Prince Snow Farm


A Lesson

 Those of you who have been hanging out with me for a while know a bit about cyclic vomiting syndrome.

Our 10 year old, C, was diagnosed with this migraine related disorder at age 3.

A bit of background:  CVS is a  disorder that still perplexes the medical world. It is thought to be migraine related through the maternal line (although ours is VERY strong on the paternal side).  It is a disorder that can rear its ugly head with severe bouts of nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and vertigo.  There are many known triggers….chocolate, cheese, and other foods; stress….good or bad ( a birthday, or a test for example); an illness, such as a cold, a virus, or the flu; and as is our case, TIME.  

Our daughter is in an every 80 some odd day pattern. She made it to 83 days the last time.
After waking to severe vertigo this morning, we know she will get an episode tonight. We will be ready…with bowl, hair elastic, water bottle and roll of paper towels. I will sleep with C and be there through the severe gut pains, the over the top nausea, and the vomiting so severe it makes a mother wish she could trade places with this little person who does not deserve such trauma. The vomiting will come every 15 minutes all night, and the spell will be broken at daylight. After that, a very tired little girl will lay low for the day. Unfortunately, vertigo kicks in, and even a slight movement of the head  can cause blinding vertigo. Last episode this lasted for a week, causing more nausea and vomiting; however, for C that is very unusual. She usually misses a day or two of school….but this time she also had the flu, so it made the episode much more difficult. She also missed a week of school.

Sound odd? Even unreal? Believe me, we know. We live it. She lives it. And my purpose in writing is to let others out there know that we understand! 

There are good doctors who specialize in this disorder. Wisconsin and Boston have amazing doctors ready to help at a moments notice. Unfortunately, our trip to Boston was useless. It's not good when you feel like you know more than the doctor. We have been given a new name at Mass General, a Dr. Russell, and we will look into meeting with him.  Dr. B.U.K. Li at The Medical College of Wisconsin is an expert on this disorder. He is fighting to find the causes and to develop treatments.

There is also an organization called CVSA that has been on the front line with treatment ideas, medical resources, lists of supports groups and medical professionals. They also run a yearly conference with experts from around the globe.

In between episodes, C is amazingly well. She wore a hip brace, had tortocollis, a helmet, and has Celiac Disease. Really? Because when I see her I see joy and a love of life. I see a little girl who cannot wait to have a garden this summer….who LOVES to sing….who things 4 square should be an Olympic event, and who is kind and helpful to others.





Nature Journal

I picked up a little pack of Field Notes Journals at our town's general store, Town Wharf General Store.
There's something special about taking notes in these simple little notebooks with brown paper bag covers. And once I wrap a length of twine around them I feel like I have a special nature journal, all tied up with garden secrets for the coming season.

I have decided to add a few old-fashioned varieties to our gardens this season: 
hollyhocks, morning glory,
nasturtium, sweet peas….

….so I have been doing a bit of research….both online, and in my favorite old gardening encyclopedias.

There's nothing like turning 50 year old pages and dreaming about the gardener before you who may have been planning for their little ( or big) garden….

I read with anticipation, planning carefully, thoughtfully jotting important information on seed germination and planting times.

My mind creates a mental garden map, nasturtium weaving its way up the arbor...

….hollyhocks acting as a stately back drop to the vegetable garden….

….sweet peas ready to overfill jam jars….perfuming our summer air with floral goodness….

…morning glories in varied hues to bloom by day….and a moonflower…to bloom at night.

And when I tire of the dipping mercury, or the snowy forecast, I tuck my little notebooks under my pillow, and I dream a little dream.



Lemon Meltaways

Oh my goodness….where has March gone?
I have been busy cleaning and sorting, and taking down wallpaper….STILL!!!

Today I decided it was time to make something yummy.
It is simple, has few ingredients, and was easy to convert to gluten-free.

I used Pamela's flour blend in place of the flour….kept everything else the same.

No eggs….so lick that  batter bowl all you want1

The dough is thick and needs to be refrigerated for one hour.

As with most GF cookies, they were VERY fragile when warm, which is tricky, because you are supposed to dip in powdered sugar while warm. It just took caution and worked out fine.

I left a few without powdered sugar for the pickier 10 year old :)

Being on a diet is not fun when you have treats in the house.
I did have one. Ok, maybe two.



Wishes on the Wind

Once there was a little girl who loved to pick pansies from a tiny garden behind the garage.  She used her weathered tin Holly Hobbie watering can to gently nourish the tumble of petunias and velvety coleus.  She carefully tugged weeds from the earth, allowing the plants room to spread and flourish.

Her neighbor, Aurore, gave her generous clumps of violets from her own garden, and showed her how to  lay their tender roots in the ground. The little girl's father showed her how to plant butternut squash seeds in rounded mounds of earth, and how to recognize the warble of the purple finch.

As the little girl grew, she always carried in her heart a love of gardens, of birds, of nature. They nourished her soul, and became an integral part of the woman she would become.

Many years later, that little girl, (now a woman), was blessed with a sensible home and a beautiful garden. Surrounded by winding fences of aged bittersweet vines, the garden sat at the foot of a hill, safeguarded by nearby woodland.

In spring the woman sowed flower and vegetable seeds, carefully planning out the raised vegetable beds, perennial borders, and berry patch. When the frosty spring gave way to warmer ground, the woman planted the seedlings in their new homes. The woman tended the gardens daily, feeling renewed, never burdened.

All summer the woman, (and her sweet little family), gathered from their gardens….hands full of raspberries to top with homemade whipped cream, juicy tomatoes to layer with fresh basil and mozzarella….buckets filled with lavender and wildflowers, ready to grace the center of the farm table at dinner or to be sold in jars at the little farm stand. The family dog waited patiently for crisp green beans, better than any commercially baked dog treat.

As summer faded to fall, the woman's heart sank a bit as she knew she had to return to her teaching job, and would have to leave her sweet garden; however, her garden now nourished her. Vibrant zinnias burst skyward with jewel-toned blossoms, tiny ears of corn sat plump and ripe, pumpkins lay ready to be picked, effortlessly coordinating with the autumn leaves scattered across the landscape.

Eventually, frost danced its way down the hill, over the gardens and into the woods. It left a glistening silvery carpet across the grass, and encrusted the late bloomers' petals in an icy blanket. The woman still visited the gardens, even when the skies of winter poured forth snowfall after snowfall.

When March blew its chilly winds across the woman's garden, she tucked herself inside, playing with flowers...allowing store-bought blooms to momentarily replace what she knew was just an arm's reach away. As she created, varied petals became paint. As she laid each in place, she made a wish. Wishes that cannot be spoken….or written….wishes carried on the wind from the little girl's garden behind the garage. And with a sprinkle from the tiny tin Holly Hobbie watering can, wishes that will nurture for eternity.

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