Saturday, May 19, 2007

Clematis vines


These flowers are on the trellis, but they are so far back in the corner of the yard that I barely ever see them. (Even though it's an awfully small yard.) But I wanted to take a picture of them anyway...
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

This time last year...

... Frankie had pretty much JUST gotten home from the hospital. The boys have grown a lot in one year, haven't they? This is last year's picture.

Happy Mother's Day!


Here is my Nick with the tulips he bought me. Frank dragged him out of bed at 9:30 or whatever, so they could run to the fruit and veggie stand and get some fresh flowers. "Do you REALIZE how much these things COST?" he asked me, as he handed me the lovely wrapped bouquet.
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Chef Frankie

  Having his OWN breakfast in my bed.
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Happy Mothers Day

I woke up to breakfast in bed, served by Frankie. He even picked an azalea from outside for the tray! He did a reasonably good job of cooking, I must say, although he served me an entire recipe of pancakes -- the amount I would make for all for of us.
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jump rope update

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

A surprising number of people were happy to hear that I was playing jump rope during aftercare. I thought you would all be happy to know that today I was actually able to jump for almost a whole rhyme. Two girls turned for me, and they sang
"Blue bells, taco shells, evie, ivy, OVER... I like coffee, I like tea, I like the boys and the boys like me... yes, no, maybe so..." And I managed to jump the whole time. After I finally missed, I got a standing ovation from practically every kid on the playground. (I was proud of myself!)

A few interesting things about jumping rope at 43:
-- my belly flops around a lot more than it did when I was little!
-- I think the rhyme was blue bells, COCKLE SHELLS -- but rhymes change!

Sunday, May 06, 2007



I know it looks really pretty, but pollen is killing me right now!

Here are some tulips from my rock garden out front. I haven't done as much gardening as I would like lately, the yard really needs it, but between working too much and the toxic pollen atmosphere, I can't do it! Yesterday I did a little gardening. Frank had found on the internet a farm, not too far away, that specializes in pepper plants. We went to visit and bought several different plants, a variety of peppers and two different tomatoes. At another store we picked up some flowers for the yard, and I put those in too. That's it so far! By the time I can enjoy the garden again, most of the prettiest plants will be gone.
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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Start here.

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Standing around, waiting for something to happen

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Wandering in the woods...

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OK, sorry for the wait. Here's the story.


I guess after such a big buildup and waiting all week for me to post, it isn't even going to be that funny... but here it is anyway. And yeah, it's a really LOONNNGGG story.... sorry!

So, we go to the walkathon. I think we had like 20 people -- I didn't really count (someone count how many people we have in the photo.) We all planned to meet at my house at 8 AM, and all these wonderful people who were willing to walk for us had to get up early and pay $15.00 for the privelege. Waking up early -- that's especially hard for the teenagers!

I bought bagels, 3 dozen in fact, at 6 am that morning. They were supposed to supply breakfast and lunch. But I was afraid that the CCFA -- the organization that was running the walkathon -- wouldn't have enough food. I hadn't signed up all the people that were attending on my team, and I figured that other people would be doing the same. So I figured that at least we'd have a bagel for everyone that came with us. I was really stressing about water, too, so I brought a thermos of water and cups.

We also had our lovely t-shirts, with special thanks to my Mom and Dad for paying for them and helping me do ALL THOSE IRON-ONS! Because I knew we wouldn't all be getting shirts from the CCFA -- and our team name wasn't on them, anyway!

At 8:00ish, after dithering around for a while trying to figure out who was driving who, we all drove off. Of course, we were early. Which was good, I guess, because it wasn't a huge parking lot. Registration went fine. We have raised more than $2,000 -- including the money that was brought that day. I'm not sure if they are updating the web site anymore. Thank you so much to everyone who donated :) !!!

We were finished with registration by 9:00 ish, and the walk didn't even start until 10. It was a rather chilly day, and it had rained recently so the ground was rather soggy and there were many puddles. The kids didn't mind. They were chasing each other around the place, and once or twice I had to stop them from starting water fights.

Of COURSE there were plenty of bagels and water. I never even got my water and bagels out of the car. There were also cinnamon rolls, which were a big hit with Frankie. Everyone drank tons of water, before the walk had even begun.

We waited and waited and waited for the walk to begin. Everyone was ready to go. There were hundreds of people there -- I'm bad at estimating numbers. After standing around for so long, my Mom said "Why don't you just ask them if you can start?" So I did -- I went to the registration desk. "Oh, come on, you can wait 10 more minutes!" I was told. "There's going to be a speech!"

When the speech started, we couldn't hear a thing. They didn't have any amplification at all. So whatever they had to say, I'm sure it was very flowery and thankful and blah blah blah, but we missed the whole thing. Then they stretched out the ribbon. Our group had gotten there early, so of course we were right up front! One team, who was walking in honor of a little girl named Gabby, raised $18,000, so they let Gabby cut the ribbon.

My Dad had planned all along to try to run the 5 K. The older kids -- Frankie included -- surprised me by saying that they were going to run as well. They were looking around at their competition and sizing them up, and figured they'd smoke them at the starting line.

So the ribbon was cut, and off they ran. I was a little slower. We watched the first group take off and started to stroll along the path.

It was about 40 yards in that we hit the first fork in the path. On the right, the sign said "Finish Line This Way." So everyone made a right, right? We want to get to the finish line, don't we? WRONG. Someone in the CCFA must have said something to someone -- "Hey! You're going the wrong way!" We were supposed to make a LEFT. So all the people in front of us, all those running instead of strolling, had to turn around, and now were behind a large section of the pack!

The path was relatively narrow. So the runners had to leave the path to pass the strollers. We watched them running alongside the path to pass us. When our boys came by, I laughed. They were spattered with mud up their backs, kicked up by their shoes as they ran.

As I said, it was a slightly overcast day, rather cool, which was pleasant to walk in. There were puddles everywhere, and we had drank a LOT of water. It wasn't more than a minute into the walk before we REALLY had to PEE. It took a few minutes, but we came to a park restroom, and we stopped.

After the restroom, we got back on the path. The pack of people stretched out quite far, and our group was spread out alot. So we walked and walked and walked. We didn't see anyone from the CCFA anywhere along the way. At one point, we saw a few signs, "Sponsored by..." or whatever, but they didn't seem to have much information on them.

We just kept walking and walking, following the people in front of us. Then, we crossed the road out of that section of park, to continue on the same trail on the opposite side. We were a bunch of lemmings just following the people in front of us.

It wasn't long before we started having to pee again. Really badly. That was a LOT of water. But there were no portapottys or anything anywhere! It was just a paved path in the woods. Someone behind us started to complain. "It's really bad that an organization that deals with people with intestinal problems didn't have portapottys along the route," he griped. "I've already had to take a crap behind a tree! What are they THINKING?"

I got a phone call from the boys. "Sue? I think we're lost." But I had no idea what to tell them -- Where did they turn off the path? "Just try to find the group," I advised. "Trace your steps back."

We walked and walked and walked through the woods. At one point, we crossed another path; but we just kept following the other lemmings. No one even considered that second path, and there were no signs posted.

Finally -- ages later -- we started to see people turning around and walking back down the path towards us. "Is that the end?" we asked. "Are there bathrooms there???"

"No," was the answer. "It's a dead end."

I don't know if EVERYONE was freaked out, but I sure was. We'd apparently been wandering in the woods for a lot longer than we were supposed to. We weren't on the right trail. Hundreds of us!

Laurie walks all the time, and she thought that we'd probably walked way more than 5 K already. Turning around and walking back, the crossroads was now a subject of some controversy with the walkers. "We should go right!" "Left!"
I wasn't going that way. I'd walked far enough, and I wasn't interested in getting lost in the woods. "I'm going back the way I came," I said. A few people kept arguing, but I just started walking and everyone I was with decided to follow. (And don't forget, we still had to pee!) Two people in our group separately wondered if our teenagers had pranked the walkathon by moving signs that were supposed to be there. THEY DIDN'T!!! There just weren't any signs.

We hobbled back to the starting line. Some of our group -- the runners among us -- ended up on a highway, trying the other path. My dad had to ask directions from a police officer along a road somewhere. Apparently, 5 K isn't that far. Apparently, when we thought we were just getting started -- back by the road somewhere -- we were half done. I still have no idea what the route was supposed to be!

After the walkathon, we stood around for a few minutes. Apparently, the lunch that the ccfa was providing were bags of pretzels and chips, and more bagels. (Not to mention more bagels back at my house afterwards!)

So we finished up the day driving home and having a short afternoon fire. I served bagels for a lunch -- I didn't have much else in the house!

That's the full wrap up of the walkathon. I've never been to such a poorly planned event. The moral of this story? Might be "don't be a lemming." It might be, "don't plan a walkathon if you don't know what you're doing!"

But the important thing is, the walkathon did raise in the neighborhood of $85,000 for Crohn's and Colitis research!

Thank you for your support!
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