Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

photo credit Robyn Gallant Photography Exeter, NH

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Trek for TEF

In the news is Trek for TEF (The Elisha Foundation). I saw a brief snipit on the Today Show and wanted more so I googled it and found this amazing foundation and read about some really great people. Check it out and find out what Eli did! Holy Cow, you rock Eli!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Keep Calm

It's only an Extra Chromosome! Check out DSA (the Down Syndrome Association of England, Wales and Northern Ireland) for the story on this tee! Keep Calm It's Only an Extra Chromosome people! How awesome is that statement. Well said Mum, well said. Cheerio and a spot of tea :):)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Look closely, under all that marker you can see his single palmar crease :) :) Just another one of those things that make him perfect.

21 Things about ASA

I’ve tried to write 21 things about Asa in celebration of World Down syndrome Day 3.21.13. I’ve been thinking of things that really make him who he is but it’s extremely hard. Unless you know him, you really don’t understand how ordinarily wonderful he is. How much he is just a cool kid with a big heart, great laugh and sense of humor. He’s helpful (when he wants to be); a great big brother who offers guidance and assistance when he thinks his little brother needs it. Sometimes gently, sometimes a little brash, but 7 times out of 10 it’s with a guiding hand on Gracyn's back walking up stairs or words of wisdom for whatever “project” they are working on. And a little brother who absolutely adores him and copies his every move (just like all little brothers do). Asa is sincere and empathetic. Empathy is an art of his, you cough he pats your back and puts his hand to your forehead, you say “OUCH” he is the first there to ask if you’re okay and offer a healing kiss. I guess what I’m saying is that he is so much more then words, whether it be 21 things about him or 2 words that only describe 1 thing that is so minimal to who this little boy really is.

 Here is what I came up with:

1)                  Asa is the most handsome little boy you’ll ever meet.

2)               He sucks you in with his magical spell.

3)               He skips when he is really happy.

4)               He is responsible for letting his dog Frankie out every morning.

5)               He loves to play outside.

6)               He drives like a crazy man.

7)                He loves his little brother though he picks on him every second he gets!

8)               Everyone at his school knows his name – all 325 of them.

9)               He is the best dancer; you should see his break dance moves!

10)             Out of the blue he will run up to you, give a hug and say, “I wuv you”.

11)                He loves Hockey and Race Cars.

12)             He thinks Santa is suppose to come every time it snows.

13)             He is named after his Great-Grandfather, Asa Derrick and his Bumpa, Daniel Henry.

14)            His favorite color is Blue.

15)             His best friend is Daddy.

16)            He does the best Magic Tricks!

17)             His favorite food is ICE CREAM!

18)             His least favorite food is corn.

19)             Favorite pretend play is to build tents, beds and fake campfires.

20)          In circle time at school his friends fight over who is going to sit next to him J

21)             He was born with Down syndrome, but that’s only one thing about him, that isn’t who he is…

And on this day you can see and read many more stories of the celebration of Perfection Made with 47 Chromosomes in my list of blogs I follow to the left and also below is a beautiful story that Savannah Guthrie wrote.

Savannah Guthrie: What World Down Syndrome Day means to me


Monday, March 18, 2013


We are refining the art of Maple Sugaring.
We boiled a little over 20 gallons of Maple Sap this weekend for 2 quarts of Syrup.
If anyone is interested, here is a little more info on Maple Sugaring and how it all started.

Indians and the Early Maple Sugaring Process

Maple sugaring has been an early Spring tradition in Vermont ever since the Eastern Woodland Indians discovered that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet sugar.
An old Iroquois legend describes the accidental discovery of the sugarmaking process. A hunter returned to his dwelling and found an enticing sweetness in the air around the kettle in which his mate was boiling meat. The fluid in the kettle, he learned, was sap and had been collected beneath a broken maple limb.
To make their sugar, the Indians would cut a slash in the maple tree and collect the sap as it dripped out. Logs were then hollowed out, and filled with the fresh sap. White-hot field stones were then added to cause the sap to boil. The Indians would process the sap through the syrup stage to end with crystallized sugar, which did not spoil when stored.
When the first European settlers arrived, the Indians traded maple sugar with them and eventually taught the settlers the secrets of the maple sugaring process.

New Ideas Take the Process Forward

The early settlers added their technologies to the process as seen in this antique photograph.
The early settlers added their technologies to the process as seen in this antique photograph.
It was, reportedly, a French missionary who was the first settler to make maple syrup in 1690.
Other Europeans added their own technologies to the process. They bored holes in the maple trunks and inserted wooden or metal spouts. They used wooden buckets to catch the sap, and then carried the sweet water on shoulder yokes to the metal boiling kettles. Early settlers, like the Native Americans, saved their maple as crystallized sugar.
Maple sugar became the colonists own sweetener ending their dependence on foreign sugar. Also, it was never tinctured with the sweat of the southern slave as was cane sugar before the civil war.
Early in Vermont’s history, each family made their own maple sugar for personal consumption. Later, sugar makers started businesses to produce maple products and sell them to the general public. Technology changed again, and tanks on sleds were used to collect the sap and were drawn by horses or oxen. The sugar house was now their destination where the invention of the evaporator gave more control to the sugarmakers boiling process.

Maple Sugaring Today

Wood fired boilers are increasingly rare with the benefits of oil fired burners.
Wood fired boilers are increasingly rare with the benefits of oil fired burners.
Today, plastic tubing transports the sap from the trees to gathering tanks. From there it is transported to the sugar house where it is transferred to a central storage tank to feed the evaporator which boils off most of the water, leaving sweet, thick maple syrup.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Baby Chicks

I finally got some good pics of the fuzzy little nuggets. Though they are already growing so fast!
Well hellO there :)

Top Hat

Grubby Gracyn loves his CHIT-CHENS!
2nd from right is a Blue Cochin she's got feathered feet!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Full Weekend

We had a very full weekend to say the least... In the past week Brian and his "crew" collected 50 gallons of Maple Tree "sap". See, sap runs in early spring when the temperatures are below freezing at night and get well above freezing during the day. We've had some beautiful days in the last week. Their numerous milk jugs and 5 gallon Home Depot pails are now empty and ready to be filled again. They boiled all they had collected and we ended up with a little over a gallon of "syrup". It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup a.k.a "Liquid Gold".
The Boys built their own fireplace/cooker.

They started about 2:00 and we took the last batch off about 11:30, yes it was a very long day, but a nice gathering of friends with wet and muddy kids and yummy food. The 5th season is finally here and our backyard is super wet and muddy but the kids loved it :)
The late night Saturday and then the time change we did not get rolling very early yesterday morning. Of course we had to have some pancakes for breakfast and as my groggy eyes try to find all that I needed I checked my phone and see that our baby chicks had shipped! As Brian is turning on his phone he looks and notices he has a new voice mail. Well low and behold it was our local postal sort facility saying our order of chicks were in! We TOTALLY were not expecting them until today and had NOTHING ready for them since they were coming from Minnesota. We didn't even have any feed. Knowing the little girls were desperate to be in their new home Brian made a fleeting trip to get the brooder box and pick up the chicks. We got them home and set them up with all their baby needs of Gro Gel and Electrolyte Water and headed to our nearest Tractor Supply for feed and bedding. I do have to say having the variety we got this time is lots of fun! We are trying to figure out who is what and our surprise chick is a Top Hat! She (or he) is very light so I am guessing it might be a Buff Laced Polish, a fav of mine.
I will get some better baby chick photos, oh man do the boys love them. I set up a bench right beside the box so they can stand up there and peer down at them. Gracyn points and says "chit-chen, chit-chen" to the one he wants me to pick up so he can pet it :)

I'll have to turn off the heat lamp to get some good pics of their colors, there are 30 total, one extra then we expected that they threw in for free for added warmth but one of the favorites we picked out, Buff Cochin with feathered feet! There are 30 all together, 3 are my cousin's so we'll have 27 total.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Asa went to his old Daycare after school last Thursday and Friday. With Brian's parents still in Florida and my parents headed off for a Cruise we were out of options except for our friend Jess. Asa loves Jess's House and her girls. Asa had one special friend when he used to go there daily and she was the closest to his age as well. Both have grown so much since they first started going to Jess's together, one in Pre-K and the other in Kindergarten. Well, Barrett was surprised by a special day at Jess's House on Friday by her mom, but the real surprise was that Asa was going to be there! Oh man, if everyone could have a friend like Barrett. She absolutely adores Asa, like A LOT...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to a Wonderful Woman

Today would of been my Grammy D's 100th birthday. I want to wish her a very happy one. She is and was a very, very special lady that I loved so very much. She truly was my best friend and I miss her deeply every day. Some may remember my post 3 years ago with a letter I wrote this same day, I'd like to share it again. Mary, Miyou, Grammy, thank you for blessing us with 97 years I know you and Puppa are waltzing up a storm in Heaven... Have a dance from me on this precious day, I love you...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Letter to My Grammy D

Recently a dear woman has left us and I would like to share my Grammy with the world. She's gone on "vacation" as she would always say. Boy how I loved this woman. See, she wasn't my "real" Grandmother, not by blood, was something she would always say too, but by heart. This woman Mary cared for my sister and I. Me, since I was a little tyke of 6 weeks old and my sister (who's 3.5 years older) was 5 months old when we started to go to Grammy D's house for Daycare, of course she was called our sitter back then. We went to her house every day until we started school, and for me I hated Kindergarten because I knew my Grammy was right up the hill from the Church I went to Kindergarten in and I didn't have to sit in a circle with a bunch of kids, I could sit on the couch with a cookie and watch soap operas... "Stories" she would call them. She was a woman who never looked her aged - still living at home up until a couple weeks before she left. I wrote the following letter to her on her 97 birthday, she passed just two days before...

A letter to my Grammy D

Dear Grammy,

I hope I told you enough how much I love you; I hope I hugged you enough to show you how much I care. I tried to do these things over abundantly because I knew there would be a time I couldn’t. I dreaded the day you would be gone or “go on vacation” as you’d call it, since I was 5 years old. You took such good care of me I tried to return the favor every chance I had. There were days you were challenged, I remember too well. You would yell out the backdoor, “You want them? Come and get them!” Now that I think of it, the neighbors must of wondered what the heck was going on. I’m sorry for those days I gave you so much trouble and you had to ask God to give you strength.

There were many good days we shared, walking around the block while I rode my bike. Going to the town pool on hot summer afternoons, you would sit on the edge in your brown skirt dangling your feet in the water watching over me like a good Mother Hen. Your skin turned such a golden brown on those long afternoons. You looked like an angel sitting so proper.

There were days I was sick and you took care of me, bullion soup with elbows, or rice with butter and salt - those were my favorite. We had afternoons of watching music videos and we’d do a dance party in the living room. We’d bake cakes or help with your weekly chopped ham sandwiches for Bingo on Tuesday nights. I’d always beg for one and you’d save enough to make me a half.

When I was old enough to walk down street by myself, you had a hard time letting me go. “Don’t take any wooden nickels”, you’d say and make me carry a paring knife in my pocket. God that makes me chuckle, how many people would give an 8 year old a paring knife to carry around these days? And the summer I was 10, do you remember you helped me do my paper route? Oh, the sight of you with that Valley News bag around your tiny little body. We had 48 papers to delivery every day, you would do the Block and I would do the Height, meeting halfway when we were done. You even did the whole thing by yourself while I went to Maine on vacation - you must love me a whole lot...

I remember your traits from living through the depression; you never let anything go to waste. You would scrape mold off the top of cottage cheese, drink sour orange juice, take all the day old baked goods you could fit in your tiny arms from the Senior Center and pilfer ketchup and sugar packets into your purse from McDonald’s. How could anyone blame you, you knew struggle and you knew how to survive.

Even when I was older, you still took care of me. Whether it was a sandwich after school, or a trip to McDonald’s to get your free cup of coffee, it was always special to spend time with you. You were the best and easiest person to talk to, I could tell you anything and you never judged, you just loved and supported the best way you knew how. You always knew the right thing to say, or when to not say anything at all because “Nobody asked me, I was just listening”, you could hear a conversation across the room and pretend like you didn’t.

There are so many wonderful memories I have of you I could write a book, your sayings, your undying love, and your beautiful face. I wanted to write to you so I wouldn’t forget, and I wanted you to know - I hope I told you I love you enough, and hugged you enough to show you how much I care. I know you will always be with me, I feel you now. Grammy, Peace be with you.

I love you,
“Your Adopted Daughter” – Jackie
March 1, 2010 – Today is your Birthday, Happy Birthday

About Me

My photo
My name is Jackie and I am a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cousin to many, and a dreamer of sorts. I dream of many things and one is a life full of acceptance, achievement and success for my Super Hero son Asa. He's got extra good stuff that comes with a little thing called Down syndrome. We live in the beautiful state of New Hampshire with our 2 Bulldogs; Rosie, Frankie and 36 chickens.