Sunday, August 31


"In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper." -Barack Obama [emphasis mine]

Wednesday, August 27


Yesterday was spent luxuriously: a family walk around the forest preserve, stamping Bean's tiny fingerprints and footprints into a memory book, shampooing her hair in the tub together.

Today will be finishing all those last-minute chores before more family visits this weekend, soaking up baby smiles and coos, feasting on homemade food, plowing through a to-do list that will likely not be touched for months to come, washing nappies, and most likely crying at the possibility of missing precious Bean moments.

Tomorrow will be hard: I go back to work.

Saturday, August 23

Calling all Houston-ers: please donate blood platelets

My friend Alice's friend Katie has an aggressive form of Hodgkin's Lymphoma and needs your help. If you are near the Houston area, please consider donating your blood platelets. If not, please consider posting the following information on your own blog or forwarding it in an email.

Please donate! Kathryn Meacham, Patient ID: 754592

Friends & Family,

We are writing because we hope you can help secure or donate blood platelets in the Houston area for our sister/cousin Kathryn (Katie) Meacham. Katie is presently undergoing treatment at MD Anderson for a very aggressive strain of Hodgkin's Lymphoma!!!

Kathryn (Katie) Meacham is 25 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in April 2008. Katie underwent 3 months of unsuccessful chemo in New York. At that point, Katie and her mom made the difficult decision to move to Houston to undergo treatment at MD Anderson, which is known to have the best treatment available. Her current treatment plan includes a very aggressive chemo followed by a stem cell transplant.

When Katie has her stem cell transplant (in the next 2-3 weeks), she will be in great need of frequent, single donor platelets transfusions. Due to past negative reactions to multi-donor transfusions, single donor platelets are particularly important to Katie and often unavailable at the moment patients need them. We are in desperate need of finding people in the Houston area to give platelet donations for Katie. The more people who donate on her behalf, the higher on the priority list Katie gets. Blood type does NOT matter, the number of people donating does. We cannot overstate the importance of platelet transfusions to her treatment.

If you know anyone in the Houston area, please forward this message on to them and ask them to forward to everyone they know. We need platelet donors and words cannot sufficiently express our gratitude for your assistance and donations!

If you are interested in donating please call/email Lori or Wendy. We are trying to create a list of potential donors so we can contact people once the need arises. Unfortunately platelets have a short shelf life. With this in mind, please do not donate until we coordinate the donation with you to ensure it best helps Katie in her treatment. When you call or email us, please let us know your blood type (if you know it) and the best way to reach you.

Lori Rosen (Katie's sister)
Cell: 773-220-0418
Work: 312-277-1655

Wendy Clarfeld (Katie's cousin)
Cell: 206-375-2655


Call or email us with any questions and thank you for your support!!

Much thanks and love,

Lori Rosen and Wendy Clarfeld

Thursday, August 21

My mom's gift

My mom and brother came up for a visit two weeks ago, and one day while she was in town, she came over with this beautiful hibiscus as a surprise. It's certainly not a local plant, but she tried. We haven't been getting enough sun for it to thrive, but we certainly have been getting enough rain. Apparently it hasn't rained for four days now downtown, which is the first time that's happened since June 7 this year. (You can even see rain drops on the petals: that's my proof.)

Monday, August 18

Friday, August 15

We're officially sans automobile!

And it feels so good!

A. came by yesterday and gave us a half month's rent for our '97 sedan. We had to make up a bill of sale (MA's lemon law applies to private owners, too) and sign over the title and it was done. Finally! As I mentioned in an earlier post, we haven't driven it in more than a year and it was just sitting there in the driveway. A. hasn't driven off with it yet (it needs a new battery), but I think we should make a cake when he does.

It feels great. I always felt like owning and driving the car was a weight over my shoulders. It conflicted with my values, and now that I live somewhere that's not a cartropolis, I can get around sans auto. Sure, it takes a little longer to get there via mass transit and I can't sing at the top of my lungs with the windows rolled down, but it eases my guilt a bit.

Of course, we probably won't stay here forever. If we do move where there isn't mass transit, I'll look into a scooter, electric bike, Zip Car, or maybe a Smart Car. Hopefully by that point, cities will be trying to emulate Curitiba's public transportation systems and its other urban planning wonders, so we can all get around on mass transit.

For now, we're looking to buy a used bike. Preferably with a child seat for Bean (when she's older, of course). Any recommendations?

Friday, August 8

Strawberries and basil, oh my

My strawberry and basil plants are thriving, I'm pleased to say. I have to clip off the flowers from the basil every few weeks or so, but other than that, they have been just water-and-go plants. Sadly, I've only tasted one strawberry, which was sweet and a little mushy. The birds get to them before I can. I meant to put up netting, like several of you suggested, because we have a ton of different birds in this area. But then Bean was born a week later, and I just haven't gotten to it. Looks like that plant went to the birds! Our neighbors keep wondering why the birds aren't at their feeders anymore--maybe because next door they can enjoy the luxurious accommodations of bird feed and ripe strawberries!