Monday, March 30, 2009

Going green, green-going and green with envy

If you live anywhere around Redmond, Washington you’ve been followed by one of these before:

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As it pulls up next to you, you turn green with envy because, if you were a Microsoftie blue-badge (FTE… full-time employee) instead of an orange-badge (CSG, otherwise known as Contingent Services Group, otherwise known as a-dash or v-dash, otherwise known as contractor), you could be sitting on that free bus with cushy seats and full wireless access, heading to work (and working, of course, on the way).

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Look very carefully into those tinted windows.  You know who’s in there?  These guys:

messenger

Lots and lots of them, living all over the Puget Sound, heading to work.

Microsoftconnecterroute 

(OK, actually, it’s more like these guys…)

microsoftcommutersusingwireless

You consider opening your laptop on the passenger seat and stealing a little of that wireless access, but before you know it, you’ve been left in the dust.

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Of course, these touring busses are not the only Microsoft-mobiles on the roads of Puget Sound.  In the next few minutes, as you head to campus, you see a variety of other greenies. A smaller shuttle that zips to smaller, more rural communities…

Microsoftconnector

…a family-sized mini-van that shuttles workers from campus to campus (because Microsoft buildings are scattered all over Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, Seattle, and other communities)

 microsoftminivan

…and finally, as you get closer to campus, you see lots and lots of these little fuel efficient whippersnappers, carting people from meeting to meeting around campus:

microsoftcommutercar

Just because I can’t ride those free, cushy, wireless-equipped busses doesn’t mean there are any sour grapes on my part.  A few sour raisins, perhaps, but really I think it’s pretty cool that in just a few months the average Microsoftie (FTE only, mind you) can save hundreds of dollars on gas and thousands of pounds of CO2 from their carbon footprint.

Can you imagine the impact if they’d open this up to all Microsoft workers, FTE and CSG alike?  I can only dream…

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kat has her own photo blog!

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Well, she sure outgrew those guest photo-blogging stints on this l’il ol’ po-dunk blog.

Ladies and gentleman, Kat now has her own photo blog where she’ll be showcasing her amazing photo creations on a regular basis.  I’ll still be begging her to pay us a visit now and then, but if you want a daily photo phix, go to:

http://www.photoblog.com/KatSnider

(And don’t forget to leave her a comment … because you know how we bloggers love them comments!)

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A voice from the past

My cell phone rang about an hour ago. It was my brother, who attending a reunion of now-grown "kids" who attended John Muir School in Berkeley, California, in the 1960's. I wanted so badly to go, but alas... Michael greeted me and said, simply, that someone from my past wanted to talk to me.

I didn't recognize the voice on the line -- but then, when I last spoke to this person, she and I were probably 11 or 12 at most, and even women's voices change between that age and adulthood. When I heard her name I let out a shriek (just ask Tom)! I'd been trying to find Suzie for at least the past five years and have never had any luck -- and now, here she was on the phone with me! We chatted for a few moments, promising to catch each other up via e-mail in the next few days and hopefully re-establishing contact after (gulp) over 40 years!

I went into my photo folders, dug up this old class photo, and sent it to Suzie along with the following commentary:

64-65 2nd grade

"Top row: Andrea Something (I think she was new to the school that year), Eleanor LaBarge (who had way cool older brothers and who didn't need a hall pass to be excused to go to the bathroom; I never knew why), No Idea, No Idea, Suzanne (Zanny) Pearce (the best girl athlete and coolest, most confident kid at John Muir School... do you remember the mattress swing in the room above her next-door-neighbor's garage?), YOU (sans cool blue sparkly glasses and wearing your hair in that cool, disguised longer-in-the-front do), Katherine Williams (who was so soft-spoken it always sounded like she was whispering). Second row: Claudine Wales (who my mom wanted me to be friends with because she had a classy French mother), Erika Karplus (who I remember as being like a full-grown, distinguished woman -- almost Stepford wife-ish -- in a girl's body), Stacey Something (??), David Carter (who always made a huge mess when he ate... which reminds me -- can you still smell the cafeteria?), Fritz Koch (who was a bit of a pervert, no?), No Idea, Cathy Something (or maybe Vicki??). Third row: Blair Pickerel (who I insisted was the subject of the Mrs. Pickerel books, and on whom I always had a little crush), Gordon Something (he picked his nose and wiped it on the bottom sides of chairs), David Carter (so wait - then who's the guy in the the glasses in the second row?!), Anne Roth (who wore that stretchy headband every single day), No Idea, No Idea, and (swoon) John Ballentine (who was perfection, from his handwriting to smooth, bronzed skin, to his gentlemanly manner). Forth row: It's on the tip of my tongue (he shuffled when he walked and had hunched shoulders), Steve Foscutt (who was perpetually on the verge of tears), Cathy Peterson (whose mother always seemed to be at her side, involved in absolutely everything she did, every day), Yours Truly (duh -- who else but the daughter of Germans would be wearing a dirndl dress to school on picture day?!), Debbie Marshak (who died in a car crash in Utah when we were in 4th grade, and at whose funeral I played my flute... that was my first experience with death -- so sad), Betty O'Brien (who had boobs, and probably a boyfriend, already when this picture was taken), Jimmy Weller (who was the biggest brat in the school, always and forever in trouble... but who probably grew up to be pretty dang good-looking, now that I take a second look!), Daisy King (who always minded everyone's business, and who boasted that she got $5 a week for allowance). Sixth row: No Idea (but I remember him and his mannerisms; I just can't remember his name... looks like someone who might have become famous), Mrs. Cole (who hated me -- or so I thought -- and told me the right way to hold a pencil was up by the eraser!), Mr. Ventor, who paddled my oldest brother's butt more than once), and Andrea Something (who was painfully shy and reminded me of a frightened kitten)."

Isn't it odd -- and somewhat pathetic -- what I remember? I wonder how many of these people might be on Facebook or LinkedIn now, 40-some years later.

Excuse me while I see what became of Jimmy Weller...

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lemonade!

My dear blogging friend Maria knows me well.  She knows that I've tried -- but often failed -- to bring some perspective to the negativity that has permeated my life lately (broken foot, greedy IRS, laid-off hubby, dying friend, etc.), and she has bestowed upon me The Lemonade Award, which recognizes bloggers who "show a positive attitude and/or gratitude in their posting."

bloglemonadeaward

Thanks Maria! 

You must know by now that I'm a sucker for positive recognition of any kind (does that automatically label me as insecure and needy?), so receiving this award absolutely made my day (which has been spent dealing with medical insurance) and my week (which has been clouded by Kristin's decline). 

But enough about pouty, whiney me.  Here are my nominees of bloggers who I believe turn lemons into lemonade on a regular basis:

Kingfisher Cove

Childsplayx2

Home's Jewels

Our Feet are the Same

Blog Ness Monster

Goofball's World

Of course, all awards have rules:

1) Put the logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate some blogs that show great attitude or gratitude, (i.e. turn lemons into lemonade)
3) Link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taking Leave

I received word from Kristin's sons today that she is no longer able to stand or walk on her own and that she has stopped eating.

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Kristin, who I met when I was 11 and have admired and adored since, is as close to a sister as I'll ever have, and in spite of spending some amazingly wonderful moments, hours and days with her when she came to Seattle from the Bay Area for treatment over the past four years, I feel that I must now go to her, hold her and tell her how much I love her.

But how can I get to her?  I could travel in a wheelchair, right?  And if I could get to her, will she know?  And will it matter?  Or should we hold onto what we shared in the past?  To tell you the truth, I'm not sure I could handle seeing the one person who is the most FULL OF LIFE of anyone I've ever known to be slipping from life.

I'm waiting to hear from her sons again.  If she's aware enough to state a preference and if she wants me by her side, I will drop everything to be with her, just as I have done since her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in October, 2004.  If she's already in that space between this world and whatever is to follow (and as atheistic as I am, my mother's death convinced me that there's something -- something -- there), then I will leave her be, comforted by the knowledge that she knows how much I love her and how profoundly she has touched my life.

I'm so torn right now, and so incredibly sad. 

*I don't know why, but this photo that I took on Maui two years ago just seems to say it all.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Carol's First Steps

Now I need a nap, some ice, Tylenol... and a trophy.

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BFFs, arch-enemies, and the competition

Arch-enemy #1: The original culprit, the top step... the one with the snow and ice on it.  Yeah, right there by the railing that doesn't exist.

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Arch-enemy #2: My foot that went and took leave from my leg after sliding from said top step to said bottom step:

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Arch-enemy #3: This soft splint might look like it protected my foot, but I was so scared of someone bonking into me that Tom even created a cage for my paranoid foot:

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BFF #1: The goofy and very happy man who acts like the class clown, but is actually brilliant and phenomenally talented (and was trained by this man), and who promised me he'd fix my foot -- and then, being the perfectionist that he is, spent seven and a half hours doing so.

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Arch-enemy #4: I am not an old lady.  I'm not. I'm not.  I'm NOT!  I refuse to use this thing because the sound of shuffling feet should only come from people of two ages: 2, in foot-pajamas, and 92, using one of these.  52 is not 2 or 92, so sorry -- no can do.  IMG_0685

BFF #2: My cool purple cast hurt like hell on the first day and then, because it was hard and thick, it contributed to the lowering of my blood pressure as I stopped worrying that someone would, heaven forbid, touch my foot and send me over the edge. 

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BFF #3: My knee-walker.  I love my knee-walker because I am really, really fast on it and because both my hands are free so I can do normal things like floss my teeth and carry a plate to the table. I know that one day, when I'm instructed to partial-weight-bear, I will have to bid adieu to my knee-walker and I dread that day.

 IMG_0865

Arch-enemy #5: Crutches are stupid.  You can't use your hands at all and they give you rashes in your armpits.  I will never like crutches and I dread using them. (Don't let the smile fool you!)

IMG_1024

BFF #4: My storm trooper boot with the space-age air pumps cushions and protects my foot.  It makes my foot feel loved and pampered and cared for and it gives me false security, making me feel like I actually might someday walk again.  I adore my storm trooper boot.

IMG_1147

Once I got the storm trooper boot, I was instructed to begin putting weight on my foot (in the boot, of course, and using the dreaded crutches) and to not use my knee-walker as much. 

I wept.

Arch-enemy #6: Sometimes, when I left the knee-walker at home and I knew I couldn't last on the crutches, I was forced to resort to this:  IMG_1218

Shut up.

Absolute arch-enemy #7 to 7-jazillion:  This is not my foot.  I don't know where it came from, but it is NOT MINE.  It feels like a bare wrist or a knuckle when it touches the floor.  It feels foreign and odd and weird and bizarre.  I don't know how -- or if -- I will ever be friends with this appendage again.  It belongs to someone else and has no business trying to suck up to me, hoping I'll accept it.  I want my old foot back -- the one that knew me and understood me intuitively and cooperated with me without me having to plead and cajole.  I don't know how to make it work with this stranger-foot.  I'm sure massive amounts of therapy are indicated, and a temper tantrum or two will surely ensue.  Maybe, one day, we can co-exist peacefully and without much pain.  We shall see.

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And... the COMPETITION: Nora, who turns one next month, seems to think she'll be taking her first steps before I take mine.  Ha!  The race is on, my darling friend.  The race is ON.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

100 Random Tidbits

  1. My nickname growing up was "Ladybug" because I had red hair and freckles. I now live in the Northwest. Thus, "Northwest Ladybug."
  2. I'm an empty-nesting mother of four, living near the beautiful emerald city of Seattle.
  3. I dreaded empty nest before three kids left within a month of each other in late 2007, but am finding that I actually love it.
  4. I especially love revitalizing my relationship with my husband of almost 27 years and companion of over (gulp!) 31 years.
  5. At least two of our kids come home from college every weekend. They love spending time with each other... and even with us. Knowing that they chose to come back when they could easily stay away makes me feel great. IMG_4383
  6. I am a product manager, producer and educator with a passion for educational media (software, video, print, tabletop, etc.) and for making a positive difference in kids' lives.
  7. Here are some of the products I produced:My Products A best
  8. I have worked quite a few stints (v-dash and a-dash) as a Sr. Project Manager for Microsoft projects.
  9. I think Microsoft should make a firm commitment to entering the educational media space in a big way.
  10. I am currently the Director of Training and Professional Development with The Gottman Relationship Institute. It feels great to be doing something that makes a positive difference in adults' lives and relationships!
  11. I grew up in Berkeley in the 60's, but I'm not a hippie.
  12. I rebelled as a teen by becoming a cheerleader. That, to my radical family, was absolute defiance.
  13. In the years 1995, 2001, 2006 and 2007 one of us was laid off and remained unemployed longer than comfortable. We can now add 2009 to that list. Fortunately, we have never been unemployed at the same time and both of us are now working.
  14. I have three brothers and always wanted a sister. I still do.
  15. I'm old enough to remember removing pop-tops and sticking them INTO the drink.
  16. According to Myers-Briggs, I'm an ESFJ -- The Provider (Extroverted/Sensing/Feeling/Judging)
  17. I forgot how to drive a stick shift.
  18. I remember names and dates very easily. I forget where I put things when I clean (drives hubby nuts!).
  19. I love almonds and fall leaves.
  20. There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- more important to me than my family.
  21. I am incredibly proud of each of my kids, who they have become and the paths they have each chosen to follow. My kids ROCK!
  22. My twins -- the grandchildren of a German Jew -- were born exactly as the Berlin Wall was coming down. Like on that day and within those hours.
  23. I am a first-generation American. My parents immigrated from Germany a few years before I was born.
  24. I grew up in a very German household -- traditions, holidays, etc.
  25. I kill any plant I own. I simply forget to water it.
  26. I was born with two thumbs on one hand. The extra digit was removed when I was a baby, but hands are still ugly, as I bite my nails. Tried to stop a few times; it's torture.
  27. I love domestics -- sheets, towels, dishes, etc. Forget the bee-line to clothes when I go shopping -- I head to the pillows and mugs!
  28. I can do this bizarre thing with my tongue. I am a tongue contortionist.
  29. My nightly bath is mandatory. Not being able to take a bath when I broke my foot was one of the most painful parts of my injury.
  30. I am a Certified Childbirth Educator and doula, but I haven't taught a class or attended a birth in years.
  31. I'm more comfortable in a group of men than in a group of women. Both my daughters feel the same way. I think it comes from having a couple of brothers.
  32. I love going to sleep. I also love waking up.
  33. Somewhere deep inside, I'm shy.
  34. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" makes me instantly sob, no matter where I am. (Happened in Safeway once...) It reminds me of my mother's death because my brother played a slideshow of his kids to its accompaniment during her few last lucid hours.
  35. I would have been a good midwife. I often wonder if I went into the wrong profession.
  36. I wonder what it's like to be in my husband's head. Sometimes I totally GET him and other times I can't for the life of me figure out how he thinks.
  37. I think that the most exquisite and perfect piece of music ever written is Christoph Gluck's "Dance of the Blessed Spirit."
  38. I'm not scared of death. That is a gift from Mom, who had a beautiful, peaceful, almost holy (especially for an atheist!) death.
  39. I only like bacon when I'm camping. Any other time, I think it's disgusting.
  40. I have lots of patience for other people. I have none for myself.
  41. I was one of the first 5 members of what's now Disney Interactive. (It was called "Walt Disney Personal Computer Software" back then, and it was a teeny-tiny division of WDEMCO, which stood for Walt Disney Educational Media Company.)
  42. On a related note, I was once pinched on the butt by Donald Duck. Actually, it was the guy who did Donald's voice for like 40 years, known to all as "Ducky Nash." He was a dirty old man!
  43. I was a developmental psych major in college. My graduate degree is in education with an emphasis on media.
  44. I sleep with a pillow under or between my knees.
  45. I had my twins after a full-term pregnancy. In fact, I was induced. They weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 7 pounds 6 ounces. When they were little we called them Pebbles and Bam-Bam. They're now 5'1"and 5'10" respectively.
  46. My happiest years were the years when I was home with 4 kids under the age of 5.
  47. Those were also my busiest years. I don't think I ever had a moment to myself. No job I ever have will ever be as demanding as being a stay-at-home mom. No job will ever be as rewarding, either.
  48. I love the smell of plumeria.
  49. I hate math. I can't think mathmatically. Math makes NO sense to me.
  50. I love reading and writing. I can't NOT write.
  51. I am pro-choice.
  52. I believe that what people do behind closed doors is no one else's business.
  53. I am furious that an entire state like California can decide to discriminate against gay people . I am especially angry with a high school "friend" who produced the "Yes on 8" ads.
  54. I am agnostic. Or maybe I'm an atheist. (I'm agnostic about which I am.)
  55. I type with two fingers -- really, really fast.
  56. My mother died on Easter morning. Our Golden Retriever died on Christmas morning the same year ('04).
  57. That dog's name was Tahoe. Our current Golden's name is Shasta.
  58. I played the flute pretty seriously when I was young. I went to Cazadero Music Camp each summer for a few years.
  59. I was the Educational Design Consultant" for the Blue's Clues PC games. I love Blue!
  60. I love having my hair brushed.
  61. My hubby's cousin's husband's brother is Harrison Ford. I've never met him.
  62. My mother's cousin died climbing K2.
  63. I was a total flirt in high school.
  64. I remember my mom crying while she vacuumed the living room carpet on the day Kennedy was shot.
  65. I've fallen in love at first sight.
  66. I love marzipan.
  67. I used to wish my aunt were my mom. My cousin wished my mom was her mom.
  68. I absolutely can't sleep in. I wish I could.
  69. I can ride a unicycle. (Or I could... haven't tried in a while!)
  70. My parents' four kids were all born between November 29th and January 6th.
  71. Our four kids' birthdays are spread throughout the year.
  72. Our kids are each spaced exactly 2 years, 9 months apart. We must like second birthdays.
  73. My favorite place on earth is Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Germany.
  74. We welcomed a German exchange student into our home for a year. We now consider Laura to be like an adopted child and will love her forever.
  75. If you don't like cats, you just haven't met a really cool one yet. They are each so different and some are amazing.
  76. I'm thorough and always follow through.. It's a good trait for me as a project manager; it can also be a curse because I expect others to do the same.
  77. I would have been a great third grade teacher. Sometimes I wish I would have gone that route.
  78. My husband and I use German bedding. That is, we each have our own very fluffy, very warm, very heavenly down duvets. We LOVE it and will never sleep with American bedding again.
  79. I take long baths, but short showers.
  80. I believe that people are basically good -- and that mean people suck.
  81. My management philosophy is "lead from behind with a flashlight" and say something positive to everyone who works for you every day.
  82. I believe that people are either motivated or paralyzed by the way they're managed. I have been both motivated and paralyzed by my managers.
  83. I think that, while an academic education is important, being well traveled is a huge piece of being well-educated.
  84. I wish I could travel more.
  85. I have great faith in President Obama.
  86. Sometimes I wish I were religious and could have faith that "it's all in God's hands." Seems much easier than my belief that if I want it to happen I have to make it happen.
  87. I think Kate is a bitch to Jon and should mellow out.
  88. I am a hedonist and love to be physically cozy.
  89. I can't wait to be a grandmother and hope to be the best dang "Noni" on earth -- not that I'm hurrying any of my kids to have kids.
  90. I miss my mother for many reasons, not the least of which is that she kept our family close and now we all seem to just be living our own lives.
  91. I love Vitamin Water and don't understand why it's so addictive.
  92. Someday I'd like an Audi TT. Whenever I see them on the road, I picture a huge hand moving them back and forth and some big monster toddler saying "vroom-vroom!"
  93. I wish I were a good cook. My mother wasn't, and neither am I. Must be genetic.
  94. When I get nervous, I talk. It's a curse.
  95. I have thick, healthy hair. If I ever got cancer, saying goodbye to my hair would be excruciating (and very, very shallow).
  96. I have a weird obsession with clean floors. According to my kids, I "see dirt that no one else sees."
  97. I love a good deal, so much so that I've been known to buy something simply because it's such a great deal.
  98. I miss camping.
  99. I love swimming in mountain lakes (preferably naked).
  100. I'm cautiously optimistic about the future.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Breaking some bad news

2009 got off on the wrong foot (so to speak) for us, and it looks like things will get worse before they get better. This is Tom breaking the news to Elisabeth that he's facing a lay-off.IMG_1470

As many of you know (and as I explained here), Tom was an Environmental Engineer for 20-plus years before the events of 9/11 (and an earth-unfriendly political arena) catapulted him in a very different direction. When he was laid off from Boeing in November of 2001, he decided to nurture his artistic side for a while and went back to school to become a digital artist for Seattle's active gaming industry. Oddly enough, he ended up as an Environment Artist, creating the backgrounds for such popular handheld DS games as Harry Potter, Ice Age, Digimon Racing, Robots, Spore, and even High School Musical. He enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and for eight years he honed his skills with Maya, Photoshop, and other digital graphics applications.

So now Tom's been a left-brained engineer and a right-brained artist. He's directed projects in environmental compliance and he's determined textures in gaming environments. He's enjoyed both, but at this point, inspired by an earth-friendly political arena and new opportunities in green energy, he's decided to go back to his "primary" occupation as an Environmental Engineer.

So this is us asking you... Can you recommend any environmental companies (industry, consulting, government, other) that Tom should explore? Do you have any suggestions (or even, perhaps, network connections) that you're willing to share?

Some linky love? A word of advice?

A good joke? A beer?

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Form over Function

I'm 52 years old and I don't think I've ever had bright red toenails until yesterday, when Kat offered to paint them for me. Hey, if my foot doesn't work right, at least it can look halfway decent!

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If my ever-swollen left foot ever fits into a shoe again, it will be a miracle!

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After yesterday's post, we need something inspiring, alive, and colorful around here!

For some reason, I just want to play it over and over and over!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

That's disgu-spring!

I'd love to send you this greeting to wish you a most happy and delightful first day of Spring:

springtime

I'd like to.

But I had to endure Boo's way of welcoming me to Spring, so I'm gonna drag you along.  Why?  Because I share my world with you -- the good, the bad, and the disgusting -- and today, THIS is my world:  Booskill

Booskillpieces

Booskill_fetus

Booskill_fetus_gross

Happy Spring.  It can only get better from here, right? 

You're welcome.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

That's how rumors get started!

This is Pope Joseph Ratzinger: He was born on April 16, 1927 near the Bavarian town of Traunstein, Germany, where he spent his childhood and went to school.

   VATICAN POPE

This my mother (rest her soul).  She was also born in Traunstein, Germany, on June 27, 1927, just two months after Joseph Ratzinger.  Like him, she spent her childhood and teen years in Traunstein.

Omi 1998  

The assumption is that Mom and Joseph Ratinger knew each other.

(The rumor is that she drove him to the priesthood!) 

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A melanoma quiz: which of these moles is suspicious and which is not?

My doctor will remove one of these moles in a few weeks because it concerns her as possibly being pre-cancerous.  The other one doesn't bother her in the least.  IMG_1394

Can you identify the worrisome mole?  If you can't (and I sure couldn't!), you should make an appointment with your own dermatologist for a full-body mole check -- especially if you're a redhead like me, or fair-skinned. 

This chart should NOT take the place of a personal check-up, but it might help you in identifying suspicious moles: melanomaASo really, will you do it, please?  If you need a specific personal prod, do it for my brother-in-law who was diagnosed with melanoma last March and has been enduring a year of debilitating Interferon treatments (it's like having the flu for a year) in an effort to improve his chance of survival by 10%.

Oh, and the mole Dr. Voss will be removing is the one on the lower left.  How did you do?  Did you guess correctly?  One of the other moles she'll remove is on my left ankle, not more than an inch away from one of my surgery scars!  How's that for sigh-inducing chutzpah?! 

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm Lucky

I've been feeling sorry for myself lately. How dare I?

luckygrove

My complaint My luck
My recovery is too slow. I can't walk yet. I will recover. I will walk again.
My job doesn't allow me to make a difference in kids' lives. I have a job - which makes a difference in my own kids' lives.
I work all the time. I am lucky to be working at all.
More moles need to be removed. Each removed mole decreases my chance of melanoma.
The IRS wants big chunks of the kids' college accounts. The kids have college accounts.
My medical bills are astronomical. They'd be way worse if I didn't have insurance.
I miss my mommy. I had a mommy for 47 years.
Kristin is on Hospice. In so many ways, she will never die. She IS love.
Will winter never end? Spring will be all the more beautiful!
No one reads my blog. I have a small but faithful following. :-)

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

I can't think of a decent name for this post

I was supposed to go to the dermatologist on January 6th for a follow-up appointment to my two mole removal appointments, but had to cancel that appointment because I was just slightly preoccupied with other things.  When I rescheduled for March 16th, I totally assumed that I'd walk briskly into the doctor's office, be checked and given the all-clear, and walk briskly out again. 

None of those things happened today.

With Peter's help, I hobbled out of the house, got in the car, and drove to Carillon Point in Kirkland, where my doctor's office is located.  I love going there because there are always great photo opportunities on the shores of Lake Washington, and I hoped today would be no different.  I parked in handicapped parking and since I was early (because I can't gauge how long anything will take me anymore!), I braved a few steps down to small waterside park and shot these:

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I love this rock sculpture called "The Family."

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What a typical winter Seattle sky.

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Can you imagine living in that waterfront apartment?  I lived directly on the beach when I went to college at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979 -- for $150 a month!  I have a feeling these guys pay a bit more than that.

Unfortunately I didn't get an "all clear" from my dermatologist.  Nope -- this doesn't seem to be my year for great health.  I'll have three more moles removed on April 14th!  My doctor joked that, before she's finished with me, I'll just be one big mole-removal pock.  But I WON'T have skin cancer, and I'm just fine with that! 

On the way home, I was much more concerned with getting a good shot of Seattle across the water than I was with my troubled moles because really, I think about dumb medical stuff way too much as it is these days!  It's not a great shot, but since I made a bit of a fool of myself parking my car every which way in some hoity-toity neighborhood, I'm gonna post it anyway. (I'm sure the residents thought I was too lazy to get out of my car... I should have put up my handicapped placard!) 

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A therapeutic peek into my photo folders

I've been hit this weekend with a fairly pronounced and quite disconcerting case of melancholy.  It's March 15th, more that eleven weeks since my injury, and I'm still nowhere close to walking again.  It's been a slow realization but I'm coming to accept the fact that the recovery from a severely broken ankle is long.  Really long.  My new friends on the healbrokenbone.com blog (thank goodness for them!) even have a name for the one year anniversary date of one's injury, because the injury still tends to be an issue on that date -- they call it one's "ankleversary."

I must get back on both feet soon -- I simply must -- because I spoke this morning to my dear friend Kristin, who is now on hospice, and... and... well, I simply must go to her soon, and that means getting on a plane.  

Sigh.

In an effort to escape on this lazy Sunday, I took a little self-guided (and alphabetical) tour through the "Events and Excursions" folder on my portable hard drive and found one picture in each folder that made me smile:

From "30th HS Reunion, 2005" here's a picture of my high school sweetheart, Mark, and me:  P1010001

From "Ashland Howard Prairie Reunion, 2007," here's Dad and Lou after he presented her with a commitment ring and promised to love her and be her POSLQ (person of opposite sex sharing living quarters) forever:  Copy of IMG_6014

From "Ashland with Kat, 2005," here's Kat on a river rafting trip we took together:  P7030073

From "Berkeley, March 2007," I absolutely must post two pictures.  This is a picture of my three brothers and me:  IMG_4081

...and this is Kristin and me, best friends since I was 12 and she was 19, a Cal student living with my family, and the closest I ever came to a sister.  God, I love her.

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No wait -- here's another! Kristin with my niece, Isabel: 

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Sigh.

From "Berkeley, March 2008," a trip to attend the memorial service for a long-time family friend, someone who immigrated to America with my parents in the early 50's and was like an aunt to me as I grew up.  I miss her. This is the view from her house:  IMG_6491

From "Blake Island, Tillicum Village, 2005," two photos.  One of the view from the boat... P8290080

... and one of Laura, our "German daughter" (AFS exchange student), whom we miss hugely, with Aleks and Kat:  P8290084

From "Germany, 2004," a trip in honor of my mother, who had died a few months previous, here's a photo of Aleks, Kat, Dad, and Leni, Mom's older sister, who is now living in an old person's home and is not her normal, happy self.  Sigh.  P9140076

From "Germany, 2007," I want to post so many photos, from my wonderful blogging friends, to Thomas and his family, to Laura and her family, to photos of the incredible places we visited!  You'll just have look here for those pictures, and settle here for this picture of a sunset in Garmish-Patenkirchen (Bavaria):  IMG_2115 

From "Hawaii, 2002," a Lahaina sunset:

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And from "Hawaii, 2006," the sunrise from atop Mt. Haleakala...

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From "Pend Oreille, Idaho, 2005," Shasta's first water experience:

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And from "Pend Oreille, Idaho, 2007," a photo from inside my sister-in-law's cabin.  I can totally relax there!   IMG_0751

From "Pullman, 2007," a typical Eastern Washington shot:  IMG_8733

From "Seattle, 2005." (I have so many shots from Seattle, but only one folder in the Events and Excursions file because Kat, Elisabeth and I stayed downtown for four days in the condo Kristin bought for the time she spent in Seattle participating in a pancreatic cancer medical trial...  Sigh.).  Here are Elisabeth and Kat flirting with the Pike Place fish guys:  P1010369

And the last stop on my self-guided tour of my Events and Excursions folder is a photo of my brothers and me taken at "Lake Tahoe, 2005":  4siblingsenhanced

Creating my virtual, digital escape was interrupted by a 12-hour power outage last night, so I wasn't able to fully immerse myself before being jolted back into the reality of Monday morning.  But I hope at least you enjoyed the journey into my past journeys!

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