5.31.2007

Adoption BlogPost Roundup #1



May 31 is the official last day of Adoption BlogPost Round-Up #1. I updated the list to add some new posts and marked them. You'll see.

What would you like to have as a theme for the June Adoption BlogPost Round-Up? Could you share your ideas in the comments?




Domestic
Jamie at It's Always Something writes about the night she was packing to go to the hospital where her soon-to-be-child was about to born. It is a thoughtful and compassionate post.

Natasha at MultiRacial Sky writes a frustrating post in which she is trapped in bathroom with all four kids and a Person-Of-Inappropriate-Questions. I think she was much nicer than I would have been.

Melody at Slurping Life posts a beautiful and compelling reflection on an adoption that disrupted and celebrates the daughter that is no longer hers (but in a way, is always hers).

Margaret at Open Window (which is sporting a swell new look, btw) shares a beautifully written post about her childhood.

Kimmie at Over the Moon with Joy links us to her get-acquainted post in which she shares that
After all, we are not adding children to our lives, children are our lives.

Theresa at My World and Welcome To It posts adoption day pictures full of happy family moments.

new Heather at Production, Not Reproduction, shares a thoughtful and thought-provoking post about real moms. She also has an awesome list of adoption book reviews.

new Erika at Plain Jane Mom rightly rants about Adopt-a-Highway and the like.

Cambodia
Mrs. Broccoli Guy asks "Are Ethical Adoptions Possible?" (post #3, in a three part series) about unethical adoptions, ones in which the child is separated from his or her birth parents in shady circumstances.


China

Stefanie at ~Never Too Many~ shares her lovely blog about adopting in China.

Beverly at Motherhood and Other Ramblings posts about the impossible dilemma that faces a Chinese woman with an unplanned and unauthorized pregnancy.

Becky at And Chloe Makes 6 couldn't decide, so she shares her whole blog with us, chock full of pics of her good-looking kids.

Mrs. Logbeck at Confessions of an Imperfect Mom also couldn't decide, so she shared her whole blog. They are facing are really really long wait and could probably use a few words of support.

new RedMaryJanes at The Seventh Diamond follows suit, linking her whole blog. They too face a very very long wait.

new I'm seeing a trend here amongst the China folks, as Perrin also links her blog: two ladybugs. She has two very photogenic and apparently very busy little ones home.

Ethiopia
Owlhaven at Ethiopia Adoption Blog writes a birthday love letter to her daughter. What a treasure for this little girl when she is grown.

PatJrsMom at Building the Ark shares an inspiring account of the practical support they received at their fund-raising sale.

Nicky at Rowan Family Tree presents and defines for us the dread
WIBMAD:Well-intentioned but Misinformed Adoption Disorder
[Definition] Things nice people say about adoption that are unintentionally hurtful or annoying.
I'm sure we all know at least one person afflicted with this malady. Nicky's post may be the best treatment available.

Rod at Alex - Road to Freedom pleas for help as their older-child adoption has stalled.

Guatemala
Wendy at Adopting Ahren (&PBJ, too!) writes a thought-provoking post on ways that people categorize her children and how their 'go-to' cubby surprises and concerns her.

Guatemala and Haiti
Dawn at Praying Them Home shares a moving post about progress in attachment. She really got me when she wrote this:
Then she came home.

But unlike my birth daughters, she was not a baby. She was lost and so was I. At first I honestly thought maybe we were doing ok. But there were times I would hold her, and I would think I don't know her, and I would panic. When my older girls were babies, I could instantly recognize their cry in a room of babies. If I held them with my eyes closed, I could tell you if I was holding my baby or another child. I knew them.

I did not know Emilee's smell. That sweet particular smell that belongs to your child. I did not know how she liked to be held. I didn't know what foods she liked. I didn't know how she slept. I didn't know her laugh. I didn't know what made her smile. We were strangers in a strange land. Trying to dance together as mother and daughter but not really knowing any of the steps.

Laura at No Small Feat writes a YEAH YEAH post. You know, the ones that you read and mutter Yeah! Yes! Yeah! all the way through. It nicely presents all the things you shouldn't say about adoption, and why.

Haiti
Sherri at everyday miracle posts a nearly poetic account of saying a temporary farewell to her daughter in Haiti. It is a lovely lovely read.

Korea
E at Looking for George questions and comments upon the specialized language of adoption culture.

Moldovia
The hippieish woman at Kinda Like a Hippie shares a birthday tribute to her excellent son and includes a lovely tribute to her son's birthmother.

Poland
Mrs. L at Remnants of my Life shares her whole blog with us including a teaser. She has some big news; she's just not going to share it.

Russia
Debbie of Family Reunion started us off with a great post about How to Support a Pre-Adoptive or Waiting Family. If you have a friend or family member that is adopting, you will find some practical advice here.

Tami at Finding Maddie shares a beautiful reflection on the birthday of the birthmother of Tami's son.

Esther at Crowned with Laurel made me cry as she described saying goodbye to ZsaZsa, a little girl that they were not able to adopt.

Jeneflower of 3 Sons and a Princess shares their video from that beautiful day when they picked up their princess.

Cindy at MeanderMom gives a detailed progress report on the 6 month anniversary of bringing their son home from Russia. Elle, if you missed this blog, you'll want to go read it as she has a rocker too.

Elle share from one of her older blogs, Adoption Adventure, about the long horrible terrible too-long wait. She got her referral a week before we did, got to travel on trip one (we did not), and then we all waited and waited and when we couldn't take it any more, we waited even longer. Her post is particularly teary for me as I know how the story ends.

Rhonda at Worth the Wait describes the sweetness of a little girl canoodling with her mommy. I've recently been blessed with such sweetness, so Rhonda's post is especially poignant for me.

Rachael at Always Wanted Four shares her efforts to learn, and her joy in getting to use, the Russian language.

Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living recalls a conversation with a friend about re-naming one's new children.

Kate at from Russia, with love compares the long horrible wait to the wait at a bus-stop for a bus that may or may not be there in a minute, or an hour, or a month, or not-at-all, or 'I think I hear it now', or 'it broke down' or worst of all, no news at all, just a long chilly hope-deadening wait. Can you tell her analogy really worked for me? Even though our wait for the bus mercifully ended at last, I still get all jumpy just thinking about it. If you know someone waiting, send them chocolate, large quantities.

Thailand
April at Amazing Grace is putting together her scrapbook for her daughter. This gets her thinking and she asks us a great question:
How do we raise our adopted children to celebrate their lives without being defined by their adoption?

Ukraine
new The Seyler family at 3 Journies of the Heart share their adoption stories.

Vietnam
Jena at Preparing for Rain aptly titles her contribution Things that are Hard to Talk About and shares the struggle of the first bit of time home and the utter exhaustion and the fear of not feeling the 'right' way about her son and how impossible it all is and inadequate she feels that she is. Her post spoke to my heart as our first few months home were barely livable. The only way we got through is that my Dad would come and take one or both kids away and I could gather up my courage again. But most of you know what happened to Dad. Anyway Jena is courageous and honest in her posting and my heart goes out to her.
. . it hit me what it is that has made it so hard for me to attach to Khai, he doesn’t need me. As I sat there with Samuel, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was the ONLY person that Samuel needed to be there with him, I am his momma. But Khai has not needed me like that. And it is painful to know that your son does not need you like that.
Our son, Dandy still doesn't need us in a healthy manner. We are nice to have around and all that, but . . .

Nickie at Stepping on Legos shares a very poignant reflection on her daughter's birthmom and asks some very thought-provoking questions which elicit even more thought-provoking comments from her readers.

Laurie at Pho for Four shares an amusing post about international adoption is better than pregnancy, though I notice that gestation period did not make it onto her list. We were paper pregnant for 16-21 months, depending on when you start counting. Then, because Laurie isn't busy enough with her new little one and recently finishing med school (I need a nap just thinking about that), she offers to share with us her Life-Book making talents.

Gretchen at Adventures of a Law Mommy shares her daughter's responses to the gaps in the photo-record and comments
She did not come to our family in the usual way, which has me sitting in an unusual seat - asking my child, my CHILD, my DAUGHTER, questions about her life BEFORE ME. She has a whole history that I don't know much about.
Yes, I know the feeling. My daughter regularly tells me about her life before our mutual life.

Jennifer at This is Now discusses the health issues questions that we all have wrestled or will wrestle with. Which medical needs can we handle? which are not a good fit for us? Tis a tricksy decision, no doubt. I haven't any wisdom to share on this one, do you? If so, please go post it as I am so curious what about what you might say.

new Charisa at Little Brother shares her whole blog with us as they wait for their little boy.

Adoption Resources
Christine shares two links one with us: one is her author page and the other is her publisher page. Both promote her new book: Welcome Home, Forever Child: A Celebration of Children Adopted as Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Beyond.

Joanne at Forever Parents shares some lovely adoption-themed quotes.

Laura at Exploring Adoption recently attended the Adoption and Orphan Care Summit III. She shares her experiences there as well as gracefully counters what appears to be an under-informed LA Times article.

Adoption BlogPost RoundUp Blogroll
If you participated, you are on the blogroll. Here is the coding for it, in case you would like to add it to your blog. You can see it in the Mongo Blogroll section of my right sidebars.



Adoption BlogPost RoundUp Button
And in case you would like to add the pretty button from Kim's Bookworms Bookmarks to your posts or sidebar, here is the coding for that.



~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Adoption BlogPost Roundup #1

adoption blogpost roundup button



Kim at Bookworm Bookmarks made for us this fabulous button for our Adoption BlogPost Round-Up. Isn't it lovely?

Here is the coding if you would like to add it to the posts you share with the round-up or to your sidebar.




~Suzanne

:: read the rest of adoption blogpost roundup button

Church in the Dell

Lake District: June 2004
Canon PowerShot S410 :: Exposure: 1/160 sec
Aperture: f/4.5:: Focal Length: 18.3mm


:: read the rest of Church in the Dell

5.30.2007

Vancouver Island


Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada: September 2004
Canon PowerShot S410 :: Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: f/13.0 :: Focal Length: 22.2mm


:: read the rest of Vancouver Island

swimming

We got to go swimming. In the sun. In a warm pool. For two hours.

This was us, swirling and tumbling in the water.

Isn't this artwork marvelous? You can see more at VladStudio.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of swimming

5.29.2007

secret beach


secret beach: February 2005

Canon PowerShot S410 :: Exposure: 1/80 sec
Aperture: f/4.9 :: Focal Length: 22.2mm




:: read the rest of secret beach

meme

8 things about me (per Vivian's tag)



Here are the rules: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
In the middle of the left sidebar is a section called "meme of the moment". I'm just going to capture the next eight random memes that it generates and viola! I'll have my meme done.


1 I installed all the laminate flooring in our 1,100 sq foot addition. At the beginning of our adoption proceedings
, our (ex) social worker told us that our children could share a room until our addition was built (a 5 year plan). In the middle of the proceedings, she informed us that the Russian authorities require separate bedrooms. So, building plans got fast-tracked. We broke ground in the fall of 2005 and watched the building go up all winter (pics at Chandler Fazenda blog). By the time the interior walls were done, we were done with our contractor, so we took over the hiring or the doing-of the finish work.

Dad or brother Tim came out and ran the table saw for me and handed me the boards as I clicked and tapped them all into place. We used a Costco product on the upstairs and a boutique-shop product on the downstairs. They turned out beautifully if I do say so myself; you can get a peek here.



2 Our kitchen window view is an active, often steaming, volcano. Baker also holds the world record for most snowfall in a single season (1999) and when I was a little girl, my Dad was the manager of the Mt. Baker ski area. Here is a pic taken today. I love the colors of the meadow on the first growth: purple meadow-grass, yellow butter-cups, white dandelion seed-poofs. Any night now, the hayer will come and cut it all down and we'll watch the eagles hunt in the fields all the next day.



3
My husband and I got married in my parent's living room, in the very same spot where they married.



4 I have won blue ribbons for my canning and baking.



5 I lived in Hamburg, Germany for a year and a half. I taught English there.



6 We have visited the goldmine in Wales from whence our wedding rings came. The Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Wales, were the only Roman gold-mine in Wales, worked from the First to the Fifth Centuries, A.D.

Here is a pic of my Dad and My Gift touring the goldmines. I am too claustrophobic to go into small dark underground holes. While they were touring, mom and I had tea and puttered about the gift store. Both Jamie and I needed new wedding bands, and we found some lovely ones there, made from the last batch of gold ore taken from the mine.



7 I collect dala horses.


8 I am an INTJ. Boy am I ever. Here are some tidbits from the INTJ Profile.
To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know.
Yup. Dead on.
. . . many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-) This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete', paralleling that of many Fs -- only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.
Uhm Hmmm.

Guess who else is an INTJ? C.S. Lewis. This gives me great comfort.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTJ)

Your personality type is logical, uncompromising, independent, and nonconformist.

Only about 3% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 4% of all men.
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging.
Thanks to a wrung sponge for the link.


So there you have it, my annotated meme. I tag:

  • from the Russia blogroll: Kate - because she always has something interesting to say.
  • from the China blogroll: Shelby - because everyone loves a happy beagle.
  • from the Guatamala blogroll: Michelle - because she is blogging from Guatamala and is about to come home and even if she is too busy to do the meme, the rest of you may enjoy her blog.
  • from the Kids Are Home! blogroll: Jenni - because I have really been enjoying her blog recently.
  • from the Bloggy Mamas blogroll: Elle - because she was the first commenter on my first ever blog; Owlhaven - because her blog is always full of interesting stuff; S because I wish she would blog more often; Crystal, for the same reason: update that blog!

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of meme

5.28.2007

30-day challenge: true confessions

Vivian, over at Hip Writer Mama, is all sorts of trouble. You have been warned.

Here is how it started. A couple of weeks ago she posted her 30 day challenge and I, wishing for some progress on my manuscript, signed up, confidently asserting:

I'm going to spend 30 minutes a day with my manuscript.
Now unless I can consider "with" to mean that it is on the harddrive of the laptop and I am with the laptop, I have utterly failed.



Why am I telling you about it? Because part of the challenge is that we check in on Mondays. It's Monday.

Here is what I have done.

  • Cleaned off a desk in preparation for writing.
  • Moved another desk into the house, just in case the first one doesn't have good writing juju.
  • Allowed mountains of debris to cover both desks.
  • Resolved to write on-screen, rather than on-paper.
  • Turned on 'puter with intention to write.
  • Surfed blog-land.
  • Thought my submission deadline for my writer's critique group was this past Sunday night.
  • Spent 30 minutes picking out what parts of the manuscript to send.
  • Submitted my selection this past Saturday night.
  • Felt very proud of being a day early.
  • Was graciously informed that I was TWO WEEKS early.
This means I have two more weeks in which 30 minutes a day could translate to meaningful work. Why am I dreading this?

Here is what I have yet to do:
  • outline the sequel
  • reread the whole existing manuscript with an eye to where sequel-seeds need to/can be planted
  • attach sticky notes at places to come back to
  • figure out a plan for character rehab - some of them are very bland, even frail
  • (you don't need to keep reading; I'm just writing this for me you know)
  • drum up some sideline stories to work in
  • restructure the whole thing, moving from a 3-chunk model to a 3-strand model (from A1, A2, A3, . . . B1, B2, B3, . . . C1, C2, C3 to A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, A3, B3, C3 . . .
  • (honestly, you really don't need to read all this)

Why am I dreading this? Because it sounds like work!! And also because, once I start working, I don't even like to stop to pee or eat or sleep. How am I going to do this with little people in the house? I'm not allowed to teach them how to bake their own pizzas until they are 10 (I asked my sister and she looked bit horrified that I was even considering this.)

So, I'm quite wishing I had selected a more doable task for the challenge, like baking fresh bread every day, which I am actually doing.

Then, as if I didn't have enough to do, Vivian tagged me for a meme. My first tag, actually. You'll have to come back tomorrow for my memeness.

~Suzanne




:: read the rest of 30-day challenge: true confessions

Trent-Mersey Canal, England


Trent-Mersey Canal, North Midlands, England: June 2004
Canon PowerShot S410 :: Exposure: 1/160 sec
Aperture: f/4.9 :: Focal Length: 22.2mm


:: read the rest of Trent-Mersey Canal, England

EEEWWwwww

Do you remember when I shared that my children ate kitty food? After reading Life in a Shoe's It Never Happened post, I am feeling better, much better.


~Suzanne

:: read the rest of EEEWWwwww

arts and crafts

I love the look of concentration. He is determined to get it just right, and from the look of his smile, he appears to have nailed it.




















Speaking of nailing . .
.


. . . guess what he built. Crosses. For when we all die and go to live in heaven, we can put the crosses on our 'dead people park'. It's good to be prepared I guess. Dandy has lots of questions to ask God, so we do talk about God and heaven a lot.


Why did Grandpa have to get hurt?
is a frequent question, along with, Why did my Russian Mama leave me at the orphanage? and Do goats go to heaven? Dandy is never ever dull.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of arts and crafts

no-knead uber-yummy bread

Remember that no-knead bread I was nattering on about last week? I'm still all a'twitter about it.

Mix up flour, salt, yeast, water. The next afternoon flip it onto a floury cloth. A couple of hours later bake it in your bread oven aka large pot (I use the Lodge 10-Quart Deep Camp Dutch Oven that I scored for $12.50 at a garage sale last weekend.)


It is crunchy on the outside and pleasantly chewy on the inside. I make it almost every evening for the next night's dinner. Not only is it delicious, it makes the house smell wonderful.

Even if you have never-ever made bread, do try this one. The recipe is linked to my other post on this topic.





Does cast-iron care intimidate you? Cast Iron 101 has been posted over at P e a r l s.

~Suzanne





:: this post is included in the Carnival of Food Photography hosted at Bucky's Barbecue and Bread Blog

:: read the rest of no-knead uber-yummy bread

5.27.2007

Bodnant Gardens, Wales

Bodnant Gardens, Wales: June 2004
Canon PowerShot S410 :: Exposure: 1/250 sec
Aperture: f/4.0 :: Focal Length: 15.4mm


:: this post is included in the June Garden Fest

:: read the rest of Bodnant Gardens, Wales

The Indextrious Reader: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a growing concern

The Indextrious Reader: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a growing concern

I'm not getting very far with my Animal Vegetable Miracle reviews, so you may want to go read the review linked above.

I've been busy preparing my manuscript for my first ever critique group. SCARY! I sent it off just now, before I lost my courage.

:: read the rest of The Indextrious Reader: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a growing concern

5.26.2007

more on the Poetry Friday button

Inquiring minds want to know!

Did you ask [Kim] to make it?
Yup. I checked with Kelly at Big A, little a cause Poetry Friday is her baby and she thought it sounded like a good idea, so I asked Kim if she wanted to make us a button. Kim has declined all offers of renumeration, so lets go flood her with praise and admiration, which will be easy to do as her work is so lovely.

I am curious about how to use it. Does it always link back to her page or can we make it link to the Poetry Friday host? Or do you mean for it to be displayed it in one's sidebar as an indication that one participates? Well right now it links back to her page so that anyone who has not had the opportunity to see her charming bookmarks can find her. I'm going to leave the one in my sidebar link permanently to the bookworm bookmarks page and that is the coded thusly:



To alter it for the weekly hosts, which is the button I'll be using at the end of each of my Friday Poetry posts, here is the recipe for the coding, but you will need to add one ingredient, indicated in upper-case:

And here is the coding for it:




What are your other questions?

~Suzanne



:: related posts: Friday Poetry button

:: read the rest of more on the Poetry Friday button

Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal: A Book about Helpfulness

. . . why should the kids have to learn to do their jobs from a stranger?

Last night, Dandy brought home a book from school, Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal: A Book About Helpfulness, which The Gift read to the kids before bed.



Here is the digest version:



The story opens with Mom and Dad laboring industriously and Sam and Sue loafing about doing nothing useful until a funny fellow arrives to whip the kids into shape.
Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal,
The Pooped-Out Parents' Perfect Pal
shows up to turn the kids out of their hammocks and onto some useful tasks, lest they turn into Gluggs:
With all this lying 'roung like slugs
I'm sure you'll both turn into Gluggs.
I'm sure you've heard of Gluggs before?
All they do is eat and snore --
Giant things, all green and chubby . . .
Say there, Sam, you're getting tubby.
Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal teaches the kids to clean their rooms and make their beds (the parents are so surprised!). The kids feed the pets and take out the trash and help with the dishes and wash the car and rake the yard.

Dad contributes
Thank you, Helpful Hal, [he] said.
You've taught our kids to make their bed,
You showed them to to feed the cat,
And how to wash the car in fact!
You showed them how to fold their clothes,
And on and on your helping goes.


Our children really enjoyed the book. The rhyming is fun and the Gluggs are green and blechy-looking and so forth. Yet the next morning when we were talking about it, we wondered -- since the parents weren't doing their jobs of training the kids -- why the kids should have to learn to do their jobs from a stranger. A good question I think.

Isn't teaching the kids our jobs? And if we neglect our main duty, training, is it any surprise that our children will neglect their duties?

~Suzanne



related posts:
:: things I need to remember
:: chores

:: read the rest of Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal: A Book about Helpfulness

dilly and joy

Dilly and Joy: October 2004
Canon PowerShot S410 :: Exposure: 1/10 sec
Aperture: f/4.0 :: Focal Length: 15.4mm


Interspecies cohabitation is the norm around here.
Right now our little tuxedo kitty is canoodling with her dog.




:: this post is included in the Simply Delightful Carnival hosted at TreeHouse Jukebox

:: read the rest of dilly and joy

180

hope for America


Pages


DIY Chicken Coop!


me! me! me!


Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme

parenting


adoption


older child adoption


home-schooling


top 10 posts


visitors


credits


This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::

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