Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fridays Facebook Foibles


     I completed high school in three years and went on to college, and this is not generally something I would recommend for most people. It's also something I did not recommend to my own kids. . For many reasons, it suited my personality, as I am not really given to looking back. In the past, my tendency has been to look forward and to move forward, and when young, perhaps I even did this to the detriment of the present.  I have kept three close friends from high school, and about five from college, and otherwise have never really looked back. After high school, I went on to college, and then afterward, took a job in the Northeast, and midway through my twenties, moved to Virginia and again, never looked back.  I have only been back to the Northeastern US once since that time when I happened to be there with one of my older children.  I don't carve time from the present day for high school reunions, or even for post college get-togethers.  Despite this, I remember all the names of all my grade school teachers, and most of the names of kids with whom I went to elementary school, middle school, high school, and even a few from college.  I like the internet, but I am not a fan of social media. I enjoy Daniel's blog, but  I don't like breaching my own security by providing more data than I want to, or by allowing my friends to do so. My days are pretty full now, and I can't spare the time to Twitter. I therefore don't have a My Space account, a Twitter account or a Facebook account, and I likely never will.    Last weekend, one of my kids in trying to get me to grasp the true social significance of this new horizon called social media, allowed me to "look around" using his account.    I looked up a couple of the names of people I knew in high school, and with whom I haven't spoken since then.  Their facebook friends provided new names, and so on and so on.  Within about an hour, I knew everything I cared to about almost everyone with whom I had attended high school.  This was made easier by many of my classmates having retained their original surnames and having added a married name to it.  Oddly, they were also friends with a number of our instructors from those days on facebook also.  Certainly, a facebook cross section of my high school life is not a scientific examination of sociological trends, but since Daniel will never retrace his friends from childhood as an adult, I decided to explore a little.
          There were some interesting trends which seemed to emerge on Facebook.  First of all, kids who were very popular in high school seem now to have happily befriended those who clearly were not.  Secondly, many of the people from my high school class have never married, and never had children.  Interestingly, this was a good high school in a relatively wealthy area in a suburban area of a Northeastern state.  The students who attended should do well in the world. There were an abundance of opportunities in that era, even adjusting for a recession which occurred in 1981.   There were numerous car accident deaths within a couple of years of graduation, and this was known to me, when they happened.  Interestingly, from our graduating class of 200, the class yielded two physicians, two attorneys, about five engineers, five teachers, four builders, several restauranteurs, two successful opera singers, etc.  My closest friends became college professors and so far as I know, I am the only one who became a registered nurse at any time. (I mixed the professions of being an RN and then later being a college instructor)  There are a couple of chemists. There is one CEO from a large company. There is one public relations worker. There are a couple of people who work for the federal government.  There are a couple of professional writers and an abundance of those who work in customer service. There is an abundance of personal trainers and yoga instructors. There were no people in our graduating class who went into the military. (Although there were some in the class ahead of us, and the class behind us.)  The determining factor as to who became most successful seemed to come down to one thing.   Those who remained in our expensive Northeastern state where we went to school, seemed not only NOT to do as well as those who went to other states to pursue college or another job, but those who left were more likely to be married and to have had children.  Of course, this is a non-scientific anecdotal look at how one class from 1978 did when they got to the world, but it is interesting nonetheless.
              The other thing that I found a little discouraging was how they looked.  I am obviously not 16 or 17 year old  in pictures now, but I do look like a more mature version of the person I was in high school or in college.  People would recognize me.   Just a few of the women from school were recognizable. Most of them looked much, much older than I expected them to.  I felt very sad when I realized that I don't look as old as they do.  I wondered why.  Life has not always been easy for me, and I suppose there have been challenges for my former classmates as well.  They are clearly the people I knew, and I could verify this as they have the same siblings names that I recall, but many of them look like ELDERLY grandparents.
            I decided, after reading all about everyone, not to contact anyone.  The friends who were close to me then, still are, and I have never lost touch with them.  It was a little surreal to catch up with almost everyone I could consider, and have all my questions answered after all those years, in just an hour or two.


Monday, January 30, 2012

More Messages Which Came in Dreams

No longer dismissed as folklore, NASA has plenty to say on coronal mass ejections for 2012.

I was really only joking when I speculated that the increase in coronal mass ejections from the sun (CMEs) and all this bombardment of Earth which is heightening the aurora borealis (or Northern lights) phenomenon, and causing it to be seen in places such as Northern England, Scotland and Ireland, might be heightening psychic reception or messages in dreams from those who have passed.  I am beginning to wonder if my joke has any truth to it.  As you might know, particularly if you have kids who follow astronomy, this week the Earth has been bombarded by the largest coronal mass ejection since 2005.

Lee Billings, who is an astronomy reporter over at Popular Mechanics has written some great information.

     "A geomagnetic storm produces dangerous electrical currents in a manner analogous to a moving bar magnet raising currents in a coil of wire. When a CME hits the Earth’s magnetic field and sends it oscillating, those undulating magnetic fields raise currents in conductive material within and on the Earth itself. The currents that ripple through our planet can easily enter transformers that serve as nodes in regional, national, and global power grids. They can also seep into and corrode the steel in lengthy stretches of oil and gas pipeline.
On October 29, 2003, power grids around the world felt the strain from the geomagnetic currents. In North America, utility companies scaled back electricity generation to protect the grid. In Sweden, a fraction of a CME-induced electric current overloaded a high-voltage transformer, and blacked out the city of Malmo for almost an hour. The CME dumped an even larger mass of energetic particles into Earth’s upper atmosphere and orbital environment, where satellites began to fail because of cascading electronics glitches and anomalies. Most were recovered, but not all. Astronauts in low-Earth orbit inside the International Space Station retreated to the Station’s shielded core to wait out the space-weather storm. Even there, the astronauts received elevated doses of radiation, and occasionally saw brief flashes of brilliant white and blue—bursts of secondary radiation caused when a stray particle passed directly through the vitreous humor of the astronauts’ eyes at nearly light-speed.
Flares and CMEs from the Sun continued to bombard the Earth until early November of that year, when at last our star’s most active surface regions rotated out of alignment with our planet. No lives were lost, but many hundreds of millions of dollars in damages had been sustained.
The event, now known as the Halloween Storm of 2003, deeply worried John Kappenman, an engineer and expert in geomagnetic storm effects. The Sun had fired a clear warning shot. Its activity roughly follows an 11-year cycle, and severe space weather tends to cluster around each cycle’s peak. The Sun’s next activity peak is expected to occur this year or next, and the chance of more disruptive geomagnetic storms will consequently increase".

           The electro-magnetic effects of CMEs are well known within the scientific community, but decidedly much less has been written about any biological or even psychic effects so my mention of this is squarely within the realm of total speculation.   I mention this because, my husband, who has never acknowledged a visitation dream from Daniel before, reported one in the middle of the night last night, and remembered it enough to discuss it this morning.   Tonight, I am up, having had a dream from my father.  In the dream my father had provided tools to me and told me to hold on to them.  He also told me that if I could not keep my potassium levels in check then this would be the last time that I would be able to manage atrial fibrillation without a cardiologist, and that I should line one up now, rather than using an internist to manage it.   He was talking to me despite the fact that in the dream, the different types of tools had been mailed to me. Apparently, something either needs repair or certainly will soon.  There are those who believe that human consciousness is expanded during periods of coronal mass ejections, and who am I to doubt this ?   We are electrical creatures by virtue of the electrical conduction systems of our hearts, the electrical systems of our brains and by the hemoglobin and iron in our blood.  Would it really be so amazing if changes in magnetic fields due to coronal mass ejections, altered us, as electrical creatures,  as well ?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Visit in Dream for my Husband

          I was just thinking this week that I had not heard from Daniel or from my Dad in some time, in dreams. I don't have any control over this, and I am convinced that this is something THEY do from time to time, and not really something my psyche can orchestrate.   (Although I certainly can orchestrate dreams in which I am restating to someone what happened and the feelings of loss and bewilderment which can occur.)   There is not much I can do but let them know before I sleep that I am open to hearing from them, before I pray to God each evening before sleep.
           My husband has not been as lucky as I have in this regard.  Normally, he does not recall many of his dreams, and when he does, they are not vivid, and they are often a simple restatement of his days frustrations.  Last night though, it was different.    He related in the middle of the night that he dreamt that we were living in the big white house we lived in, in the suburbs, before we moved here.  This is the house we lived in when Daniel was born.  We moved to the country from that house when Daniel was two.    In my husband's dream, he dreamt that Daniel was about four, and that my husband and I were watching tv in our bed with Daniel sitting with us.   I had fallen asleep while watching television, so my husband picked Daniel up, and carried him to bed, tucking him in.  Daniel was wide awake, and not in any rush to go to bed.  A black labrador dog, just like Mark, (one of Daniel's dogs) who died of a stroke, a couple of years after Daniel's passing, was sleeping  at Daniel's feet, guarding him.    My husband awoke at around 2:30 am and was crying.   This type of dream is unusual for him.   I told him that Daniel was likely visiting and that this was a loving encouragement from him.   This morning, my husband recalls this dream very clearly, which is also unusual for him.
          Last night I dreamt "busy dreams".   I was busy with multiple tasks.   Oddly, I too dreamt that we were once again living in the big white suburban house, but that we were at war, and that there was civil unrest.

This is the house both my husband and I dreamt about last evening. This was our second home together.  It was a surburban home with about an acre of land, with a full basement and three full floors.  This is the home Daniel spent his babyhood in. We moved from here, to the first farm we built when he was two.

             I wonder if all the coronal mass ejections of the sun, that we have had of late, generate more vivid dreams for us on Earth, or whether it makes it easier for those who have passed and whom we love, to pass a message of remembrance to us.
              It's good to know my husband had this dream and that it got through.   I think he may need the encouragement.  Christian faith does not always leave room for the possibility of positive visitation from those we love, but of course, they should know, that with God, all things are possible.

Lead Vocal:   Christine Dente of "Out of the Grey"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughts On Bereavement in Marriage

         In the last three years I have spoken many times about the effects on bereavement and the loss of a child on a family, but I have never directly tackled and discussed the effects of the loss of a child on a marriage. This choice was motivated by a number of things.  The first is that I think we owe our spouses, and even former spouses, privacy from disclosing their darkest days and moments to the rest of the world. Sometimes a little less sharing of life's horrors, particularly as they effect your loved ones, is in order.  Until our spouse makes sense of what happened and can move beyond it, we owe them this time, unencumbered by eyewitness blog reports as to our estimation of their despair and/or resiliency.   Secondly, adults, and men and women process grief and loss very differently.  It's socially acceptable for me to cry and grieve, and talk to everyone I know, and even create a blog.  A man, however unfairly,  is expected to visibly grieve through a funeral and then move on and continue to earn a living, while not mentioning his loss and grief to clients, employers or anything else that might indicate how lost or how sad he might really be.  Third, spouses move through grief very differently, and often they do not understand one another in their grief.   I might be confused as to why my husband might be appearing to do well three months after our loss while I might not be.  My husband might be confused as to why I don't want to vacation, or why I cry often.  Unfortunately, the loss of a child is a major marital stressor, and without good communication, it can signal nails in the coffin of even a healthy marriage.   Following the loss of a child, there are many feelings, including guilt and blame, and it's easy to become confused.
          Our own survival in our marriage probably resulted from a number of things.  First, my husband and I are very different people, and this was known to us long before we were challenged by Daniel's sudden departure for Heaven.  I consist of connections and friends, conversations and words, cards, letters and blogs. I am a "verbal gerbil" and I cope with most things by talking about my feelings, as many women do.   My husband is a fact and number man.  His private thoughts are that "the thing wrong with most marriages is communication..........that is TOO MUCH communication !".   He is quite happy sitting and feeling, without having to explain what is occurring, as is the case with many men.  So after Daniel's passing, we knew that our responses would be very different, as we navigated the most terrible of experiences to happen to parents. He knew I would chatter, and I knew he would probably not, and so we entered the experience with more realistic expectations.   Secondly, we were blessed in some ways by doing CPR together on Daniel.  We found him together, we worked on him together. We were in shock together, and ultimately that day, we lost him together, when the medical helicopter staff pronounced Daniel dead in our home.   I remember two things very clearly that day.  One, was that my husband was supporting me as I did the best CPR of my life. He did not judge me, and he did not blame me, and he knew I did my best.  The second thing I remember really well is that after Daniel was pronounced, some time after the initial call and our CPR, the sheriff's office CPR and ultimately, care by the helicopter ICU,  was that I wanted to cry and wail.   I looked at my husband, and I decided to wait.  He too had lost his beloved son that day, and perhaps he could not take seeing his wife melt into a lost ball as well.  I waited a couple of days for the privacy to cry so hard I couldn't catch my breath.  I remember that my husband loved Daniel as much as I, and that we both lost him to Heaven that day.   These things made it easier as the testier, sadder days came at intervals in the year which followed.
           In marriage, some days you are in love, other days you are annoyed, a few days you are indifferent, and grief accentuates all of this.  What's important is that you and your spouse understand this, and know that the important thing is to live to cycle another day, when happiness and joy together will eventually return regardless of the loss you have endured.  Certainly, counseling is a positive thing for many. I also believe that the timing of such is important.  Counseling too early in the course of grief might not be as helpful as later, and counseling too late may not be as helpful.  Each couple must decide what they need to do, and how they can best support each other.  This is tough when you are a hairs breadth some days from wondering if you wish you'd died rather than Daniel.   Know that you will come through this. You may be war torn, with more grays, and less sure of yourself afterward, but you and your marriage will come through this.

         The song selection I have chosen today is written and performed by Steven Curtis Chapman.  He and his wife know a fair bit about loss and grief, as their youngest daughter died in an accident also in 2008 a few months before Daniel's passing.   This song was written years before that, but it shows something about the commitment and strength that must be there before we all face life's hardest trials.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Collapsing Closet Interiors

Very similar, though larger than our own walk-in closet.

   The continued aftershocks from the 5.8 earthquake in August do make a difference. We saw evidence of the effects of the frequent shakes today.   In the master bedroom we have a large walk in closet with built ins for shoes, hats, scarves etc.  The closet interior collapsed this morning, placing all of my clothes hung on multiple poles in various piles on the floor. The shelves also fell leaving quite a mess.  My son Adam helped me to gather up the mess, and he did his best to redo these, and place the metal and wood poles up, and to re-anchor everything better than was done originally.  He had James come and help him hold things as he anchored them with power tools.  One of the things I keep in the walk in closet are Christmas presents, and although those were all given, there were a few stocking stuffers that I couldn't find that must have been on a shelf somewhere, and they just didn't make it into stockings last year.  One of those things was a wooden copperhead snake with absolutely realistic markings, cut in such a manner that it also moves in a realistic way. I bought one of these at a toy store for James in November.  Adam set up electric drills and other tools, and together we removed all the clothing.  I was out in my room rehanging the clothing that had fallen onto hangers, and all at once, I heard Adam, jump and say, "Whooooaaa !"    The wooden toy snake was on the floor and just as advertised, it moved, scaring the daylights out of Adam, who actually jumped out of the closet !  We could not stop laughing because in winter, a copperhead snake in an interior closet would be extremely unlikely.  With Adam, James and I laughing so much, we were reminded of the times when Daniel was here, and we all laughed quite a bit.  The re-anchoring and repairs held through this mornings mild quake at about 6:40 am.  I still have an awful lot of closet cleaning, and reorganizing to do following "The Great Walk-In Closet Collapse of 2012".
The snake above is likely made by the same company as the one I have, which so clearly has perfect copperhead markings.

Monday, January 23, 2012

She's Looking at Houses

Most of the homes Stephanie is looking at are small homes with a yard. Most are in fair condition but need work following either the earthquake and continued aftershocks or following damage which occurred in association with a foreclosure, or foreclosure aftermath.  Some of the houses have been empty for some time, which can also do damage to electrical and plumbing systems as well as HVAC systems.

     Daniel and Dad,       It's been a busy week.  The economy continues to deteriorate in many parts of the country.  In our rural area, foreclosures have finally come.  The banks here had been holding on to their repossessed homes, waiting for an upswing, but now that no upswing has come, they are letting them go.   This has created some unusual opportunities for someone like Stephanie.   Normally, I could encourage any child of mine, after a year of working after college to continue saving for a home, and perhaps in this economy,. stay here at home with us, save every dime, and perhaps even pay cash.  However,  a few of the available repo sales this week have made us sit up and take note.   One was a lovely small brick home, with a lovely yard, but in Stephanie's preferred target area, only ten minutes from work. It had lovely built in bookcases and the oil heat you liked so much, Dad.  It sold before we could get an appointment to see it.   It seems that those with cash often grab the properties before anyone else can get there.    The second one is probably the deal of the century, but it is far larger than is rational for Stephanie, and a far worse commute in winter, and requires some repair and maintenance following the earthquake, that Stephanie probably can not and should not,take on.  I have to remember here that what would have been right for me in the eighties when I bought our first house, is not necessarily right for Stephanie who has different likes and dislikes and goals than I do.   This is also an emotionally bittersweet time for us for another reason.    Daniel, do you remember that when you were smaller, you used to say that when Stephanie bought her first house that you would move in with her, and take one of the bedrooms and keep her company ? I used to tell you that you couldn't do that, and be amused by it.    That day is soon upon us, and how I wish you were here, and even had the option of living nearby with your sister, even once in awhile, or on weekends.   It would have been fun for both of you.
         Dad,  I understand you better now.   There is a tight line to walk.  Our children must be ready to do for themselves, and maintain the things they buy by themselves, and yet somehow, we must tell them of our own experiences and let them discover what is valid about our thinking on the subject, and what is less valuable now, in an economy and mortgage market which is so different from the one just a few years ago.  I did not always understand when you left certain things to me, and you hung back, but now I do.  Thank you. Thank you for having the courage to let me find my way.  I do things differently than you, because I am dealing with a different era and different children, but I hope I handle supporting them through this with the same wisdom or threads of the wisdom that you have.    Wish Stephanie luck and wisdom in making good choices in these decisions.  I love you both......yes, wider than the oceans and deeper than the seas.

One of the homes we looked at yesterday was an older geodesic dome.

There are lots of homes available in Virginia, often with serious issues.

Other posts, dealing with the house she eventually buys later in the year, can be found at:



Sunday, January 15, 2012

No New Leads in Ian Burnet's Disappearance

    UPDATE:   January 17, 2012
   Police have created a new place for internet tips:


 There is no additional news otherwise.


   As of two hours ago, according to the family of missing engineering student Ian Burnet, there is no news.   Ian, a Virginia Commonwealth University student from Richmond, Virginia travelled with friends to New York City just after Christmas for a brief holiday prior to starting again at VCU in the semester which would ordinarily begin in a couple of days. Ian was last heard from via text message on 12/30, and has not been seen since. Complete information can be found at:  www.findianburnet.com
           Interestingly, although Ian is an honor student at VCU, the university has made no attempt to notify its students via e-mail or via their website regarding this man's missing status.  Perhaps 34,000 students plus saw something or have some theories.
            Ian was felt to be a travel savvy and careful  young man. This is an excellent time to begin a conversation with your own kids of this age, concerning "filing a flight plan". Each one of us, including myself, should leave a brief synopsis of where we plan to be going and when we are returning in the event that our car breaks down, or we become ill somewhere.  I don't know that in Ian's case this would have made an incredible difference, but it does raise this talking point with our kids for whom it really might.
            Prayers and best wishes continue for Ian's parents, Mark and Nancy Burnet, and for his brother Jamie and for all the cousins.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Popsicle Toes

"Popsicle toes"

"Tiny tasty toes" especially good for our own version of "This Little Piggy".    Daniel knew "This Little Piggy" very well when he was small but though it was funny when I did our very own version, which went like this, "This little piggy went to Wendy's, and this little piggy when to Burger King, and this little piggy went to McDonald's, and this little piggy went to Shoneys, and this little piggy went to _______(insert whichever restaurant we have last visited.) and ordered _______(insert their latest special) and had an upset stomach and had to run all the way home !   (It was our way of discouraging too much fast food.)

   I gave in. I decided to get a small kit of Revlon "cover the grays" for the small grays that are emerging from my temples and from the part in my hair. I didn't want to ruin my clothes or spill any of the colorant, so I stood there for the requisite ten minutes, almost naked, in my bathroom, before showering.  I dropped some of the coloring on clothing I had in there anyway, so I really should have just kept warm. Following my lengthy shower afterward to rinse all of the colorant out, I was freezing.  I am now warmly dressed, but still not quite warm yet. I remembered something Daniel used to do when he was small.  Daniel used to like to pop into our bed on a cold morning, and announce "Popsicle toes !"     "Oh my Gosh !" I would say, as he would warm them on me, or on my husband. "How did you get so cold ?!" I would ask.  Daniel, like most young people, could tolerate being really cold without being uncomfortable. When normal people would wear a sweater or a warm coat, Daniel would skip a sweater or wear a lighter jacket than was wise.   We used to argue about this a fair bit. "Why do I have to put on a sweater because YOU are cold ?" he would ask.  I miss those "popsicle toes !"  As cold as I am this minute, I would love his putting his feet like ice on my legs to warm himself.
When he was very very small, I used to pretend to bite his toes and I would call them his "tiny tasty toes" and he would squeal with delight as I would pretend to want to gobble them up.There are so many wonderful joyous memories of him. I hope I always remember them as clearly as I do today.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ian Burnet Still Missing : URGENT

Ian Burnet is a 22 year old Virginia Commonwealth University student who is missing from New York City where he was visiting just before New Years Day.   This picture was taken on Christmas Day, 2011.

As Ian might appear unshaven or bearded today.


A jacket just like this jacket is said to be missing from his luggage. He may be wearing it.

Taken this summer, also how he might look

This provides information about his posture and build
 UPDATE:  January 17, 2012
    Police have created a "tip line" at:

There is still no additional information.


UPDATE:  January 11, 2012
NYPD has completed a second search of the apartment building in which Ian was staying. Nothing unusual was found.   Secondly, the Metrocard that Ian purchased with his credit card was used on the day he disappeared to enter Northbound Train Station Number 1..  Whether this was Ian using it or not, is not yet known.  NYPD is collecting the video from the appropriate locations to look for him.    Police have indicated that Ian ALLEGEDLY has a history of attempting suicide by taking pills and ingesting alcohol, and therefore it is particularly important that he is found and receives help. IF this information is in fact true, then we need to accelerate our efforts to aid him. His parents were apparently not aware of this. This young man has been an honor student and lived independently and functioned socially extremely well, for years.



I had no idea until the last couple of days when working on VCU student Ian Burnet's disappearance, how many people are missing. When you can, take a look at


This is information and an index of missing adults in the US. There may be someone you know or have seen, who is actually a missing person.

This morning I had a wonderful and inspiring e-mail from Ian Burnet's mom. Like most really strong mothers, she is thanking people who are helping with trying to disseminate and gather information about where Ian might be. She is working hard and remains positive. Ian's brother Jamie and his father remain in New York looking for him, and giving interviews to television, radio, newspapers and generally keeping this case alive in the minds of New Yorkers.

To recap what we know as of this date, Ian Hunter Burnet, is a 22 year old man who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 160 pounds. He might appear younger than his 22 years. He is very bright. He took a bus to New York City and was staying in Harlem with friends before New Years Day. The last contact Ian had with his parents was on December 30, 2011 when they received a text message.His last communication with his roommate at VCU was that "He wasn't having a particularly good experience in NY". He is believed to have his ID, and one credit card with him, although no charges have been made on it beyond that date.

If you wish to, you can download pre-made sheets with Ian's picture and information for shop windows, bulletin boards, telephone poles etc.

Copy the link here:


I can't get Daniel back to Earth, but it's possible that the Burnets can get their son back to them. Please help this family locate their son. If there is anything you can do to help them avoid a loss, such as the one which occurred to our family, please, do it. Help Ian to go home. Thank you for any help that you can give to this fine family.

Ian could be in New York, or he could be in New Jersey, as he has relatives in Jersey City.  He may also be trying to get home to Virginia, or to VCU.  If you see Ian, or someone who looks like him:

Please contact NYPD either Detective Sanchez or Det. Davis, or Sgt Greene at the 30th Precinct 451 W 151st St.   212-690-8842.

      WEBSITE:    http://www.findianburnet.com

        ( You may click on the above flyer to enlarge)

Dawn Steele Welcomes Baby Daughter Coco

Dawn Steele,  with daughter Coco, born in London on November 9, 2011.

       Some time ago, I mentioned that Daniel's favorite actress was Dawn Steele from her work in "Monarch of the Glen".   I also mentioned that Dawn and her partner Scottish actor Paul Blair had their first child due in November.  I cannot tell you how many fans of Dawn's have written to me since asking for new or updated information.  This week I actually wrote Dawn's agent for information, as everyone was a bit worried that we had not heard.
             Dawn gave birth earlier than expected, on November 9th via caesarean section. It sounds like a good drama for film or television, all by itself.   She was filming "Wild At Heart" in South Africa, when she developed placenta previa.  (Sometimes, particularly when there is a low placental attachment, the normal outlet can be blocked.  Placenta previa can also result in hemorrhage. Although this can be a fatal complication for both mother and baby, most of the time it is managed well if one is in a place where modern medicine exists, and a woman and her doctor have access to an equipped operating room, and access to blood and blood products are available  (.In the UK, this may be written as placenta praevia)   My own mother experienced placenta previa when I was born also.   Dawn was flown back to England in a hurry for bedrest and furthur evaluation in the hopes that she could still deliver naturally.   It eventually became clear after multiple episodes of bleeding, that Dawn needed a caesarean section.  As is sometimes the case in placenta previa, she required blood transfusions for really significant blood loss afterward.  This is likely why we did not hear for such a time.  As in the tradition of many families ,on the other side of the pond, Coco has three names before her surname, she is Coco Christie Mary.
             Dawn must be doing quite well now, and must be well on the way to having corrected any anemia, because she is anxious to get back to filming her series in South Africa, with Coco in tow.  She did quite a few press related appearances on January 6th and really looked fantastic and very well recovered.   Dawn's partner of five years, Scottish actor Paul Blair, is Coco's father.  They are engaged, but wedding plans will likely need to wait until they are each employed on the same continent !     Congratulations Dawn and Paul.   Please take care of yourselves, and little Coco, and enjoy this special time, which passes so quickly.

 Jewel has a CD which has lovely lullabyes for all ages.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Can You Find Missing VCU Student Ian Burnet ?

Ian Burnet, age 22

An additional picture of Ian, whom, in this particular picture looks facially, a little bit like our Daniel

Our Daniel had planned to attend Virginia Commonwealth University's Kinetic Studies Program. He was interested in creating computer video animations for both educational and entertainment purposes. Despite the fact that he was 12 1/2 when he passed, he already was doing so. Academically, he was ready to attend a local college, and then produce a portfolio which would have transferred him into VCU. He would have been our third child to graduate with a degree in fine arts from VCU. Sadly that was not to be.
For this reason, I am particularly concerned about families who have sent their children to VCU, and are missing. With 34,000 students and a decentralized urban campus, this happens far more often than we would like to think about.
Twenty-two year old Ian Burnet is from New Kent County, in Virginia. He is a junior at VCU, and is a student within good standing at the School of Engineering. He and a friend went to New York City via bus on December 30, and Ian has not been heard from since. Police here in Virginia state that "No foul play is suspected", but friends say that this is uncharacteristic behavior for Ian. Police indicate that Ian has not used his cell phone or his credit card since that day and that he was last seen in New York City at about 139th St. and Riverside Avenue in Harlem. We are praying for Ian's safe return.

Ian Hunter Burnet, 22, is a white male, reportedly weighing 160 lbs. and standing five-foot, 10-inches. He has brown hair and green eyes.
Ian graduated from New Kent County High School in 2008. He is currently a VCU student, studying electrical engineering, computer engineering, mathematics and physics.
His LinkedIn profile indicates that Ian is a software engineer at Sonoco Packaging Company.
Ian's older brother Jamie has said that Ian's travel companions said that Ian walked away from them. He left his computer, phone, wallet and all his money, ipod, According to The Hudson Reporter.Com, it now appears that Ian may have had his $20. Metro card, his ID, and his jacket with him. Jamie also indicates that Ian, like many university students, has had a history of depression.

If you see him or have any information, please contact:

NYPD either Detective Sanchez or Det. Davis, or Sgt Greene at the 30th Precinct 451 W 151st St. 212-690-8842.

Yes, Caleb Chapman is the group name of Steven Curtis Chapman's adult sons Caleb and Will.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year to a World in Turmoil


  As I said in the prior post, there are some things, my boy, that are unfolding in the world that sometimes make me feel that I am glad you are spared the worries of the world just now.   Last evening, I watched a program in which Gerald Celente provided forecasts about things that might occur in the world within the next year.   You might remember the name, Gerald Celente, from his accent in a New Yorker, and is a frequent contributor to RT (Russia Today).   Some news groups consider RT unfairly biased against the United States and its economy because Russia and its growing economic machine clearly benefit when world markets consider the US economy poorly managed or in trouble.  However, I listen to all the news outlets from Deutche Welle, to BBC, the Japanese News NHK, France 24, Al Jazeera, and the Israeli news.  Between those outlets and the blogosphere, the truth generally lies somewhere between all of their concerns.  There is no doubt there are some significant concerns.  The economy worldwide is not in stellar shape. Unwise business practices and unwise lending practices have resulted in a large stock of toxic loans. Mortgages, for example, that people borrowed and now, due to unemployment, cannot pay back.  Homes have been repossessed, and are not being maintained and are deteriorating.  Some of these homes are being sold in auctions for as little as a dollar, but there is no work in those cities,  and now there is crime.  Investors picked some of them up, only to find no one will rent the large glut of homes available, and now, have greedily bought so many homes, the investors are losing money paying the taxes on them.  When US investors are losing money, they do not spend money anywhere else in the world, and then economic issues which already exist, worsen.  The US, which has always been fond of spending too much money in its domestic program, continues its addiction, even though it no longer has the tax base to do so.  Meanwhile, more and more people distrust the US federal government as it passes laws which impede the basic freedoms people had from the country's inception.  Many people are leaving here, but I don't know that South America is a wiser place to be going, or to be buying beachfront property.
            Europe continues to have its own problems. The Euro has been in use now for ten years.  I have never been a proponent of one currency. I always thought there was inherent danger in typing all of Europe together.  Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy are having economic difficulties, and are likely to be bailed out by Germany and Frances more secure economies.  England has said it cannot afford to help, although the United Kingdom wisely kept its pound sterling.
          Across the world, people are rebelling against their leaders. In turn, their leaders are proposing or enacting emergency laws which protect government, and the result is a new fascism, rather than the democracies that were prayed for.
           In addition, Muslim nations across the world are experiencing their own pains.  The past year has seen the deaths of many as they rebelled against leaders they saw as unfair, in a hope of constructing a better and more equitable nation.   Many of them are still waiting for that equitable nation to emerge.   Meanwhile, Iran's government of renegades still believes that they are to be the match that sets the world ablaze to fulfill prophecy which ends the world as we have known it.
           On the farm here, things are the same. the animals are cared for, somehow the taxes are paid. Half of us work off the farm. Half of us work here. We watch and we worry.  We ask for God's blessing and for safety and protection in the year to come.   Daniel, love to you, and to my Dad.