Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Should Write it Down

Over the past two days I have composed at least three witty blog posts. In my head. Apparently I need to start writing my wittiness down because I have absolutely no idea what these alleged posts were about.

Perhaps there was another post about the weather and how we're now making up for all of the snow we didn't have earlier in the winter. I had to shovel snow yesterday. Couldn't Eamonn have injured his hand in a more convenient season for me?

I might have planned something about how there is so much deer poop in our backyard I'm going to have to go out there with a shovel and clean it up. No lie.

Laundry? My hair? Homeopathy? My food budget's shrinking inability to support organic food? Funny things the kids said? My navel?

Heck, I don't know. I'm scattered and confused from a blogging perspective. Actually, I'm scattered and confused from most perspectives.

Got any requests?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The "Luck" of the Irish

Let's recap:

Thursday--Stuck in a blizzard in Denver.

Friday--Declan comes down with massive stomach virus on his 9th birthday (the bright side is we were already home, not stuck in the hotel or in a car during the onslaught).

Saturday--Eamonn nearly amputates the end of his index finger on his left hand and undergoes surgery. Seriously.

For those of you who don't know, Eamonn is a carpenter. He was working with his battery-operated circular saw when it jerked or hit a knot of wood or something and whoosh--blood everywhere. Through two arteries and tendons. Ick. Some direct pressure, elevation and a bag of ice later we were on our way to the hospital (with the kids because I didn't feel like I could leave Declan with anyone because of his stomach virus. Heck, he was right at home with the germ-filled hospital.) in Vail.

And I guess I thought that when you came into an ER with your hand in a bag of ice and wrapped in a bloody towel and mentioning the word saw, you would get priority over the people there with a sprained ankle from skiing. Not so. In fact, I had to go back up to the window and mention that I thought that perhaps time was of the essence considering a finger was nearly dangling off my husband's hand and that hand is his LIVELIHOOD. They were unmoved.

Eventually he was seen and a good friend of my sister's was the x-ray tech on duty so things started moving more quickly (once again, a perk of a small town). Miraculously, Eamonn had managed to jerk his hand away before the blade hit the bone, which amazed everyone who saw the x-ray. It still makes me wince just thinking about it. He commented that he has used the saw millions of times and never had a problem. Apparently yesterday was the day.

So off Eamonn went to surgery with the same surgeon who had operated on Eamonn's cousin Eamon's hand two weeks ago. I think he was a little confused. And probably thinks we're a family that's careless with their hands.

The surgeon gave Eamonn the option of just taking off the end of the finger or trying to save it. He opted to try and save it since he was one of the few carpenters who still had all of his digits anyway.

The boys and I got to hang out in the x-ray lounge all evening, thanks to Chris, instead of being in the main, crowded lounge. So thank you, Chris! We got to watch the Nicklodeon Kids' Choice Awards instead of Jerry Springer, or whatever those people were watching in the other lounge.

After about 2 1/2 hours, we got to go see Eamonn, who was awake, hungry, and a little put out by being told he could have some soup. This isn't good news for a man who hasn't eaten for nearly 12 hours and does not believe that food should splash. In the end he didn't get to eat anything. They kept him overnight and we came home as he was being moved to his room. Finn was surprisingly upset by the whole thing, which I think was primarily driven by fatigue. Today he's more interested in playing Wii than wondering where Eamonn is.

The surgery was completely successful and all tendons and arteries were able to be resected (is that the correct word? I think I heard it on ER.).

We'll be heading back to Vail to pick Eamonn up this afternoon. He has already spoken with the surgeon this morning and had some physio today. According to Eamonn, the most distressing news was not that he will not have any use of his hand at all for the next six weeks and limited use for another six weeks after that (should be interesting at work), but that he cannot have any chocolate for the next two weeks. Apparently the caffeine in it restricts blood flow and the vessels need to be operating at 100% for everything to heal properly. This is hard news for someone who eats chocolate every single day.

I need to go now. I have a papercut on the middle finger of my left hand and it hurts when I type. I'm going to put some Neosporin and a bandaid on to make sure it doesn't get worse. We've had enough trouble around here for now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Declan!

9 years old today!

And unfortunately down with a stomach virus. On his birthday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Mother Nature,

March 26, 2009--noon

Dear Mother Nature,
Remember how sad I was in January, February, and even early March when you didn't make it snow in the mountains? OK, you did send some snow to the resorts, I'll give you that, but it wasn't really enough to make the skiing great. I would have given anything for a couple of powder sprinkles here and there and even at our elevation. I hate early thaws that let the nasty brown grass and all of the road grit show. It's just dirty looking and I can't stand it.

Over time I started to accept that fact that we were just weren't going to have much snow after all and that it would be an early spring. I decided I was ready for the warmth of summer. I'm sick of the kids being sick. We just need a good heat wave now to dry up all of the germs that have been festering all winter long.

So when the meteorologists started talking about a snowstorm for yesterday and today, I didn't really pay much attention. That has happened multiple times this winter--the promise of snow, my hopes up only to be dashed with the storm missing us yet again.

The drive to Denver yesterday had its dicey moments, but by the time we hit Georgetown, things were clear and dry. Over the course of the afternoon, which we were able to spend at an outdoor museum, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and we headed to. . .Chuck E. Cheese. I know, this goes against all I stand for, and yet, I did it anyway.

The news people said you would do it, Mother Nature, but I didn't believe them. So many times this winter they said you would send a storm, and yet, you did not. So when The Worst Storm of the Season was predicted, I was a doubter. Eight to 12 inches in Denver, they announced. Measuring it in feet in the mountains, they warned. But frankly, I didn't really hear all of that until I was already in Denver. I'd been in Utah after all and was out of the weather loop.

When we woke up this morning, there was a mere sprinkling of snow. Ha, I thought. You call that a storm? We went to breakfast and then prepared to head out. And there it was. The Worst Storm of the Season had actually started and you weren't messing around this time. In fact, after about an hour of heavy snow and high winds, it became readily apparent that we would be held hostage in Denver for the next day. Hopefully no more than that.

We're holed up in a hotel in Littleton. Fortunately there is a pool. Unfortunately, the room is very small. All they want to do is eat. This could get ugly.

So, Mother Nature, while I would have wished this to happen much earlier in the year, I'll not harp on and on about it. I'm mildly inconvenienced, but am glad that I didn't actually start the drive home and get stranded so that I had to sleep in a shelter along the way somewhere. This is great news for the resorts and hopefully it will bring people to the mountain.

I'll also be grateful for the nice day we had yesterday. Could any two days be more different?

Anyway, sorry to bend your ear, but I think it's time for spring. For real. You waited too long and missed your chance, so let's just get on with it, OK?


I am delighted to discover Little House on the Prairie dolls in the museum gift shop. I didn't purchase them, however.

Heading through the outdoor life museum in Littleton. It's sort of like a mini Ohio Village for those of you who live in Columbus.

A farm friend.

Checking out the outhouse.

Lambing season is here. Just in time for Easter dinner. Kidding. I'm totally kidding. Maybe. "Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe." Name that movie.

This turkey kept trying to peck my lens. I think their heads are kind of freaky.

Looks like spring to me. Or not.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

I'm back. Did you miss me? Were you aware I was gone? No? That's because I was so frantically busy last week I didn't have time post that I was leaving town. Also, I never know if I should post I'm leaving town in the event my cyberstalker burgles the house while I'm gone. Although Eamonn stayed behind to hold down the fort so technically, the house wasn't left unchaperoned.

Anyway, the boys and I went to visit Erin and her gang in Utah for a few days. We left Saturday morning and came back this evening. I came in, unpacked and then repacked because now the boys and I are leaving for Denver tomorrow. Attention cyberstalker: Eamonn will be guarding the house so don't get any big ideas.

So the drive to Utah is just under six hours. . .if you don't have any kids with you. There are several different ways to go depending on if you want more or less interstate driving versus two lane driving. I prefer the two lane way now, but the first time we did the drive from our valley to Erin's house was in 2001 and we drove mostly via I-70. It was the first time I'd ever driven through the Wild West and I spent most of the drive with my jaw on the floor.

I love to travel. I love travel in the U.S. I love travel in Europe. I love travel in Canada, eh? And I've been fortunate to do a lot of traveling. Living out west now has opened up a whole new world of car travel (which I particularly love since I'm so airplane averse).

Anyway, so of course I always knew that the U.S. was a huge, diverse place. But the first time we drove from Colorado to Utah was mind boggling for me. I couldn't get over how vast the spaces were, how the mountains and different rock formations just jut out of the ground. I still remember my first view of the Rocky Mountains towering over Denver. It still takes my breath away when I'm in Denver and look west to see the snow capped peaks beckoning me. It's sounds so corny, I know, but I love being at meetings in Denver, looking out the windows and thinking, "I get to go home to the mountains tonight."

I'm still in awe of the landscape each time I drive from Colorado to Utah and this most recent trip was no exception. So I thought I'd take some pictures as I drove to share a little of what we get to see as we drive. This has been an unusual winter out here--not a lot of snow. So much of the landscape that would normally be covered in snow on the drive was already desert-like. You'll see the different terrains we drive through to get to Erin's. Some areas were warm and others were still locked in a deep freeze. It definitely keeps the drive interesting.

A few disclaimers about the pictures. First, I took these while I was driving. I tried to delete the ones that had huge reflections off the window, showed smashed bugs on the windshield, or had too much steering wheel or hood in the picture. Some were blurry. Some I can't tell what I thought was so interesting.

The good news is that I didn't crash and only nearly drove off the road once. Basically if I saw something that looked good, I just stuck my arm out and tried to photograph it. There wasn't a lot of composition going on. As if there ever is.

So if you're interested is seeing the drive from Colorado to Utah from the driver's point of view, check it out HERE.

And then apparently I forgot to actually take but a few pictures when we were at Erin's, so there are just a few pics of the kids at the end. All of the cousins set up a "restaurant" in Erin's basement and we all ate dinner in it on Monday night. They were so proud of their efforts. . .even if we did all the cooking.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pasty White

Today as I approached the school to pick up the boys, I could see Finn was lying facedown on the concrete.

What the?

He didn't seem to be crying, but I picked up the pace a little. Did I mention he came home sick one day each week for the last two weeks? So I wasn't sure what was happening with the lying on the concrete thing. Did he fall? Is he feeling sick? A meltdown?

As I got closer, I could see his pants were pulled up well over his knees.


Me: Finn! What are you doing? Why are you lying on the sidewalk?

Finn: I'm suntanning!

Me: The Irish don't suntan son. Please cover yourself immediately before you're vaporized.

Cue hysterical laughing from the other mothers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prayer in High Places

The ski season is dragging on. Last year I had such fun skiing, but a few things are different this year.

First, Tara isn't here and I miss skiing with her. Second, although we've had a lot of snow on the mountains, it has come in huge batches as opposed to smaller storms frequently. What this means is that the snow comes, the skiing is good for a few days, and then it gets skiied off and icy. Ideally you get the smaller storms in between to drop a few inches here and there to keep it fresh. Otherwise it gets skiied off and icy, which is a drag for someone who is just an intermediate skiier. Like me.

I've also been working at the ski school all winter. I do like it and I hope to do it again next year, but as the season wears on, I find my patience with people starting to wane. I mean really, why do people act surprised when they show up at 10am and it's a problem to get their kids into ski school? All information and paperwork tells them to be here at 9am! Are they really surprised to find that the lessons have already begun and it's a bit of a disruption to the other kids to try and fit these late arrivals in? But we're a service oriented business and so we do our best to accomodate them with a smile.

So today I found myself rolling my eyes and being annoyed at this family--all of whom were nothing but nice, I might add--because it was a lot of rushing around. They had just arrived late the night before and wanted to take the ski lessons they had signed up for. But they were minutes from the cut off and still needed to complete paperwork, buy tickets, get fitted for equipment, and join their respective groups. It was going to require a lot of speedy work, running around, and getting approvals for late arrivals. But we did it.

I found myself annoyed even further when the dad decided that the kids both needed new ski socks and he repeatedly ran in and out of the ski shop to try these new socks on the kids. And, he was continually going through the back halls of the ski school, which isn't allowed unless you're accompanied by an employee.

I let this go on for a little bit (because I'm lazy and was over it) until another employee told me I should really stop this guy from trekking through the ski school (it's for security purposes that only employees are allowed in the area where the ski school kids are). So as I saw him disappear up the stairs again, I took off after him and found him out on the snow at the base of the lifts talking to his wife.

I pasted a smile on my face and I strolled over. I asked if I could help them with anything else. They smiled, were very gracious, and said no, and thank you for all I had done to help them (made me feel guilty). And then I explained that if they needed to go in and out to the ski school again, they needed to use the outside stairs unless they were accompanied by an employee. They were embarassed that they didn't realize it to begin with.

Then they asked me if they waited there, would they see their son, who is 5 1/2, come out and start his lesson. I hesitated and then said yes. And then I explained that they should only wait there if they were sure their son wouldn't be upset to see them, which frequently happens with the younger kids--they don't necessarily want to be in ski school anyway and when they see their parents, a meltdown ensues. But they assured me he would be excited to see them and to show them his skiing.

And then the dad said, "Joseph has overcome a lot of challenges in life already and we just want to see him ski."

And I knew. I KNEW instantly.

"Joseph had a bone marrow transplant and he's just been through a lot. He's just excited to show us what he can do."

My jaw hit the floor. And of course, I told them about Finn. And we stood there, out on the snow in the blazing Colorado sunshine, sharing our stories about our sons.

It was nice and it reminded me to remember to soften my heart.

After we were finished talking and I prepared to go back inside, the husband grabbed my arm and asked how I felt about having a quick prayer right there and then for Finn. I did secretly think for a second that my co-workers were going to think I was nuts, standing out in the midst of the chaos of a spring break ski day praying with the guests, but then I decided I didn't care. Prayer is prayer no matter when or where it occurs and I feel lucky to have had the experience of crossing paths with this family today.

Although I did give them a gentle reminder to be on time tomorrow.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shaving the Way to a Cure

Our town held its annual St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser on Saturday--thank you to everyone who donated (thank you notes are printed and will be forthcoming)! The event raised over $30,000 and all proceeds to go St. Baldrick's which is the largest volunteer driven fundraiser for pediatric cancer.

Declan was elated to break the $1,000 mark by receiving $1,001.79 in donations. He doubled his goal! Eamonn raised more than $500.

It was a fun, thought-provoking day, as always. Our local paper ran a nice article and some pictures that you can check out HERE.

Or you can check out my pictures of the big day HERE.

So on behalf of us, thank you for being there and helping us contribute to this worthy cause. Maybe someday cancer fundraisers will be obsolete. . .wouldn't that be so cool?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Little Gits on the Prairie

This is what Eamonn calls my favorite childhood show, which was, of course: Little House on the Prairie. He was forced to watch it (along with the Waltons) with his three sisters as a child. My guess is that his memories of Little House are not so fond as mine.

I confess that I own two seasons on DVD. And although I own two seasons on DVD, some days when I'm working on a simple project, I'll have the TV on in the background and if Little House is on, I'll watch. The Family Channel airs it three times a day. It makes me happy.

Sometimes my friend Karen and I send each other Little House trivia via e-mail. I thought I was good, but Karen pretty much takes the prize with her Little House knowledge. I do pride myself in the fact that if I happen to miss the title while the opening credits are rolling, I can tell what episode it is within the first five seconds. I can do the same with the Brady Bunch. An admirable talent, I know.

Recently, I think someone at the Family Channel has been a little lax in their duties. In the morning, two back to back episodes run. A week or two ago, the first episode of the morning was the one where Mary qualifies for the state math competition (that episode is called "The Pride of Walnut Grove" for those of you burning to know). The second episode was the one where Ma cuts her leg on a piece of wire and nearly dies of infection (called "A Matter of Faith"). Neither of these is my favorite, but I watched anyway.

This morning, I happened to flip through channels during breakfast and saw the same two episodes on this morning. What the heck Family Channel? With nine seasons to choose from, I don't think we need to be repeating just two weeks apart. Granted, that last season after Ma and Pa left were pretty lame, and how Shannon Doherty ended up on there, I'll never know, but anyway, I've now created an entire blog post about how I'm annoyed with the Family Channel and their programming error today.

I didn't watch, if that makes you feel any better.

But I did call my sister to get her interpretation of the episode about Ma. When Ma is sterilizing the knife and wielding it around at the end, what is she trying to do? Is she going to attempt to amputate her own leg? Other than that poor guy who had to saw off his own arm when he was trapped between two rocks in a remote Utah canyon several years ago, I don't know how successful people have been at self-amputation. Is this what Ma is thinking: "I'll just cut my leg off real quick and then head on over to the barn raising?" Is she just going to cauterize the wound with the hot knife? Is she going to dig out the infected part of the leg? I wondered this as a kid and it weighs heavy on my mind to this day. Maybe I'll write a fan letter to Karen Grassle and see what she thinks.

Got a favorite Little House Episode? Mine are:
-Any episode involving a holiday or conflict with Nellie Oleson, particularly the Bunny episodes.

And here's some trivia. See if you can beat Karen.

Q. What is the name of the raccoon Laura brings home as a pet in season one?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chicken Fat

I think I could be a vegetarian. Today I spent my afternoon ripping yet another chicken limb from limb to make yet another pot of homemade chicken soup for yet another sick kid.

I'm totally not kidding.

Declan came home from school yesterday with a set of massively swollen glands in his neck/throat. Nifty. Which means I am one of those parents who sends her kid to school sick. Dang it. I hate it when I have feet of clay.

Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if he's just progressing through new sets of symptoms and he's been sick with the same thing for weeks now, like Finn was. Tomorrow we have parent/teacher conferences. I fully expect to hear that they'll each have to go all the way back to preschool and start over again because of all the school they've missed this year.

But back to my vegetarianism. Or not, actually, but I'm darn sick and tired of handling raw chickens. It's just really starting to gross me out. I enjoy a good steak, but the handling of raw meat is becoming more and more repulsive as time goes by.

I go through phases like this--sort of like seasons to the year. In the winter, I can't get enough of that heavy comfort food. Yep, bring on the chicken and noodles, meat cooked to death in a crockpot all day, and bread, bread, bread until my daddy takes my T-bird away. I love it.

But now spring is coming, and along with it, bathing suit paranoia. Let's just say that bread, noodles and mashed potatoes aren't exactly bathing suit-friendly fare. It makes me sad, but it does make sense.

I'm not quite in panic mode yet, that will happen in late April or early May, but I'm leaning towards lighter choices like fruit smoothies, salads, and still the occasional bowl of chili or lentil soup (I'm the only one who eats it here) on those snowy spring days. I'm feeling the urge to eat more raw foods again. But that requires some effort to dehydrate all that stuff and again, I'm not panicking. Yet. I fully expect to have the dehydrator running 24/7 in six weeks time and Eamonn will accuse me of running up the electric bill as a result.

By the time summer rolls around, I'm pretty much just eating grilled eggplant all the time. That's because I make a giant bowl of grilled vegetables and nobody likes the eggplant. So they pick out all the other stuff and leave me with a plate of eggplant all to myself. I'm OK with it. By September, I'm ready for a little variety though.

And then it's starting to get cold again and it's not long before I'm rooting around in the cupboard for my trusty crockpot.

My eating has come full circle.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I love this. Thanks, Leeann.

Hey bloggers, re-post this as your name followed by "ology"

What is your salad dressing of choice? Olive oil and lemon juice.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Masatos (Sushi. And it's closing. Sad.)

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Popcorn.

What are your pizza toppings of choice? Pepperoni and mushroom.

What do you like to put on your toast? Honey.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.

How many televisions are in your house? 4. How embarrassing.

What color cell phone do you have? Black.

Do you have a laptop? Yes.

Are you right-handed or left-handed? Left.

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Yes. A few moles and a few children.

What is the last heavy item you lifted? Eamonn's new saw.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Yes.


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? I don't think so.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to? When I was little, I wanted to be called by my middle name: Lynn. But now I dig my name.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? Oh yeah. I hope it's a small bottle. And I'd take lots of acidophilous first. And have a glass of milk ready.


How many pairs of flip flops do you own? One crappy pair from WalMart.

Last time you had a run-in with the cops? My own run in? February '93. Oxford, Ohio. Speeding ticket.

Last person you talked to on the phone? Kim E.

Last person you hugged? Persons--the boys.

Season? Fall in Ohio. Winter in Colorado.

Holiday? I vacillate between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Day of the week? Thursday.

Month? December.


Missing someone? Always.

Mood? Anxious (about deadlines).

What are you listening to? Law & Order SVU is on in the background.

Watching? Law & Order is on, but I'm not really watching.

Worrying about? Declan's cold. My deadlines. The economy.


First place you went this morning? Walked the kids to school.

Do you smile often? When I'm with other people, yes.

Sleeping alone tonight? No.

Do you always answer your phone? No.

It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it? A wrong texter. No one I know texts.

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I've never been to Sonic!

Do you own a digital camera? Yes, a little tiny Canon.

Have you ever had a pet fish? Yes.

Favorite Christmas song(s)? It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy, of course); Bells of St. Mary's (Andy); Sleigh Ride (Andy); White Christmas (Bing); I don't know how to stop. ..

What's on your wish list for your birthday? Botox. Just kidding! Lipo.

Can you do push ups? Only the woman kind.

Can you do a chin up? I'm guessing no.

Does the future make you more nervous or excited? Excited.

Do you have any saved texts? Only the ones Verizon sends me without my permission.

Ever been in a car wreck? Yes, several unfortunately.

Do you have an accent? Yes, an American one.

What is the last song to make you cry? Hmmm, I don't know.

Plans tonight? Blog. Shower. Read. Sleep. In that order.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom? Yes, indeed.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Nothing, if you can believe it.

Have you ever been given roses? Yes.

Met someone who changed your life? Yes.

How did you bring in the New Year? Asleep on the couch.

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance? I don't think so.

Have you ever dated someone longer than a year? Yes.

Do you have any tattoos/piercings? No, not even my ears.

Does anyone love you? I'm thinking, yes.

What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't.

Ever had someone sing to you? No.

Do you like to cuddle? No. Not a big cuddler.

Have you held hands with anyone today? Yes.

Who was the last person you took a picture of? The boys and their cousins.

What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school? I had Blondie on a KTel compilation I bought at Lazarus. Loved it. Other than that, we had Barry Manilow, the Bee Gees, John Denver, and Queen on 8-track tape and we listened to it on our boat. Yes, 8-track.

Do you believe in staying close with your exes? Not really.

Are most of the friends in your life new or old? Day to day I'm around new friends, but I keep in close touch with my old friends.

Do you like pulpy orange juice? Gack. No. I'm a strainer.

What is something your friends make fun of you for? That I always have a tissue in my pocket. That I'm a ding dong.

Have you ever ridden an elephant? No.

Do you like to play Scrabble? No.

What are you saving your money up for right now? Life.

When is the last time you ate peanut butter and jelly? Last weekend. I love it!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Squirm TV

Did anyone else watch the Bachelor finale last week? Let me start by saying that I didn't actually watch the show itself. I just happened to be working the other night and was flicking around (sometimes I like to have aimless chatter on in the background while I work, sometimes not) and saw the last 20 minutes of the finale.

Now, I enjoy a good dose of reality TV--Amazing Race is pretty much my favorite show--as much as the next person (or not), but that finale and the "After the Final Rose" show, or whatever it was called, had me literally squirming in my seat.

First, can you say awkward? Eek! I was literally watching the guy boo hoo on TV and I was feeling decidedly uncomfortable. I'm all for a man being OK with showing his feelings, but puhleeze! Get a grip, Bachelor. He could not shut off the faucet and I felt the urgent need to slap some sense into him. Then the kissing. UGH! The kissing. How do you go from dumping someone, proposing to someone, dumping her, trying to get back with the originally dumped girl to making out on national TV, all within the same hour? Gack! Can't you just hold hands and then get a room after the show?

And now I can't turn on the TV or pick up a magazine without seeing Jason and Molly. There he was on Jimmy Kimmel. And again on Ellen. And when Molly came onstage to join Jason mid-way through the interview, they hugged and kissed and engaged in more PDA that made me squirm. Didn't you just see each other in the Green Room? Is this necessary?

The crowning blow. There they are on the cover of my most recent People magazine.

I don't know what to think about what this says about me that I never even watched the show, but am apparently mesmerized by these two individuals I do not know, am annoyed by, and yet cannot avert my gaze from. (I know it's incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition, but let's just roll with it)

I'm going to shred the magazine in righteous indignation. . .right after I finish reading it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I just went 48 hours without accessing a computer. It was really weird.

The amazing people at Make-A-Wish called a few weeks ago and wanted to say thank you to us for the radio interviews we did for their radio-thon back in December. Although doing the radio interviews had meant pulling the kids out of school for an additional two days, we didn't mind. It was for a good cause. And believe me, the kids didn't care they were missing two more days of school. How scholarly of them.

Anyway, Make-A-Wish called and said they'd like to send us to the Ritz Carlton. . .at Bachelor Gulch for two nights. A donor, who I've actually had the opportunity to interact with while we were working out the details of our stay, wasn't able to use their timeshare and she had read about how you can donate nights to Make-A-Wish. Which is what she did. Very cool.

Hilariously, Bachelor Gulch is about 20 minutes from our house. We've been there before to ski, but have never stayed there. The kids were off school on Friday, so Thursday after school, off we went to check in at the Ritz. May I just say that the Ritz really knows how to spoil people. The skiing was terrible--it just hasn't been the greatest snow year around here--but who cares? We were too busy hanging out around the fire pit roasting marshmellows, sitting in the hot tub, watching movies, and just marveling at what it's like to be a tourist in our own town. It's pretty fun to see life here as others do when they come to visit.

As an added bonus, my sister Erin and her family came from Utah and stayed in our house while we were at the Ritz. While I did clean the toilets before they got here, their accomodations were slightly less posh than ours. Fortunately they came up and joined us for a day of skiing and marshmellow roasting.

I don't know why, but marshmellows seem to taste better at the Ritz.

Reality check: I need to catch up on 48 hours of e-mail.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just Doing What We Can

So, this feels like kind of an awkward post to write. I'm coming to you with my grubby little paw out, asking for money in the worst economic time of our generation. Or most other generations for that matter.

But I feel like it's for a good cause so I'm just going to charge ahead like a bull in a china shop. Which is about the only way I operate. I'm a Sagitarius after all.

Anyway, many of you know that two years ago we became involved with an organization called St. Baldrick's. From the first time we heard about it, we loved the concept: People raise money for pediatric cancer research by asking for donations and then shaving their heads in solidarity with kids who have cancer.

If you've never attended an event, try to track one down in your area. It's just cool to see all of these people--men, women AND children--shaving their heads for a good cause. And then when you see them all over town for the next few weeks, you definitely know where they got their hair cut.

The event in our town is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, noon - 4pm, at the Eagle Fire Station. If you're local, come and join us.

St. Baldrick's 2008

Eamonn and Declan are both planning on raising money and shaving again this year. Again, I feel awkward asking this time around. The economy is awful, jobs are tenuous, budgets are strained. Believe me, we're feeling it, too. Eamonn and I were talking about how unfortunate it is that there isn't a Cancer Recession as well. I'm annoyed that it doesn't work that way. It seems like I'm following and communicating with more cancer families than ever before. And I hate it. Hate. It.

I don't know how many of you are cycling enthusiasts, but I spend an inordinate (and not unenjoyable) amount of time watching cycling races. I, for one, don't care why Lance Armstrong returned to cycling. Some people say he can't stand being out of the limelight. All I care about is that once again he's bringing cancer research INTO the limelight with him. On the first day of the Tour of California, Lance gave an interview and talked about two numbers on his bike: The first number, 1,274, represents the number of days since Lance last raced professionally. The second number, 27.5 represents how many people, in MILLIONS, who have died worldwide in those 1,274 days. That's like the entire population of the state of California dying in a 3 1/2 year timespan. Tears came immediately to my eyes while he was talking. Of course, we know I'm a silly sap who cries when her husband steals her People magazine, but those numbers scared me. That's a lot of frickin' people, people.

So, we're just going to keep doing what we can for as long as we can.

If you'd like to donate this year, you can link to Declan's page or Eamonn's page to donate now. If it's just not in the budget this year, we totally understand. We'll just write you down for twice as much next year. Kidding. Totally kidding. But you will be haunted by leprechauns if you don't donate. Not kidding. They're real and scary.

One memory of Finn's cancer journey I'll never forget is when Declan asked me, "Who will be our baby if Finn dies?" Declan was four and had already been through and seen enough to ask a question like that. It still tears at my heart. I wish I could make it so another parent never had to hear words like that again. Alas, my magical powers only extend as far as kissing a skinned knee, holding a fevered little body, or consoling over a lost hockey game.

Will cancer be cured in my lifetime? Declan and Finn's lifetime? My grandchildren's lifetime? I don't know. But I'm sure as heck going to try.

Monday, March 2, 2009

You've Got to Be Kidding Me

Today I'm home with not one, but two sick kids. Are you kidding me? Sore throats, fever, stomachaches.

We haven't had a school year that was this unhealthy in. . .ever. I'm just beside myself with annoyance. The key issue here, and I see it all the time in the classrooms, is that parents see no problem with sending their kids to school when they're symptomatic: "Oh, it's just a little runny nose." This is so incredibly frustrating to me.

Parents have no problem sending a note to school when it's their own issue at stake: "Johnny is allergic to all nuts, including peanuts, and also wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, and dust mites. Please do not send any of these items to school and make sure your children are well dusted. Thanks, Johnny's Mom."

OK, so I feel bad that Johnny has all of these allergies, but Johnny is the same kid who comes to school with a dribbly nose which means he's likely in the very early stages of something contagious, but Johnny's Mom has no problem sending him to school and exposing him to my immuno-suppressed kid. Guess what, Johnny's Mom? That dribbly nose, which might be something minor for Johnny, is still really contagious and is going to wipe my kid out for a week and cost me in doctor visits and time that I can't work.

Believe me, we've tried the allergy parent tack and sent home notes to parents letting them know how important it is for Finn that they not send their kids to school when they're even mildly sick. You know what? People don't care. What if I did that? What if I sent in a PB&J sandwich even after a parent made their child's food allergy known? To me, it's the same thing. It's caring enough to respect someone else's situation.

Now obviously, I would never send it a food that I thought would endanger another child. Our very good friends have a child with a severe nut allergy and frankly, I get nervous any time I serve him something to eat and I scrutinize all labels before I even open something in his presence. But my point here is that if it means keeping a kid home from school and missing work or having to arrange child care, going that extra step just doesn't seem to be important enough to people.

We do as much as humanly possible to keep our kids healthy--healthy food, lots of sleep, supplements, being really vigilant about handwashing and germs--but nothing is going to overcome kids who come to school when they're contagious and cough and sneeze all over my kids. Nothing.

The school we're at now isn't actually a peanut free school, but we have been at them in the past. And I do have to admit, those kinds of restrictions used to annoy me because I would think to myself, "Wow, if my kid's food allergy were that life threatening that he couldn't be in the same building as a nut, I'd be too nervous to let him go to school and I'd homeschool." Heck, maybe our situation is the same. Until Finn is of an age where he can totally police himself and can consistently keep his hands away from his eyes, nose and mouth (and that does tend to be hard), maybe I should stop kvetching and homeschool him.

But let's face it, no one wants to do that. And I get that. Selfishly, I just wish other parents would give my kids the same consideration I give theirs. Is that asking too much?

Sigh. I know I've raged about this before. It gets me nowhere except making me sound like I have something against kids with food allergies. Which I don't. I'll stop now. I have to go take temperatures anyway and make chicken soup.