March 30, 2010

I'm a winner! And I've got proof!

Remember my photo that won photo of the day on the local morning show? And then they showed it the following day, because it was of a bench that was dedicated in the memory of a child who had died the previous year? It won photo of the month. I can pick up my framed photo anytime in the next 30 days. But the best part? Now we have 2 photos to cover the gaping hole in my living room wall from the roofing project I'm told can't be fixed until we replace the windows.

March 29, 2010

Guess it s not my inside voice

My back totally locked up yesterday afternoon. I can't sit. Lying down aches. Sneezing and coughing suck. C-man was asking why I was making those noises. Apparently my groans and yelps are now outside my head.

How in the hell am I going to do laundry and pack and ride on an airplane Wednesday? And how am I going to walk around theme parks? If it didn't hurt so much, I'd just sit down and cry. So much for a fun vacation...

March 28, 2010


As we were heading out to go geocaching, the neighbor kid was coming over.  And of course, as you'd do with any good friend, C-man yelled, "E wanna come with?"  Of course, he did (which was absolutely fine).  So the five of us (dirty Harry too) went on our merry way through Kletsch Park where we found lots of fun.
The good news is we found 3 geocaches.  C-man with one, E with another, and Beerman with the third. (I'd found the after-church find, which required some precarious stepping through a wet culvert with church clothes on).  So we were all pleased that we each got one today. (And the neighbors are thrilled we're teaching their kid about nature so they don't have to!)

And the boys were thrilled to run around the park and watch fishermen in the river.
And play on the playground together.

I'm so glad spring is really here.  Being able to do stuff outside again makes life so much better.

March 27, 2010


So on this morning's dog walk, I had to tell C-man that the 8th grader from his school had died and wasn't coming back to school.  (He'd been on life support until they could confirm that there was no brain activity)  C-man knew about the situation, as they'd been talking about it in school.  And I have to say, I have been so impressed with how the school has handled it; straightforward and honest, but totally age-appropriate.  They've been informing the parents in the same way, which has been extremely helpful.

But you can still imagine my surprise when the first thing out of his mouth after I told him was, "Can we go to church tomorrow? I think we should pray for him."  This child is 5.  And going to church on a Sunday morning instead of playing with his friends is never a top priority.  It's so nice to know that he feels comfortable enough with faith to find some comfort in it already.

March 26, 2010

Blog Hop for Children's Miracle Network

I've been tagged with the Hershey's Better Basket BlogHop, and I've returned the favor.  (After all, anything to help the competition of that nasty N company gets my support.)

  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
  • Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
  • Leave your link at comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
  • Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.


The tulips are springing from the ground.  The snow is gone.  And I'm really longing for the flowers and trees to begin to stretch out and show their beauty and proud colors again. This time of year always feels like a new start to me.  More than New Years or my birthday or any other time.  And I love that.

I hope you find beauty in your day.

March 25, 2010

What to say

An 8th grader at C-man's school committed suicide this week. We have no idea what to say to C-man, as they're telling the whole school today. Not that I think the kindergarten class is going to be a part of that, but he goes to extended care with older kids. And this boy has a sister in a younger grade. And it's a pretty small Catholic school. And the 8th graders are their field trip buddies. Ugh... it just breaks my heart. So our plan with C-man is to do nothing until he asks questions, which I'm sure will be tonight after extended care. I hate to not prepare him, but at the same time, how much can we really lay on a 5 year old? On a related note, I was in the library talking to some other parents, and they kept expressing what a good family it is. How involved the parents have been. How happy the parents are together. And I had to stop them and say, "Mental illness knows no age or social structure or education level. It's not about the family." Because while I know everyone is trying to make sense of it, fit it in to their own lives because it happened to "one of our own", it's not about ANY of those other things. And that family needs to understand that. Hopefully, some day they will...

March 24, 2010


I'm totally through with you today. O-bye-o.

March 23, 2010


Some things, like what's going on during a soccer game, are just too important to be distracted from.

March 22, 2010

Where's that corner so I can turn it?

My back has been hurting. And when I say it's been hurting, I don't mean it's achy. I mean I can't stand for more than 10 minutes without tears coming to my eyes. And it's been this way for a week. I can't run or bike. Hell, I can't even walk. Poor Harry totally got the shaft at the park yesterday, because it was so muddy, I couldn't manage the uneven walk across the field to sit on the oft-peed-upon bench. (At least Beerman took him and C-man out for a long park walk later on) I went to the gym yesterday and caught a yoga class. Normally, it would have annoyed me beyond belief because the class was so remedial, but yesterday, it was about all I could take. I took C-man to the golf course yesterday, and sat directly on the cold ground because I couldn't stand upright. Anything I need to get done needs to get done in the morning, because by noon, I'm absolute toast. The only good news in all of this is it has been a lot of pain, but no significant swelling that usually accompanies it.
I went to the chiropractor on Friday, and am headed back over lunch today. I'm taking pain killers I've been told to stop taking, spraying homeopathic stuff under my tongue, and heating/icing it... and it's still no better. All I want to do is lay down and cry.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the face of arthritis. And I'm here to tell you, it really, really sucks.

March 21, 2010

Birthday boy

5 years ago today, on the first day of spring, my life changed forever.
How quickly we moved from this... to giggles and intent conversations and big kid things...

March 19, 2010

Pulling it together

I've got to get the kid's birthday festivities pulled together, when all I want to do is crawl back into bed and wake up when it stops hurting. I've even resorted to using IcyHot just to help ease a wee little bit of the pain. It hasn't worked. It has, however, sparked some interesting conversations about what that smell reminds us all of... root beer for C-man, wrestling practice for Beerman, and the old lady with the nice mink we used to sit by at 9:30 St. Vincent de Paul mass when I was a kid. But I digress. I can barely stand up. And I was getting all worried about the kid's birthday, until he excitedly told me this morning, "Mom, did you know the Amazing Race is on during my birthday?" If that's what it takes, then bless it. Maybe I'll go wild and get an earlier season's DVD and let him watch the whole thing in one sitting with a big bowl of Cheetos. Wow, I'm a crappy mom.

March 18, 2010

Maybe I should just rename this blog "Bulletville"

  • In the last 2 days, I was in 4 states and the District of Columbia.
  • I had lunch in Leesburg, Virginia yesterday. Cute little town full of nice Southerners and civil war history.
  • I'm always amazed at how sweet people in Virginia are (at least to your face). Is it genetic? Is there a school for niceness you have to attend?
  • I spent yesterday afternoon in Bethesda just to kill some time. Nice place, that Bethesda.
  • I picked up the book Dog On It while in Bethesda. I'm half-way through it, and finding it hilarious. It's written from the perspective of the dog. I love that.
  • Flying really messes with my body. One trip down, two more to go. One fewer than I thought though, since I'm scrapping the Kansas City trip, which is a positive thing.
  • I caught a part of the show The Doctors the other day. There's a rumor that if you sleep with a bar of soap it'll take pain/cramps away.
  • Last night, I slept with a bar of rosemary mint soap. My hip still hurts, but I seem to, for some odd reason, be craving lamb.
  • Marquette plays Washington at 6:20 p.m. Marquette Standard Time today. If you call, I won't answer. Don't take it personally. There are just some things more important than you.
  • C-man was sick while I was gone. He threw up in his bed in the middle of the night on Tuesday, so Beerman had him come sleep with him, thereby getting no sleep himself.
  • Beerman still sent him to school yesterday morning, since he thought he was okay. He got sent home by 2 p.m.
  • When I got home, C-man proudly proclaimed "I threw up all over my bed. And then I got to sleep with Daddy and threw up on your bed too, right under the pillow where I like to sleep."
  • Beerman stood up and raced into the bedroom to strip the sheets. The under the pillow barf was apparently news to him. Yuk.
  • C-man went to school again today. He doesn't have a huge appetite, but has no fever and no barfs (under the pillow or otherwise). Plus, he's going to see the Fiddler on the Roof today and didn't want to miss it.
  • What are the chances we're going to win Worst Parents award?
  • We're taking C-man and the neighbor kid to Five Guys and the Wave game this Saturday to celebrate his birthday. I got his name put on the jumbo-tron. He's going to love that.
  • Which reminds me, I still need to order a birthday cake!
  • And how in the hell do I have a 5 year old, anyway? Aren't I still 23?!

March 17, 2010

Forgotten for a summer day

While walking on the beach last week, I grabbed this fuzzy shot with my cell phone. But I like its graininess in spite of that. It was a gray, rainy, cold day. A day, and a swimsuit, just waiting for the summer and warmth to return.

March 16, 2010

I think this is turning into an addiction

Straight from school, we had to race to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls. Which then turned into 2 buckets of balls. Which would have turned into 3 if I hadn't been frozen. (He was fine, of course, under the heater).
The pro loves him, and came out to help him with his swing. Which he thought was fabulous.And what athlete doesn't have to refuel a with Starbucks chocolate milk after a tough day on the course?

March 15, 2010

Randomly appealing

My body feels like such hell, that today, you get more randomly put together and less-than-exciting bullets. (Doesn't THAT just make you want to keep reading on?)
  • My back hurts. As in, I can't walk straight because being upright hurts.
  • I have to fly to Baltimore tomorrow and then drive 2 hours to the Virginia/West Virginia border. My body is already screaming at me.
  • Next week, I have to go to Kansas City AND Ohio.
  • I really hate airports.
  • Daylight savings time is kicking my butt.
  • I had to promise I'd pick C-man up from school early so we'd have time to go golfing today.
  • I also had to promise my child I'd bring his lucky "power ball" (bright yellow ball the pro at the course gave him yesterday) to keep in his pocket while he golfed.
  • I think someday they're going to map a gene for "sports fanatic" and we'll be able to prove that this isn't something I forced.
  • I just ate a vanilla cupcake and it was really, really good.

March 14, 2010

Golfing fool

Somebody sent C-man a pair of golf clubs. Whoever you are, thanks, because he's now a golfing fool who we have to literally pull away from the driving range.

March 12, 2010


  • In the next 3 weeks, I'll be in 6 different airports on 8 different flight legs.  2 for work, 1 for fun.
  • I've been watching the geese coming north in their Vs and I love it.
  • The Brewers beat the stinky Cubs. We cheered loudly at our house.
  • It's almost as exciting as Marquette basketball.  But they are going to give me a heart attack if they don't stop these buzzer beaters!
  • I've been working out almost daily lately.  My back is killing me, but I have a lot of energy, so I'm hoping the back pain will work itself out once I lose some of this fat.
  • I had a goal of 10 pounds in March.  Despite the morning eggs and protein shakes, I'm down a whopping 2.5.  And I'm trying really hard not to get discouraged.
  • The air smells like spring.  Spring is, by far, my favorite season. Even in spite of the allergy-havoc that it wreaks on my body, it's just so hopeful and beautiful.
  • My favorite day of the year is when it rains and rains and the following morning all the leaves pop out on the trees.
  • I have wine club tonight.  When I reminded C-man of that this morning he said, "But it's wine you drink, right Mom?  Not like my whine club where I just whine a lot."
  • It's been a crap week and I'm really glad it's near the end.

March 9, 2010

Blue hope

This was the sky this weekend.  It is the most perfect shade of cloudless blue imaginable.  To me, this is a sure sign of hope at the end of months of gray.  Just like when the tulips break through the ground, robins fly about happily or I hear a crack of the bat on opening day.  This blue gives me hope, despite the prediction for fog and rain the rest of the week.  It gives me hope for spring.  Hope for sunshine on my face.  Hope for happier days.

March 8, 2010

Happy routines

Monday mornings are filled with routines. Get up, make breakfast, listen to C-man grumble about eating his "HORRIBLE" omega vitamin, sing a funny version of Postman Pat's theme song (usually involves Pat eating Jess the cat), get dressed, brush teeth, grumble about getting all the winter gear on, and go wait for the bus. And then the bus turns down the street, at which point C-man shouts, "BUS!" and turns to hug me and then hug his dad before racing out to the bus with its door open and waiting.
In spite of all the grumbling and whining that happens every morning, I wouldn't change it for the world. Because I don't think we have those many days left of him being willing to hug us in front of his classmates. So as long as we've got them, I'm going to be happy about them.

March 7, 2010

A boy, his dog, and a beautiful day

Sometimes it smacks me upside the head that my life, in spite of its imperfections, is still pretty darned beautiful.

March 6, 2010

Underage brewing

Thanks to Middle Sis and Family for the super fun birthday rootbeer kit. The little one and big one went to town on it this morning. He can hardly wait the 3 days for it to be ready. And of course, they're also doing an experiment in another bottle. Don't ask. All I know is it involves a beer bottle and an inflating orange balloon, much to the thrill of C-man. We always said we'd have the only 5 year old teaching other kids how to brew at show n tell.

March 5, 2010


I think in a previous life, I was a world explorer. Because there's something about traveling the world, learning new things, meeting new people, drinking new beer or wine, eating new food, and moving on to the next adventure that makes me so incredibly happy that just thinking about it gives me shivers. And when I'm home for too long, it's like a nagging itch inside of me; a little whisper saying things like, "Indian saris and Thai water taxis and Egyptian camel rides and Tanzanian spices and Antartic whales and Greek Island sailboating and Patagonian gauchos and standing in Europe and Asia at the same time, and mmmm... New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc." I love the stories we get to live, and laugh about so long after... (frickin' noisy ibis!) Maybe it's the weather turning spring-like. Maybe it's that we've been sick and are finally turning the corner toward health. Maybe it's the work bonuses burning a hole in my pocket with all the possibilities it could bring. Or maybe I just need to become a travel writer. Because I'm never happier than when we're making new discoveries, seeing things firsthand, or just getting a different perspective on what the world has to offer.

March 4, 2010

Unexpected beauty

One of the many reasons I love my camera so much is that it allows me to find beauty in unexpected spots. I mean, here is this ramshackled ice shanty out on the Wissota ice with its tacked on plywood for extra charm. The red against the white was kind of fun to play with visually, so I started shooting. I was totally engrossed in my camera and its settings and depth of field to try to get the shot just right when a car drove up right next to me. (I'm sure while wondering, "What in the hell is she doing taking pictures of our ice shack?") But out of the car came a really nice man with his young, probably 3 year old, son and all their fishing gear. The little boy was buzzing he was so excited, and proceeded to tell me all about what big fish ("Muskies and coppies and walleye and bwugill" he was going to catch that day. And to him, this little red shanty was the most beautiful thing in the world. And for that moment, it was to me too.

March 3, 2010


The sunshine changes my disposition entirely. And it's a good thing, because after a mentally-difficult winter, I'd like to feel a little hopeful. Because some days, hope is all we've got.