed the bowl from my spot in her trundle, and prepared for a night filled with wretching, gagging, at times sobbing, speaking in tongues(that's what I call her comatose like confusion). Here is where we experience another cycle. Another oddity. Her starting cycle follows til morning. This time, it was 20-30 minute intervals. Yes, this 40 some-odd pound 8 yr old vomited violently every 20-30 minutes for 8 hours. We have learned not to try to stop it mid-way by letting her sit up and watch TV, because it will come back the next night to finish what it started.

This was by far her worst episode. What she bought in time, was stolen by this wicked illness. I knew that if it had returned the 2nd night, C would end up in the hospital from dehydration, and exhaustion. Luckily, it spared her the 2nd night, and as I kept vigil in her trundle again, praying she would remain in her peaceful slumber, my prayers were answered.

We both stayed home Monday, laying low, trying to recover. C suffered vertigo for a day or two, and then it was gone, C's life back to normal, her cheeks rosy again, her bubbly personality returned.

You'd think our little girl would be bitter, angry with her illness; however, she is not. She had a hip brace shortly after birth, wore a helmet, had torticollis, was diagnosed with CVS in 2007, and then  with Celiac Disease in 2011. Yet she is kind and giving. She lives life to the fullest EVERY day, breathing in what life has to offer, and spreading it to others. She, more than anyone else in this world, is my ultimate teacher. She teaches us all to overcome, to rejoice, to live. She's my hero.


The Cycle of Life ♥

Two weeks ago my son and his friend found an injured hummingbird.
We gave it some sugar water and a few zinnias, and hoped for the best.

Its brothers and sisters rallied around it...humming dangerously close to my head as I leaned to check on our friend. They were calling back and forth to one another...and apparently the "elder" hummingbirds were bringing enough food to keep our friend alive. Whenever I would check, he was sitting there twittering, and then 2 or 3 hummingbirds would come flying amidst the zinnias, ready to feed, console or carry away their dear friend if they could.

Every few days I picked the best and brightest zinnias and lay them down below, thinking perhaps they would nourish and strengthen our friend. He seemed grateful as he darted his long tongue forward, and nuzzled the blossoms as he would his missing mama.

I knew there was little chance he would fly again. His little wings torn and disfigured. But I hoped. beyond hope. I begged Mother Nature to make an exception. Today I found our little friend. His tried little body laying amidst the spent zinnia blossoms.  I cried. And cried. I cried for his fight and his strength and his desire to live. I cried for his beauty and anguish. I cried because sometimes it seems so unfair that we cannot fix what needs fixing.

I scooped the little body up with a pumpkin leaf and carried it gently to  Maggie's garden. I dug a shallow grave with a Dora shovel, placing it beside our beloved 18 year old cat who died last May. I lay the best and brightest zinnia in the garden upon it, hoping to infuse a bit of life back into the lifeless body. I choked back the tears .....

I will plant zinnias here next year in honor of our little friend's fight, his strength, and his beauty. 
He was loved.


We Are Blessed

 I picked 60 pounds of tomatoes this week. As you can see, they were not all ready to pick; however our area has been hit hard by EEE, so the town planned a mosquito spraying. We won't eat or share any edibles after this, so I picked..and picked....Here are some of the "pickins"

I am hoping that the tomatoes will ripen on our deck...

I feel a lot of sauce in our future....

...tucked away for a brisk fall night as the last orange leaves float down to the ground...or mid December in a big pot of chili....

We are blessed to have this abundance. I will work hard to use every bit. 
Waste Not .....Want Not.


Thermador Professional Range /Oven /Stove Review. Customer Service is a Letdown

Back in 2003 we were very excited. We were about to welcome our 2nd child, and we were putting in our dream kitchen. We had everything packed, construction started. C was born in November...and construction continued. Christmas came and went. In January of 2004, we purchased our appliances. After much research, we settled on the Thermador PGR486GdZS,  the all gas 48 inch professional range with  griddle. We were so excited!  In the spring, we inevitably had to fire the contractor. Problem after problem. Our gorgeous appliances sat in their boxes, as family and friends came to the rescue, installing cabinetry, painting, crafting moldings. In the spring of 2004, the kitchen was finished, appliances professionally installed...we were running!

Now let me backtrack a bit...we (as most of you know) are teachers. We live simply, take one short road trip a year, don't go out much....this was our one big splurge. The one we knew we would never do again. The one we didn't think we would have to do again. After all,when you spend as much on a stove as you would on a used car, why would you?

Shortly after the warranty expired, the broiler was only lighting on one side. We lived with under that one side. Then the griddle went on the fritz. We would have to turn it on, turn it off, turn it on, turn it off, in order for it to heat up. Then we had a power outage, and when the power came back on, the mother board was fried. Luckily, insurance covered most of the cost of the mother board.
(500.00-600.00).  This year, in May, I went to turn on my stove, and the main oven would not work at all. We used the small side oven, and saved for repairs. When we called the folks at our local Thermador repair shop, they were amazed at all of the repairs that the stove needed. The repairman also told us to stop using the small oven, as he could smell gas.

Several of the star burners ignitors were gone or going, which is why it was taking several times before they would light, if at all.  The ignition devise and reignition bake modules were shot. The griddle needed new parts. The broiler needed new parts.  What?? Our dream kitchen was turning into a nightmare. We contacted Thermador to see if they would help with parts. My first call was made July, September 7th, 2012, after countless customer service reps, countless emails, calls to a cell # we haven't had in over 10 years, we are disgusted. Today Thermador decided that our stove was too old to help. They kept referring to it as being 10 years old. Perhaps their math needs as much help as their customer service.

So now we have spent all of our summer without an oven. Our 8 and 13 year olds have been VERY patient. Having a daughter with Celiac Disease, we cannot eat out, we must cook at home. The challenges of gluten free cooking on top of the stove or in the microwave were endless. A whole summer of their lives and ours without what should be a "modern convenience"...Thermador made it a modern day inconvenience.

Thermador File # 830559


✿ Flower Power ✿

These sunflowers are simply majestic.

They stand at the back of the garden, tall, yet unassuming, peering over their golden eyelids to make sure all is well...

This is the king....surrounded by his court....

I believe we have a house in there somewhere!

I love to see active bees in Massachusetts in September!

Zinnias do not let me down....

Cactus Flower and Queen Red Lime


Lavender Queen

Scarlet flower zinnia



The garden is fading, grass yellowing, there is a chill in the air...
I turn to the woods, looking to find a glimpse of summer to hang on to...

...the greens are abundant and still lush....from chartreuse to evergreen....

...nature delivers a need to pick....

...sunlight spills through the vines and branches...

....touching the forest floor just long enough for its warmth to bring forth jewels ...

...the lichen on this rock adds a layer of rustic goodness...

...glimpses of color...the hooligans of the forest....

...carpets of leaves cover winter's view...

a hint of seasons to come.

I grasp the shadows, the dimension, the tones. I commit the smell, the shapes, the feelings to memory.
I am replenished. I am ready to welcome autumn.


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