Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Out

We turned on CNN this evening to Mariah Carey self-promoting her memoir on Anderson/Andy’s New Year’s Eve special, which is about as #2020 as it gets. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Call Me by Your Title?

My next blog post was going to be funny. And then I got busy and haven't written it yet and now I'm mad about something else entirely. So, funny is coming. In the interim, in case you happen to be female, an academic, have a terminal degree in your field in something other than medicine, or all of the above, this is for you. 

I was largely offline this weekend, which meant I was a bit behind on the news when I played catch-up at o-dark-hundred this morning when I wasn't sleeping, which I hear is what normal people do at that time. So, I am slightly behind on blowing my top at the weekend's helping of sexism, but just in time for the follow-up quotes.

The Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed on Friday written by a man who taught at Northwestern in the English department for God-knows-how-many years. In it, this man spends an inordinate amount of time chastising Dr. Jill Biden for (clutch my pearls in horror) using her earned title of doctor because she didn't study or practice medicine. This, coming from a guy who admits he only has a bachelor's degree he "earned in absentia from the University of Chicago because he was also serving in the Army in the 1950's." Meaning, he's never gotten a terminal degree himself.  He claims he never needed an advanced degree, which can only be described as the penultimate in privilege, afforded exclusively to white men of a certain era. Also, he's old. I think the intentional inclusion of the 1950's was supposed to infer that he has the wisdom of years, but it turns out that "old" in this sense just means "rotten." 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Forty-Two: The Secret of the Universe

It's been a month since I last wrote, and what a month it has been. I'm fairly confident the entire world is just exhausted, slightly feral, and ready to sit in a quiet corner with no bright lights or loud sounds for a little while. 

And now its Friday the 13th. 

But here's the deal; I'm pretty sure I've blown out my anxiety meter. I just can't get to "I care and I'm worried" levels and I think it may be because you can only have so many anxiety-induced migraines and panic attacks before your brain shorts out. I'm feeling like Ford Prefect in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, who looks at Earth being demolished with mild curiosity, instead of being Arthur Dent who is, justifiably, freaking the hell out. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Allies and the Axis

Our existence on the side of this mountain has become a giant game of Risk, with us on one side, and an increasing number of aligned forces on the other. It started with the gophers, then moved on to the rest of the vermin filum

They have added reinforcements. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Florence, I Ain't

Well, we made it to Friday, which after Tuesday's televised nuclear waste spill, I wasn't sure was a certainty.

Eric went in for a hernia repair on Wednesday. We were up early in the morning to get to the hospital, which is a little unsettling in and of itself during the time of Covid. We passed our screening, and went to the outpatient surgical center to check in. They took Eric back and I had some time to work before they had him settled in pre-op and I could go back to see him. We saw the doctor, hung around with little else to do but wait, and a couple hours later, they wheeled him off. I have to say, there's a gut check you have when the anesthesiologist comes in and informs you that this form of sedation includes a tube down your husband's throat and the doctor "breathing for you." I maybe could have done without that.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Battles on All Sides

We live with nature. We love it. 

With exceptions.

As you know, I was in a small battle with gophers

However, I now find myself in a multi-front creature war.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

I Dissent

Around four years ago, I bought a pin I wore on the lapel of my winter coat. It said simply, "I dissent." 

The quote, although certainly not exclusively, was Ruth Bader Ginsberg's, in her written opinion to Bush v. Gore. Ruth Bader Ginsberg laid out the case that every legally cast vote should be counted, and that an arbitrarily set deadline for finishing the recount was not reason enough to stop the process. 

"In sum, the Court’s conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the Court’s own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the Presidency of the United States.

I dissent."

Thursday, September 17, 2020

This Time Last Year

Remember a year ago? I know, it feels like 5 years ago, but in fact, it was just one year ago. A year ago, I 
was flying all over the world, and not having enough time to share all the stories. Like this one.
We all know my favorite place to sleep is our pop-up camper. While we both like to camp and definitely love to hike, see new places and spend time in the outdoors- especially National Parks (still working on hitting ALL of them, with a ways to go), I am the one that pushes the envelope and gets us to camp until the very edge of the seasons. For that reason, Eric agreed to take the pop-up out with me one of the very few weekends we were both in the same state at the same time, and go camping during the elk rut at the end of September.

The elk rut, if you haven't had the chance to witness it, is awesome. We've gone up to Rocky Mountain National Park multiple times to spend a weekend watching bull elk herd "harems" (their word, not mine) of female elk, make incredible calling noises, and occasionally fight each other for dominance over the herd and the right to mate. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

I'm Alright, Nobody Worry 'Bout Me

I have leveled- up on the Bill Murray scale of existence.

Or have I leveled down? Honestly, I'm not sure which way the scale goes, but I'm firmly at Caddyshack. 

I'm doing battle with gophers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Group 1

In 2019 I flew to Detroit, London then on to Amsterdam, Atlanta, San Salvador, Portland, Washington DC, Kampala, New York City, Guatemala City, and Bangkok then on to Auckland. In 2020, I flew to Washington DC, and had flights booked to Dhaka, Cap Haitien, Reykjavik and Detroit that were all cancelled with plans for several others that never got booked in the first place.

I miss travel, but I didn't realize...

United Airlines also misses me. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Forever Blue

 The list of (first world, trivial) things Covid-19 has taken from us seems to never end. Races, vacations, the ability to go to the office. Seeing other people. Hugs. In-person church. Not feeling like every venture out is like navigating the cave in the Goonies and NEVER EVER getting to One-Eyed Willie's ship. We have tried to be grateful for the time this has given us together, tried not to be (too) whiny, tried to take stock of our blessing. 

But this latest...

My husband, former high school, college and semi-pro player and former high school coach, may never recover.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Back Again

The Incline closed March 17. I know the exact date, because I was working from home, had my exercise clothes on, and was within an hour of my next climb when the breaking news came in. Since then, the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, which for reasons I don't understand share responsibility for the Incline, have been fighting. They couldn't come up with an agreement on how to safely reopen the Incline. Part of the issue is legitimately, the Incline is narrow in most places and 6 feet of distance isn't possible when passing someone else. If there are fewer people, its easier to manage and fewer people to pass. However, the residents of Ruxton Canyon, the neighborhood that leads up to the Incline, have lodged complaints about noise and traffic. Some of that's true - there are a certain number of people who hoot and holler down the road because they are psyching themselves up for the climb (and are generally being bros.) There is traffic - usually visitors who don't know where to park, trying to find the closest place to the base of the mountain to leave their car. Manitou has put in restricted hours, and have a free shuttle bus that runs multiple times an hour from a parking lot further away. But, there is still crankiness, and these issues have bled into the current debate. Add to it the inexplicable shared ownership and weirdly territorial local government officials, and its been a mess. 


After five months of closure, they finally came to an agreement! There is now a free reservation system, and for the first couple of weeks, they are limiting reservations to (I think) 35 every 30 minutes. 

I got my first reservation this morning. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Friendly Information on Keeping Kids Safe in a Time of Covid

I want to keep kids safe. I think nearly all of us do and in this uncertain age, I do not envy parents and their constant barrage of Sophie's choices they face in trying to protect their kids.

However, I want to also combat myths about keeping kids safe.

A lot of my work involves helping people understand who it is that we need to protect children from. There are a lot of myths out there about who harms children. The most persistent is probably one that both you and I were taught as kids (and you're going to have to hold your outrage here, so I can explain).

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


So Sunday night I had a bout of illness.

Of the imaginary kind.

It didn't stop me from staying up all night.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Who Will Defend the Children?

This post reflects my personal views and opinions, and not those of anyone or any organization I have worked for or with. However, my career has influenced my views, and as a fully integrated person, I don't just leave my work and my thoughts about the people I serve at the office. 

Child sexual abuse, including child sexual assault, molestation and exploitation is devastating to its victims. It not only impacts someone physically, it leave emotional and psychological damage, and wounds the soul.

I have sat with child and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. I have listened to shattered children sob as they have recounted to me what happened. I have read allegations aloud in court. I have counseled adult men and women still reconciling what happened to them decades later. I have provided consultation, support and recommendations to other professionals working in this arena. It has been my honor and privilege to be trusted with these stories. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

One of the Best

I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in the summer of 2001. I had just graduated college, and was reluctantly following my boyfriend to a state and town I had no desire to live in, so we could try dating like what we thought were "real people," since we had been the long-distance thing for years. I got a job at a residential treatment facility for children. He was working in ministry doing a variety of things in the city's urban core. I volunteered for him, and for years we would grab 15 passenger vans, drive them into first one and then eventually two different low-income housing complexes. We'd pull up and kids would appear from everywhere and nowhere, climbing into the vans, pleading with us that even though this was supposed to be a program for kids 12 and over, they needed to bring their little brothers or sisters with them or they couldn't go. Routinely, there were more than 15 kids in my van, and while I tried to make sure there were seat belts for all, I am quite confident that somewhere in the back of that cavernous space, there were kids sitting on top of other kids, hiding under the seats, and generally jamming in so they could go too. We'd drive over to Anthony Blvd, and pull up to this big old Lutheran church. The kids would pile out, to be greeted by Elvis Netterville with a big smile.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Yard Life

I have several blog posts started, and unfinished, because there's a lot I might want to say about life in America right now, but can't quite get it out. Suffice it to say, its sad and hard and I feel discouraged about a lot of things, in particular, how we seem to have lost the ability to care for each other.

However, until I figure out what I want to say, let me tell you about the yard life around here. The hummingbirds are currently entranced with our feeders, a pheonomena that just started yesterday, but has lots of them coming for a snack all day long. Since the one feeder is in the middle of our kitchen window, I have a full on view of our visitors. Did you know hummingbirds have tongues? They do, and I can see them licking their beaks!

This evening, we also had a mama deer and not one, but TWO babies! They had dinner, and now the babies are wrapped up like tiny cinnamon rolls, taking a full on snooze in our yard. Eric is out on a storm and has the good camera, so I don't have great photos. But basically all work has stopped around the house and I'm just staring at these little guys. I might be in love.

I mean, what's not to love about these tiny faces???

Sleep well little guys. And mama, I'm available for babysitting.
The barely discernible blobs in the center are
our new twins.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Another Mountain Deferred

Two years ago, I pulled out of the Pikes Peak Marathon and the NYC Marathon because I was fully broken. Cracked femur, multiple torn muscles, tendinitis in the IT band that ultimately meant 7 months of physical therapy and doctor's who told me I could "walk for 10 minutes" and that was it. It was awful. I got really depressed, I gained weight, I dropped off social media and my blog to get away from it all. I came crawling back last year, and made it across both the start and the finish lines of the NYC Marathon, in all its wonderful glory (even if it didn't feel quite like a comeback in the gastrointestinal sense...)

But my mountain was waiting for me, asking me to return like a siren song.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Medium Rare

I think I need some humor today. Maybe you do too. Turns out, I can be, on selective occasion, relatively funny. So let me tell you a story.

I don't know if you remember, but it was possible to get sick with something other than Covid in the days before the pandemic. The first week of January, when coronavirus was just a small issue in one city in China, Eric had a week of new staff orientation up in Denver. He stayed in a hotel and met with people from all over the country. I left on the weekend for my nephew and niece's baptism, and was gone. Eric came home part way through that weekend.

He was sick.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Riots are the Language of the Unheard

This is Eric and my collective thoughts, written this morning after a disastrous night. Typing from the safety of our back deck with the sun shining on us, we recognize the privilege we have in making statements from safe spaces. However, we, from thousands of miles away, join our voices in chorus with those who have been silenced for too long.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

To White Women, From a White Woman

White women, we are not exempt from white privilege through our status as women. Our status as white provides us with advantages not afforded to minority women and men.

But white women, we know what it is like to be treated differently. Albeit not the same kind of systemic racism and oppression as minority men and women in this country, but we have a peek into difference. We've only had the vote for 100 years; women only make 77% of men's salaries; we regularly face verbal, sexual and physical harassment at various points in our lives. That tiny glimpse should help us understand, and stand in solidarity with, minority men and women. We should be all over the fight for equal treatment. We should be outraged when someone's minority status causes them harm or death for simply existing. We should be screaming for justice.

White women, we should be ashamed. We have failed all the people who have life infinitely worse than us. We've taken advantage of our privilege, stayed silent when it conveniences us, and abused others as surely as if we had knotted the noose ourselves.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Truck Stop TP

Approximately seven million years ago, my colleagues and I were in our office. Yes, that was back in old days, where we went to places called "offices" and we didn't feel eminent death hanging over over if we got closer than 6 feet to someone. It was getting close to the end of the day (remember when "days" had "ends" to them?), and my friend Jen was heading out. "I have to try to go find toilet paper," she said. "We are actually almost out." This was at the beginning of the panic, when toilet paper disappeared from shelves like it never existed, as did hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes. It may still be that way but I have no idea. I haven't been in a grocery store since this story took place. Our other friend Sarah noted that she had gotten some the day before. Since Sarah and I live in different parts of town from Jen, we both said we would look around us if Jen couldn't find any.

I went on to make an evening run at the Incline, in oblivion that this would be one of my last opportunities to make that climb. When I got done, I had a text from Jen with a photo of empty shelves. No toilet paper. Since I was still out, I stopped at a grocery store on my way home. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Woman Who Runs With Big Cats

I am generally a before or after work runner. Even during quarantine, when I've been working from home for 10 weeks, I have generally run at the beginning or the end of my day. 

Today was an exception.

It had been really hot all week, and this morning was cool, but I had calls starting at 6am. I didn't want to run in stifling heat, and I had an open spot after my 9am call ended, so I laced up and got out the door. I was thinking a quick 6, and back to work, and I wouldn't have to go out later so I could work until our small group call, which wouldn't be a problem since Eric is out storm chasing anyway.

I was a mile down the road when Eric called. 

"Where are you?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Do What You Gotta Do

70 days. Thursday marks 70 days of working from home. One of these weeks, I thought to myself "I don't think I could work from home full-time," and then had to remind myself that what we are doing now is NOT working from home. Working from home means you do things like set up a fully functioning home office, that you can go out and see people after work, and that you have choice in all that. This is something else entirely.

There are upsides, of course. I see my husband all the time. I haven't had to shave my legs, which is nice. Until today, I gone exclusively to sports bra wearing as far as foundation garments go. That changed today.

I did not like it, no not one bit.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

UnRace Report: 20K to Kick My A

Today I was scheduled to run the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race as a fundraiser for Achilles International, Pikes Peak Chapter. I started volunteering with Achilles as a guide, meaning running or walking with an Achilles athlete who has a physical or cognitive challenge. I really enjoyed going every Monday evening, and am looking forward to returning when its safe to be back together.

The race itself was postponed until October (single track trail is not great for maintaining 6 feet of social distance). However, I got up this morning thinking I would run a self-supported "race" instead, since this had been on my calendar and a part of my training plan. So I was up, geared up and out the door relatively early, thinking I would go from my house to the trails in the mountains above us, taking Mount Esther trail to Ring the Peak, which is a trail system that literally goes all the way around Pikes Peak  - so I'd be sure to have plenty of trail to make the mileage.

I should have perhaps considered that starting at my house is 1,000 feet higher than the start of the race, AND the trail I chose included the first two miles at a significantly more steep and consistent uphill than the race.

Also, it rained all night last night, and was super humid as the sun started to rise and evaporation started happening. Growing up in the Midwest, I should be used to humidity, but eight years of living in this mostly arid state have gotten me soft on humidity.

It was rough.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tornadoes in a Time of Covid

I promise you, this is not the next great plague to descend on the world! That has to be good news at least? Right?

Eric left this morning to chase storms. He might be back Sunday. Or Tuesday. Or whenever.

Friday, May 8, 2020


2.23 miles to represent February 23, 2020, the day Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by two white racists who hunted him down, and then evaded justice for more than two months while cronies in the District Attorney's office covered up their crimes.

May 8, 2020. The day Ahmaud Arbery would have turned 26, and was denied.

We run. Eric and I set out in the middle of a sunny day, with a strong breeze and low temperatures. A great day for a run.

Just like the middle of the day on February 23, 2020 in Satilla Shores, Georgia.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

This Was a Hunt

I saw the story yesterday and wrote about it, in parallel with another news article.  I came across the story as a sidebar CNN story- not a lead, not a headliner. Dead black runner, chased, shot and killed by two white men who had not been charged with his murder.

This morning, someone released video of the shooting.

Monday, May 4, 2020

There's No Way This Happens in Reverse

Two news articles got me going today. Enough that my husband said "stop reading the news." (I'd like to point out that won't work, especially if he is going to keep reading the news. Love you baby.)

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Worst of Humanity

So, I'm kind of feeling like we have not put our best humanity out there in this pandemic. People kind of suck.

But it could be worse.

And I would know.

Part of my job for a number of years was running a professional development conference for anyone working with youth and families. I would bring in speakers from all over the US, mostly experts in the field, but also and occasionally, a celebrity who had written a book or taken up a charge related to youth issues. While popular, these folks were invariably not as good as the lesser-known but more knowledgeable speakers. They also often had more demands, and weren't always pleasant.

Like the one C-list celebrity I took out to dinner and he talked on and on and on about the ONE movie he had been in, that I had never heard of. Or the A-lister who came to a group dinner but was so stand-offish that everyone was uncomfortable. Or the well-known gospel artist I tried to get who wouldn't stay more than 45 minutes, insisted on a limo from the airport and accommodations at a 5-star hotel and nothing less (I didn't book him.)

However, none of these compared to a celebrity run-in I had after I left that work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Letters from Kids

Since the beginning of quarantine, which will be 7 weeks tomorrow (which, in normal time, is 49 days, but in lockdown is the equivalent of approximately 2 ice ages), I have been sending cards and letters to some of the small people in our life. I thought it might be fun for kids to get some mail while they are home more than not.

So I sent out letters with stickers. Then I made Easter cards from construction paper and sent those. Then a couple weeks later, I sent out another round of letters.

And the response has been fun.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bits and Pieces in Quarantine

Two days ago, hummingbirds arrived back in our neck of our woods. I love my tiny little friends, even though I absolutely know they just use me for my sugar water.

They were around this morning, but later in the day, the wind kicked up like this was Dorothy Gale's house, and for all I know those teensy creatures were blown back to Costa Rica. Seriously, it was like Oz out there.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Furry Pigs

Yesterday afternoon, my work was devoted to reading on the highly uplifting and life-giving topics of gender-based violence and intimate partner violence. Since these were going to be a drag on my psyche, I decided I could at least do the article reviews on managing these issues during lock downs in a comfortable location, so I moved myself out from the basement where I've set up a temporary office, and onto the love seat adjacent to our front window. 

I was two articles in when something outside caught my eye. A car had just gone by... but it wasn't that.

It appeared to be a furry pig trotting down the street. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Wild Swings

I tried arguing with an idiot via social media today. That was, as should have been expected, a fruitless endeavor. I'll not repeat the points, as the rest of social media can weigh in on the merits of advocating for drinking bleach.

Instead, let me tell you about other ridiculous things happening at my house.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Day 42

Today marks the end of the 6th week of quarantine, day 42. Forty-Two by, the way, being the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything."

I may be getting a little frayed, and am definitely a little furry around the edges.
Newest round of letters to kids, out today. Because kids
should get mail when they are stuck at home.

I love, love LOVE my husband, and enjoy spending time with him. We've gotten along great, just he and I in this house. We have worked our full day jobs, cleaned everything multiple times, cooked, watched movies, exercised, sent several rounds of cards and letters to small people, gone in the hot tub, did some yard work when it wasn't snowing, watched the entire season of Love is Blind (firmly testing the limits of my ability to tolerate "reality tv"), cried over Daniel Tiger in the Mr. Rodgers movie (d@#n you Hanks), celebrated Easter and my birthday (thank you again to all who attended my online surprise party!), clearly read magazines, finished some books, listened to audio-books, walked the neighborhood, and still have not completed the bathroom (the mortar is now arriving next week. Home Depot refunded the shipping).

But it would be nice to have, like, in-person contact with someone else too. Zoom just isn't quite the same.

I've resorted to talking to animals like some sort of demented Snow White.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Reading Material

Tomorrow will be Quarantine Day 40, meaning we've spent just about as much time in our home as Noah did on the ark. Clearly, the upside here is that the animals stay on the outside and there's no seasickness to contend with.

We haven't done a ton of new or different things during quarantine, which I will surely regret someday. This isn't to shame us or validate the regret - we are still working, exercising, keeping up the house, sending fleets of cards to kids in our lives, and the never-ending task of cleaning the place... but we haven't learned a new language (although I did finally download a refresher course on French in the dull hope that the language I gained and lost 20 years ago will make a comeback in my brain), or picked up new hobbies or discernible skills. The bathroom still isn't done, although Eric has reworked the tile multiple times. We are close, just waiting on orders that are pandemic-backlogged.

What we have done is make a concerted effort to get through the years' worth of magazines in the house.

Seriously. Years.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Stress Management, Parenting and Staying Safe

You all know I work in child protection. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but those of us in this industry are significantly concerned about how children quarantined at home will fare, so much so that we are having webinars, meetings, have published guidance documents and other various detritus of our trade. I mean, we even have a technical note that's been written! A technical note!

Kidding aside, we are really worried kids are going to get hurt by their caregivers, who are under significant stress. Stress stemming from lost jobs, limited movement, changes in routine, uncertainty, fear, health risks, etc., place children at a higher risk for abuse, neglect and even exploitation. Now remember, I work globally, so those of you reading may be going "exploitation, what?" I promise you, you don't want to know the details if you don't have to.


But its important that you understand that kids are at risk.

Possibly your own kids.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Things That Happen Now

I drink a lot of tea now. Working at the office, I would occasionally have a cup of tea in the afternoon. Now, I'm drinking a pot, just about daily. I'm tearing through our supply of non-caffeinated herbal tea since afternoon caffeine is a recipe for not sleeping at night... not that I sleep anyway.

Sleeping is a challenge, and my persistent sleep issues are apparently contagious. Eric got up one morning last week and asked if I wanted to go in with him on a suicide-pact to ensure we actually slept through a night... instead, we combed through the drawers in the bathroom for medicines that might help. Two nights later, Eric took something that knocked him on his butt for most of the next morning. I didn't and Sunday was so sleep deprived I had flu-like symptoms, sans fever (which I know because I checked it incessantly because that's what happens now.) I knocked myself out with something else last night, and I'm fine.

As I have previously mentioned, I have always been a hand washer. However, this has ramped up during this time, and I'm beginning to wonder if my hands will ever recover. There are dry patches in between my fingers. My knuckles are cracked. My right hand is now oddly discolored with a distinct line at the wrist bones, and neither moisturizer, Neosporin, or the promises given to me in Guatemala about the miracle of macadamia oil seem to be helping.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

High School, Past and Present

I've been thinking about high school seniors this week. I have a couple of friends who kids are due to graduate this spring, and they don't know quite what's going to happen.

There is so much in your senior year of high school that matters to you then. It doesn't matter if later in life, you don't care... for a lot of kids, those moments are what matters to you completely right now.

Prom, honors night, graduation... not for every kid, but for a lot, those are really important events. And once they are gone, they aren't coming back. You can't send kids off to college this fall, and then NEXT spring have them back for graduation. They miss out permanently.

We have to be ok with those kids being sad, mad, devastated and angry. We can expect them to behave appropriately while having feelings (e.g. no hitting), but we have to let them have their feelings and not try to moderate them for them, excuse them, or dismiss them with "none of it really matters," or "you aren't going to see any of those people in the future anyway."  

Do you remember being 17 or 18? IT MATTERED.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mysterious Penpal, Possibly Retired

I am better now. I had a nap and a call with my oldest friend (the pictures of us as babies together prove it. Of course, she was tiny and adorable and I looked like I wanted to eat her.)

In non-Covid, non-panic attack news, we had a Christmas card returned to us in the mail this week. Now, I know I got the Christmas cards out late this year, but it was still 2019 when they went in the mail. Where this card was routed to in between here and Texas and back again, I'll never know. We clearly have pattern of strange mail behavior, but I suspect it wasn't the local postal carriers' fault this time.

I didn't realize that the person we sent the card to had moved. This person has moved quite frequently in the 15 or so years we have been sending them Christmas cards, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. However, when this last card came back, I looked on it with sadness and thought "I have no way of knowing how to get <<this person's>> new address."

That's because neither one of us actually knows this person.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fever-Free Ramblings

Quarantine, Day 16.

The last two days haven't been great in my head. My anxiety, which is already like that annoying kid in school that won't leave you alone, is looking more like the playground bully lately. Apparently, skyrocketing Covid numbers are for my nerves like anger is for Bruce Banner. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

We Live in a Bunker Now

I joined the world of international development eight years ago. I joined knowing that I would be travelling to places where I could contract malaria, dengue, zika, and any number of vector borne viruses. I knew I would be going places where the food and water could make me ill. I was aware that we may have to deal with various community- transmitted illnesses that could be exacerbated by extreme poverty. I have active vaccinations for typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, cholera, and probably others I've forgotten about.

What I didn't anticipate was the threat of being sidelined by some American chump who can't wash his hands after using a public toilet. Nor did I plan to potentially be taken down by a US-based hoarder who wants ALL the paper towel, even if she can't actually identify a use for it. I also did not consider the threat that Baby Boomers and Gen Z would band together to take an end run at killing off the population of the entire world by grossly flaunting sound medical advice on transmission prevention.

Friday, February 28, 2020

A "Quick" Renovation

You know what?

I hate renovations.

I know, in just THIS house, we've chronicled repainting, retiling, and/or replacing basically everything in every room, so you would think I like this work.


I like the final product, but the mess, the multiple Home Depot trips, the disruption, the whole "rest" of it... yea, I could do without that. This crap is routinely stressful, and nothing ever goes to plan.

Case in point. Last weekend, there were sales on bathroom vanities online. We've been talking about painting the upstairs bathroom and replacing the vanity, which is too small for the space and left an odd-size gap between the vanity and the toilet. We had already replaced the toilet, and liked the flooring well enough. I wasn't excited about another project, but this was supposed to be a "quick" renovation, just some paint, vanity, mirror and light. One weekend, and done.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

De-Southwesting the Whole Enchilada

Confession: My Christmas tree was up until the middle of January.

It was sill alive and drinking water every day, which is good since it was cut down less than a month ago. I am going to confess: I loved that tree. It was my absolute favorite of all the trees we have had at least since we moved to Colorado. And I think it liked being in our living room. As well it should have- it was in a room that for the first time in a long time, is decidedly, NOT SOUTHWEST.

As I mentioned in our Christmas cards, which didn't get out until after Christmas because that's the kind of year we had, we took the plunge and painted this year. If you've been to our house, you know that our living room is open through the second floor, with a sloping ceiling that follows the roof line. We also have two skylights, with shafts ascending through the ceiling to the roof. Hold tight, this information will be important.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's 2020

My husband sent me a text this afternoon.

Eric: <<link>> Inaugural Boulder Marathon and Half-Marathon

Me: Yea, that keeps popping up on Facebook.

Eric: Ahh, ok. Just making sure you knew.

If that isn't love, I don't know what is. (Also, he came home with "non-Valentine's roses since we don't DO Valentine's"... and heart shaped lobster cakes for dinner. That guy.)