Rest In Peace

A sad announcement. Paul, of the former and missed blog Sanity’s Edge, was lost to cancer in July.

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Cast Off

Monday Sadie got her walking cast off, got still more X-rays, and was allowed to leave cast-free. Yay!

She faces 10 days of taking it easier than normal – walking on even surfaces, no roughhousing, nothing athletic, going in a pool if she wants – and then we’re really done. Unless she remains sore and stiff, in which case the doctor wants her back to see him.

It took her over a week in the walking cast before she started being comfortable getting around by herself, and by the end she was just walking away, just with an odd gait due to the cast. Now it’s her ankle and lower leg, but she is already making an effort, and now understands it needs to be exercised to be back to normal.

What a relief! It’ll be just a month from start of school when she is all the way to normal.

The weird thing is the hair.

Apparently it’s normal if not universal to experience heavy hair growth under and around a cast. From above where the original cast ended down to her shin is a mat of fur that would do my leg proud. I’d thought her knee was inexplicably dirty, then it became clear with the worst of it visible after the cast was gone.

She got the genes for hair to begin with, and of course the cast covers it and it does tend to be darker. But it’s actually thicker, dramatically. From what I found online, the cast irritates the skin under it, which stimulates blood flow, which stimulates hair growth. Never heard of that!

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Not Sure I Will Ever Get Used To…

Buying almost a loaf of bread per day! It’s just crazy. The actual usage is probably about 3 large sandwich loaves per 4 days, 5 days if we’re on a slower streak or eating outside the house a lot or whatever derails the sandwich singularity.

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And We Mean It!

[I originally started this post a week ago last Monday, July 12, got interrupted, never finished and posted it, and so here it is. Not bothering to edit the timeframe up to the point I'll indicate I am adding to it.]

Took Sadie to get her three week cast off today. She was freaked out by the saw, so much she took most of the way through subsequent X-rays to get over it.

The X-rays showed it healed well, as expected.

What I didn’t know to expect of the followup was a “walking cast.” For 2 weeks she has another cast, but this time starting below the knee, going well onto the foot, so her knee can bend and she can walk. She also has a “boot” to strap on, rather than walking on cast and toes.

Today I had to continue carrying her. She can try walking tomorrow.

After the two weeks, it comes off and she really should be done. In the meantime, it’ll be tough

[Continuing from where I left off, and updating to what's current.]

I think I was going to say it would be tough because we had a pool party to go to, and she would be unable to swim, or maybe it would be tough because we were going to dental appointments in Boston on the 14th, which had I realized she would get the additional cast I might have postponed.

The pool actually helped derail her funk, in which Sadie wouldn’t even try to walk, and was happy to sit and do passive things. She ended up on the side of the pool, cast covered in a towel, other leg dangling or a hand reaching in water to play with it, and playing with cousins. She got so happily soaked, she might as well have been in the pool. But the cast stayed safe!

It still took until yesterday for Sadie to get up and walk around the apartment by herself. She found it painful, stiff and – it still is – awkward. At least this means I am freed up extensively, and the transition won’t be so tough Monday.

As for the dental appointment, because she couldn’t get around readily, and there was some distance involved, I used the umbrella stroller, which works well as a wheelchair of sorts. We were very late getting into the place in Boston, but they squeezed us in before breaking for lunch. It’s very efficient and the people there are awesome. All three kids got a clean bill of tooth, and we don’t have to do this again for six months, assuming nobody develops a problem. Valerie is the best one at dealing with the dentistry, amazingly, because they are her heroes. When I took her there with a lost filling and some pain, they patched it up and it demonstrably didn’t hurt anymore. She raved to her mother that the dentist made it better. Sadie had to be big but wasn’t happy, since Henry had to be held and freaked a bit. Though even he is used to opening wide for having me brush his teeth, so he did pretty well. That and he’s so darn bright and good at following instructions, when he’s not being intentionally stubborn.

But back to the leg… We go Monday, July 26, get the cast off, and from what they said, that is that, not even yet another set of X-rays. As I was saying with the title, the walking cast seemed like kind of an “and we mean it” thing to be sure all was healed and well, and protected with an exoskeleton for a bit as it got used to being in use again.

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One More Day!

Or so I hope!

Tomorrow morning I take Sadie to get her cast off and get X-rays.

Presumably that will be it, and we will return home triumphantly cast-free after three weeks. Via some errands. And a trip by my mother’s house, if I leave the other kids there. Among whatever else, I plan to use it as the day Sadie gets to shop for new shoes. Hers are beat, to the point of getting holes in the toes, and I hadn’t been able to find her presumed size (next one up) in that model on a couple casual looks. This way she can participate and try them on, so if they don’t have size 13, maybe we can try the next size up, which is apparently size 1. Sizing is weird.

She may not care that much, but I think it’ll be nice for her to be able to bathe normally, and not just because it’s a pain for me. At least that is infrequent, compared to carrying her to the bathroom or between locations in the house. It’s been helpful that she entertains herself in place easily.

It’ll also be nice for her to be able to swim, or at least go in the wading pool at Grandma’s. We have a couple pending possible pool visits. Yay!

Anyway, I’ll update here with the outcome after we are home tomorrow…

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Sadie’s Leg, Part 2

Just a followup, since I didn’t post what happened subsequently yesterday.

We saw the same orthopedic guy Sadie once saw to have her walk/gait evaluated on doctor’s concern. He looked at the X-rays and pointed out the spot, which is both clearly visible and not large. It’s near the top of the large lower leg bone, and is something like a tiny hairline that doesn’t appear to go far into the bone combined with a buckle into a bit of a point.

To our surprise, she did not get a cast yesterday. The ER people did a superlative job on her splint, so nothing needed to be changed in the meantime, and Monday we go back for a fiberglass cast, which allows enough time for any swelling there may be to have happened first. Good thing we no longer have the original dental appointments in Boston on Monday!

Speaking of which, the cast will be on for a minimum of three weeks (or, as Sadie said, “three weeks!!??”), which puts us close to the time of the rescheduled and expanded dental appointment in Boston for all three kids, on Bastille Day. I may have to reschedule that now.

Work missed me badly, yesterday, more so because another guy was also out, though that didn’t directly affect the worst problem. Ripple effects: Someone I work with was unable to go to her day job as a result of Sadie’s injury, and some packages did not get onto their delivery trucks.

Anyway, so far I have had to carry Sadie everywhere. Otherwise she sits, leg propped up, making the recliner ideal. It’s been kind of a style-cramper for those who work late and use the living room after work, having Sadie camped there. The bad thing is the doctor passingly remarked that I would continue to carry her once she has the cast, so nothing would really change. While I was unsure if they’d give crutches to a kid so young, Deb says she’s big enough. We’ll see what happens. That would make things easier. Even if not, being in the real cast should allow her to sleep back in the bed. Just that I’ll have to put her there, where she normally puts herself to bed after I have gone, since I need to be early even to get a few hours of sleep. Speaking of which, even without the heat and the roof being worked on here today, with Sadie immobile, it’s going to be hard for me to nap during the day. I could face a lot of days of 3-4 hours total sleep, except the weekends (Sunday and Monday) when I can generally get a full night worth.

The other two kids have been remarkably good so far, not climbing on the recliner or doing anything that might hurt Sadie.

This whole adventure brings to mind the phrase “there’s always something.”

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Broken Leg

Last night just after 8:00 I was trying to coax Henry to get into a pullup for the night, while Sadie and then he started, per usual, jumping on the bed like maniacs.

All of a sudden I hear a distinct snapping sound and Sadie is writhing on her side in pain on the bed, left leg having spasms it hurt so bad.

Based on sound and all, I assumed it was broken right from the start. Deb headed home from work. I got Sadie comfortable enough to hang in there while I read Henry to bed and got dressed to be able to leave. Deb covered home while I took Sadie, sitting across the back seat of the Buick because no way she’d manage a booster, to the ER.

I’d been up since 2:30 AM, having not managed, and oddly not missed very much, a nap during the day. It’s only 5 hours, but it’s more work in 5 hours than I ever did anywhere else, so 3-4 hours of sleep doesn’t cut it. Speaking of, I called in before I’d even read to Henry, with a probably don’t expect me due to injured kid.

The ER took forever, naturally. They’re good there, though. It’s where we took Henry for allergy attacks, once in the ambulance and once when I drove him.

She got a couple X-rays. It’s so nice she’s old enough to answer questions, showing and saying where it hurt. Everyone felt bad for her, and admired what a trooper she was. She has high pain tolerance, and even when it’s intolerable she tries to be stoic. It’s as if being hurt and showing it is weakness, and she just can’t let that imperfection show.

She has a buckle fracture, which the doctor found odd. Usually that’s something like jumping off furniture to the floor. They put her in a splint and I had to pick up Tylenol with codeine on the way home.

Just now I learned we can’t take her to the guy they referred us to, insurance incompatibility, so I tried to call my doctor. Managed an appointment with orthopedics there at 1:30 and have to pick up X-rays in Taunton on the way, since they are not in the same network. Wasn’t thinking about that when I could have gone to ER in Brockton versus the closer one in Taunton. Considered Brockton because it wasn’t so critical, but the distance still seemed important.

Looked up the type of fracture. Apparently it’s fast to heal, relatively, but that still means 2-3 weeks in a cast and 4 weeks to heal. And that assumes accurate info, that what I read wasn’t specific to arms, etc.

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AWOL and the Tooth Fairy

Poor Sadie.

A couple days ago, she lost a lower front tooth. I mean, lost it, when it fell out in an unknown place, time and manner. She had been telling me it was loose, had been excited, and I’d thought nothing of it. Had no idea it might be that close to a done deal, with the successor well underway beneath it.

Deb noticed it missing yesterday, and apparently it had been lost the day before. Sadie was mortified to have lost the tooth, and claimed absolutely no idea when or where, apart from being sure it had happened the day before, or overnight.

We have yet to find it.

Less than an hour ago, we were eating corn on the cob. You know where this is going, don’t you?

Sadie asked me why her ear of corn was getting red stuff on it.

I looked, realized it was her mouth bleeding, looked and saw a two-tooth gap where one had been gone before. Oops! It was bleeding slightly where the tooth had newly self-extracted.

No sign of the tooth, naturally. Sadie is opposed to the ossibility that she swallowed it, but hello, logic. So sad!

That’s two for two, out of the blue.

I investigated the Tooth Fairy, and got a consensus of a buck per, maybe a bonus to as much as five for a first or multiples. I also understand there’s precedent for missing teeth, or even the lack of or desire not to use a pillow. Thus I am sure as the budget allows the Tooth Fairy can come along and leave a stipend somewhere.

Meanwhile, Sadie opined that it’d be a good idea to use her side teeth as much as possible next time.

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First, I’ve increased my blogging, but most of it you will find elsewhere. Some of that is strategic, building a new set of blogs explicitly around the things I want to cover, purposefully for brand and prospective revenue building. Some of it is staleness. Hey, we were here far longer than at Accidental Verbosity, and Deb wanted a change from that after only that short time. I wasn’t as keen on the change, but loved the idea of this domain name after one of us coined (we thought) the word “blogblivion.” People still like the AV thing, but I don’t see any going back there because that more than this was really our marital blog. The timing of this place was like an unintentional demarcation point.

Because the brand has merit and it’s a revenue generator, if a dying one, I don’t plan to cease posting here altogether. That may yet come to pass. It’s quite possible to generate a few residual ad bucks off of a retired blog and Just Move On. At the same time, I don’t want or plan as yet to tear it down (more than I already did with the half-assed switch from Expression Engine to WordPress, which needs to be reversed or completed but is not up high on my huge agenda) (how is it possible for an underemployed single dad to have this many full plates spinning overhead?) completely and start fresh with a new concept. So…

I may put some of the family stuff here. Obviously I’ve slacked at putting up pictures, and I am not sure what will happen with them, except that they should go somewhere in reasonable quantity and frequency. Hold that thought. The big thing is I’d like to segue into fitting some of the new content to the name. I have a lot of blogging history behind me, and am well aware of blogs and trends having come and gone. I’d like to attempt to post about blogs and bloggers past, perhaps about blogging itself, as the place moves forward. The theme also needs updating. Bored now. Long ago. We’ll see what happens. Google hates this place currently, and I am not sure how readily that can be recovered. It’s not just ads we ran, though some of them probably didn’t help. It’s also probably the change of content when moving from EE to WP, and possibly the lack of posting. Though that has not hurt other sites at all.

Eventually I might port everything to an entirely new domain for safekeeping. At the least, I am liable to port selected posts I’ve written here or there. The pictures of kids may get their own site, for no other purpose. However…

I didn’t mention the other new blog I’ve been developing, alongside Frugal Guy Cook. It’s called Divine Hamster, a name inspired by an employee of my former big client. The content there is about kids, culture – especially with respect to kids, my memories and childhood, and the memories being made now as my kids have their childhood. That is why I am pondering putting some, if not all, pictures of the kids there, or at least posting some of the cool art they (mainly Sadie) create. I’m still working out the parameters and hitting my stride there.

For now, it is my intention to keep blogging, and increase it, at Bizosphere (business, economics, jobs) and Reality Bucket (intended for politics and a touch of stuff like culture and economics, with a snarky edge). I love the names/brands involved, even though they may take some rebuilding and recovery. I’m more focused on the others, though. I’ll blog somewhere on a general and personal level. There are a couple options I not only already have, but that are well respected by That Which Would Not Be Evil. I am ambivalent about both, and both need sprucing up or more. I moved Carnival of the Capitalists, which gets too little attention but does happen periodically from links I accumulate of my own accord.

I don’t have plans to do any tech blogging. Which seems silly, with Geek Practitioners pretty popular for advertising and not in the doghouse. I seldom feel inspired to post along those lines, though more than I had been. I don’t anticipate getting back into that as a field, though I have had doubts given some outbreaks of tech gibberish people have been amused and mystified by lately. The place will sit there bringing in revenue without further intervention for a while. I don’t like the domain, and the historical accident of it being a .net instead of .com bothers me. The .com was supposed to be a business and the .net was supposed to be the affiliated/feeder blog. Then I changed the business name. Then I de facto went out of that business too, for all the site remains in place, awaiting other plans and getting me near daily spam calls from an SEO service. If I decide to tech blog again, I am liable to start something new, with a name I prefer, even if I do import all the old content.

The big thing is to produce content. Write and write and see where it goes. I already know that money can be made from building up the blogging. If that juices the writing, which is something I can do, increasingly so, alone in the house with the kids (and less one kid for part of each weekday, come September), perhaps it leads beyond mere blogs. It’s hard to treat it like a job when so much else vies for my attention, but that’s the trick… for job I love values of “job.” I’m trying to spread the content around logically, without totally abandoning what I’ve already built, but also building some excitingly new aspects that are all my own.

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Frugal Guy Cook

Of possible interest to the person or two still reading and in case you missed this, I have started a new food blogging concept to replace the old Married Guy Cook. Now it’s the Frugal Guy Cook. Besides food and cooking, it will incorporate shopping, saving money, cooking for fickle kids and coping with allergies.

Check it out, and by all means, links are welcome.

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Where are all the pictures? (Updated -Fixed!)

If you happen to peruse through here or the old Blogblivion that was never fully ported from Expression Engine, you may notice pictures of the kids are gone. Mostly. Argh!

Once upon a time, when it seemed there was far more space on the web hosting account that has as its root, my original one, than on this account, which has as its root, I started storing the pictures on the other account, linking them from posts here. Just required whitelisting this domain for hotlinking. Looks like I started doing that in 2006. In part of 2009 I recall switching back to here, due to role reversal. Went so long between posting pictures, though, I reverted on the last one because it was easier. Thus the post below for Valerie’s birthday without a picture (as of now).

Recently there was a brief spate of outages for this server, which went away, only to be followed by massive outages of the server hosting those pictures and various sites. I felt as if I broke the camel’s back, because it started, as far as I could tell, as soon as I setup my new Frugal Guy Cook blog over there Sunday. Before I did that, I backed up all three hosting accounts, which I do every 1-2 months. There is a utility that compresses and downloads the stuff for you, and can restore from the downloaded backups. Alternatively one might do a straight download of everything via FTP, which I wish had been a habit, even rarely.

They ended up migrating everything on the server that hosting account had been on, which I’ve gone through before and is not generally a problem. Or not a serious one, anyway.

I gathered what must have happened. But my blogs were gone! At least, the ones I checked, including the new one. I started investigating. Here’s what I know so far, sans another reply from support, which at last report had recopied my files and sounded like I should be all set.

The root of was there, but the entire /solo folder was gone. That was my original, premarital blog, which had become a postmarital blog. It would have been hard to recreate, being in pMachine, which is ancient and no longer available. Luckily I had a recent copy of the whole thing, so that was fixed. Some of the blogs are there, worst problem being one of them has errors from widgets that aren’t even being used, due to a change of permissions due to the server change. The legacy XTreme Computing site is gone. Married Guy/Daddy Guy Cook is gone. Some various files and folders are gone, like ones with pictures from Las Vegas.

Probably hardest to fix, pictures from 2007, 2008, 2009 and the one from 2010, and possibly part of 2007 but haven’t drilled into that – at least the 2007 folder is there with some in it – are gone.

Well great! I made a backup Sunday. When I wasn’t sure when or if the host would be able to restore things, I tried my first ever restore from the backup I’d downloaded. It took forever, and in fact I snoozed a little while it was happening after work this morning.

That didn’t help. I found some stuff I hadn’t looked at before was up, but I think it always had been. Just didn’t look closely. I’d seen that the add-on domains existed, and I’d see the mySQL databases existed and seemed to have everything at a quick perusal. Which is why the old pMachine blog was fine once the files and folder were replaced.

Eventually I wound up opening the backup files on my hard drive, starting with that recent one. What they contained was what was on the hosting currently! I spot checked all the way back to late 2007 and found the same thing in all the backups, obviously adjusting for the fact that some newer things wouldn’t have been there in the older backups.

It’s as if some of the files/folders flagged themselves “don’t back me up” and proceeded to exclude themselves!

Which would be bad if it happened to the utility customers can use to create backups.

What’s truly scary? If the same thing is affecting backups by the host. Whatever they restored from clearly lacked all those same files. The question is whether they have another backup that hasn’t been afflicted by the same problem and can or will restore from it.

Scarier still? By posting pictures on the blogs, I always figured if the building burned down or something, if we lost all the computers, if no pictures were left in our hands in digital form, we’d still have what I had posted.

Anyway, if we’re toast, I’ll see what I can do to restore everything. I should be able to generate a list of file names and locations from mySQL, locate and upload them in possibly even a semi-automated fashion. Either that or I’ll have to start fresh, but go way back. I was thinking of all pictures going forward being at a new location anyway. Just didn’t plan for there to be a disaster associated with it.

This is why I love my hosting people. Turned out a single corrupt file apparently caused backup failure. All the files except the one have been manually copied from the retiring server to the new one. There is some tweaking associated with a server change that I will need to do, and one single picture from May 2007 is now missing unless I replace it, but otherwise I am back in business. Yay!!

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Happy Birthday

To blogger Dennis the Peasant, who is 53 today.

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Happy Birthday

To blogger Sarah Dwyer.

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Happy Birthday Valerie!

Valerie is 4 years old today! Four years and a couple hours ago she was our least eventful of the three arrivals. She seemed so mellow for a while! Still, no amount of tempermental could ever make me regret my angel girl.

Now to go make the strawberry cake she requested…

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Henry’s Allergies

On Thursday I took Henry for his annual allergy testing. He is still allergic to cow’s milk, egg yolks and whites, and peanuts.

They tested for bananas again, since I told them what happened the same day he got tested last year, even though my presumption was that reaction was the other kind of allergy, as opposed to “oral allergy syndrome,” which is what they test for. In the case of bananas, you can have an adverse reaction that includes them racing through your system, and that is related to latex allergy. Of which he has never shown any other sign, unless that’s what his sensitivity to screen printing on shirts also was. I believe he’s outgrown that.

He reacted modestly but definitely to the test. He is allergic to bananas.

After the incident that appeared to be a reaction to macedamia nuts – just sucking the salt of one and not chewing it – I had the option of testing for tree nuts. To make it easier, they have sets they can test in one swell foop. Tree nuts are on one along with certain shellfish. Another has the eggs and milk, and some things we know to be inert, like rice, soy, wheat and oats.

Henry can eat crab, lobster, shrimp, and of course those things we knew were fine.

He tested allergic to almost every tree nut, and given the circumstances it’s safe to call it a blanket allergy.

Every nut he has ever eaten came up positive, even making the reaction to eggs on his back look mild: Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews, Hazelnuts. It started to look like walnuts and pecans were negative, but by the time we were done, he had shown a reaction to those. The only one to which there was no reaction was Brazil nuts. And those are the ones he’s least likely even to have had a trace of, for which an allergy exists in the family, and which seem to hit especially hard if an allergy is there or does develop. I’m happy enough to avoid them. Macedamias are not part of the prick test, and would have to be done by blood test, but hello…

Then there are all the things we know he can have because he eats them with no apparent problems. For instance, strawberries. Except… he never showed any reaction to tree nuts. He’s eaten a lot of cashews in his day. Because he could. Makes me wonder if it’s one of those crazy “tests positive but seems fine” instances. Better to be safe, and figure if he got away with it, that just means it’s not so bad he can’t handle a trace.

The other things that came out of the appointment were the doctor thought it was kind of funny I asked about trying pure goat or sheep cheese (just try the soy stuff, he said) without actually saying it was likely to be a crossover problem (it can be from what I read, but not likely – depends on exact protein, which is why it’s a hard question to answer) and, very significantly, he can probably eat stuff that contains milk or egg that has been cooked. It modifies the protein. For instance, a cake might actually be fine. This is why he didn’t seem bothered by bread or spaghetti sauce that contained milk. I forgot to mention that his eating maybe a dozen M&M’s caused a big reaction. That must not be cooked to the right extent to make the milk behave. I’m mildly skeptical, but willing to try it. At least to the extent of going back to buying Hannaford bread if that is where I am when I need bread, which we have been going through at a rate of almost a loaf a day because the kids have turned into locusts. We’ll see. I’m still going to make Valerie’s birthday cake using the allergy-free recipe.

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Happy Birthday

To my brother Wayne, who is 43 today.

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Happy Birthday

To Weekend Pundit Deb.

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Happy Anniversary

To Michael and Esther, Deb’s awesome brother and his wife. They were married just three days after us, marking six years for them, but they knew each other longer, and had a good idea what to expect even after they were in a household of their own. Very important.

They are so astonishingly good at shopping for clothes for the kids we’d be tempted to delegate them the task, if they were a postage-free distance away. At least it’s good practice for when they produce some cousins. Because our kids have just waaay too few cousins. And none younger than them.

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Happy Birthday

To Noel, my brother’s first ex-wife, who is 57 today.

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Rest In Peace

My cousin Wanda died at the age of 47 on Wednesday. I don’t know details beyond that, but in keeping with modern times I found out online, rather than via a call, and from my cousin’s elder daughter, rather than from my mother.

It strikes me as dreadfully young, and that makes me sadder, as tends to be true of less expected and less “appropriate.”

For all Valerie uncannily resembles my father’s mother’s family (“the Foster/Washburn look”), she has often reminded me almost eerily of Wanda, who was my mother’s late older brother’s daughter (not sure if that’d be more Irving/Johnston or Tranmer/Howland, but I believe it’s the former).

There’s also one particular scene in an episode of Firefly in which Jewel Staite, playing Kaylee, looks just like Wanda to me. Enough to always take me out of the story and make me think of her. Which I suppose makes a funny sort of connection, since we only mostly jokingly considered Kaylee as a name for Valerie.

I’m actually completing this post the next day. Kids. Still have no further details, and still haven’t talked to my mother. Neither here nor there, apart from being unexpected.

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