Monthly Archives: November 2006

One quick side trip.

When all was said and done, I realized I had nothing to fear.

Planning that one quick side trip didn’t seem too difficult, but once we were in Wisconsin, the nerves made me think I didn’t want to do it after all. Why did I want to meet new people if I was only going to get panicky about the prospect?

The voices on the phone made me feel a little more welcome and upon the greeting at the door, it was as if we had been having conversations face-to-face all these months rather than reading each others’ blogs and e-mailing back and forth a little.

And then we lapsed into the type of conversations I expected – talk about our families, our pasts, our homes. Every once in a while, the subject that binds us came up. It was a relaxing couple of hours, less rushed than the rest of the weekend had been.

Thank you to Sandra, (the mysterious) Ryan, Joseph, and Evan. It was an enlightening experience, allowing me to realize the work that must have been done when Greg was first diagnosed nearly 21 years ago and allowing him to see a pump up close. (And yes, those children are just as beautiful as they look in Sandra’s blog.)

Something fun for Thursday.

In other words, I have nothing to write about this morning. But…must…post…every…day…in…November.

The best covers ever done, according to yours truly (in no particular order):

Killing Me Softly – The Fugees
Hurt – Johnny Cash
Red Red Wine – UB40
Summer Breeze – Type O Negative
Walk This Way – Run DMC
Let’s Get It On – Jack Black
It’s My Life – No Doubt (originally done by Talk Talk, not Bon Jovi)
American Woman – Lenny Kravitz
The Boys Are Back in Town – Everclear

The covers that should have NEVER been done:

Bringin’ on the Heartbreak – Mariah Carey
Sweet Child o’ Mine – Sheryl Crow
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay – Michael Bolton
When a Man Loves a Woman – Michael Bolton (okay, let’s face it, Michael Bolton should have never made music AT ALL)

Wednesday food blogging.

Halfway through NaBloPoMo today!


No food pictures today, but here is a recipe that was a hit at my office Halloween party…at least for people who like a little spice in their lives…

Recipe for Rachel’s Chipotle Cornbread. Adapted from the Joy of Cooking cornbread recipes with some of my own twists.

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 9X9-inch pan. Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

1 1/4 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (adjusted for the high altitude, otherwise use 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together until foamy in another bowl:
2 large eggs

Whisk in with eggs:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp canned chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fold in:
2-3 tbsp warm, melted unsalted butter

Scrape the batter into the pan and tilt to spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Sooner or later, everyone goes to the zoo.

The title of this post comes from a movie set in Chicago. If you guess it, there is no prize, just satisfaction that you guessed correctly.

Anyways…on to my Chicago memories.

Childhood memories:
*Watching the Cubs play at Wrigley Field numerous times.
*Field trips to the Lincoln Park Zoo, Field Museum, and Museum of Science & Industry.
*Taking the El to go see the Marshall Field’s on State Street decorated for Christmas. (The name may have changed to Macy’s this year, but apparently the tradition will live on.)
*Seeing the Nutcracker performed at McCormick Place.
*Enjoying a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall (another field trip).
*Not enjoying trips to Santa’s Village and Six Flags Great America. (Not a fan of roller coasters or spinning rides.)

Recent memories:
*Walking along the lakefront in Evanston.
*Enjoying a cocktail at the Signature Room on the 96th Floor of the John Hancock Building.
*Going to the newly renovated Shedd Aquarium with my parents and four-year-old nephew just days before I moved to Colorado. Chatting it up in the car on the way from Wisconsin to Chicago, the dolphin show, the exhibits, H. left me with good memories of that trip.

Shared memory of childhood and adulthood:
*Eating traditional Chicago deep dish pizza at Gino’s East on Superior. (Not the best deep dish, but it is all about the setting – the writing on the walls, Chicago memorabilia all over, etc etc.)

A wound that can never heal.

Deep in my heart, there lies a place that is still so raw and tender.

The wound re-opens every time I hear of another instance of a life (or lives) taken too soon under the most heinous of circumstances.

I can understand that car accidents happen several times an hour throughout the world. I can understand that car accidents cause approximately 100 deaths a day in the United States. What I cannot understand is why someone who has caused an accident feels the need to flee the scene. Whether it involves a family walking across a busy city intersection or a young man driving home from a weeknight gathering with friends, I just don’t get it.

I don’t know the family involved in the Denver accident tonight…or at least I hope I don’t. It would make it all so much worse if I did.

I knew the young man involved in the February 2, 2004 accident and that is why I still have a place that is so raw and tender. That is why I don’t get it…and that is why that place in my heart aches every time I hear of someone escaping the scene of tragedy.

D-Blog day

A year ago, my life was quite different. Still reeling from my undesirable experience as a nursing assistant at a long-term care facility. Still trying to wrap my mind around my type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism diagnoses made earlier that year. Still dealing with the ramifications of my husband’s hypoglycemic seizure that occurred on November 12, 2004.

Poking around the web, I had found Diabetes Talkfest much more informative and informal than the message boards at the American Diabetes Association‘s website. I also discovered some excellent writing from Kerri and Sandra. Then I found out about D-Blog Day and found a whole community.

I had been blogging in one form or another since the summer of 2003, but had never felt that my words were reaching anyone. On November 9, I joined D-Bloggers around the country on my blog, then called Montana Dreaming. Soon after D-Blog day, I shifted my blogging focus over to my health, my husband’s health, and our daily lives.

This past year has been very good to me. I turned 30 and had a wonderful weekend of celebration. Although I thought my immediate career path was towards health care employment, I ended up finding an interesting and challenging position at a small company where I truly feel appreciated. Flexible hours allow me the time to work out and go to doctor appointments without using up vacation time. I played the role of Diabetes Advocate at the Colorado State House and eventually found my writing voice again by blogging about the health issues that concern my little family. By being featured by BlogHer and ChronicBabe, I feel like my words are reaching people for the first time. This has led to confidence in my fiction writing as well as my blogging. Oh, and there are those 28 miles I walked over the course of two days while participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

No, this year hasn’t been completely easy. Finding myself dragged down into depression was not easy, but I recognized the early signs and now have the official diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder. Light box therapy has been the best thing that has ever happened to my mental health. Finding myself close to ten pounds heavier than my previous 50-pound weight loss was not easy, but I knew how it happened with less exercise and poor food choices. I have begun to exercise on a regular basis again and the pounds are slipping off. (And next year, on the recommendation of a friend, I am giving out Play-doh to the trick-or-treaters on Halloween. No more candy temptation for me!) My husband and I are still dealing with some anxieties surrounding that seizure of two years ago, but we’re trying to get past it slowly but surely.

Some things have not changed. I still continue to hope that other younger adults with type 2 diabetes can be as successful as I have been in fighting it off, whether with a diet/exercise regimen, a oral medication regimen, an insulin regimen – or a combination of all three. I still continue to hope that healthy food choices can be everyone’s choice, whether rich or poor. I still continue to hope for a cure for type 1 diabetes.

And perhaps most of all, I am grateful for all the people I have “met” as a result of the OC. I wish we didn’t have to meet this way, but here we are.

Election day and that meme that has been floating around the OC.

For those of you who are registered voters in the US, remember to go out and vote. But maybe not if you are a Democrat hoping to elect officials looking to repeal the abortion laws in South Dakota…

Dick Cheney is going hunting in South Dakota on Election Day.


Five little-known facts about me (at least around the OC). I have accepted the challenge from all those who didn’t tag anyone specific. :)

1.My long-term memory is incredible. I can remember what food was served at a particular wedding; I can remember exactly the moment I met someone for the first time; I can remember little-known facts about my closest friends and family members. (My short-term memory? NOPE, can’t remember shit, pardon my French. I’m lucky that my boss doesn’t have much short-term memory either…)

2.I played both volleyball and softball in junior high. I couldn’t serve overhand in volleyball and I once got a ball smacked right in my glasses (without breaking, thank you very much), but I still loved it. Softball was my secret passion, the sport I spent hours practicing with my father, trying to hit and catch balls. Okay, well, I’m glad I didn’t decide to try to play golf with him after the softball fiasco. (Softball/baseball and golf have always been his two passions…)

3.On the first day of my sophomore year of high school, I stubbed my left little toe, enough to damage the toenail permanently. On the first day of my sophomore year of college, I stubbed my right little toe, enough to damage the toenail permanently.

4.I cannot stand the writings of William Faulkner. I don’t know if this made me a bad English major in college or a bad literature nut now. Give me Hemingway, Steinbeck, or Fitzgerald any day, but Faulkner…ewww.

5.My favorite movie of all time, regardless of the season, is the original black & white version of Miracle on 34th Street.

10 Disappointing Moments of Childhood.

Ryan Bruner suggested that others follow his lead on this subject and I have chosen to do so.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll nod and agree.

Chronologically speaking:

1.Discovering at the age of three that sitting on the bottom of a garbage can is far from pleasant, even it seemed like a neat hiding place. Screaming for mommy is the best solution to this problem.

2.Receiving seven stitches at the hairline after unsuccessfully performing a daring move at a neighbor’s house. Another unpleasant experience, but what I really cannot understand is why I have seven stitches. I am only six years old – I should only have six stitches! My logic comes from the fact that a kindergarten friend received five stitches on her chin a few months before and she was five years old at the time.

3.As I return home from school on a cold January day in 1984, I find out my daddy has taken my brother Ben to a “special school” in Maine. I know my 15-year-old brother has been in quite a bit of trouble at school, with the law, and with drugs. But why did he need to go to Maine? I don’t even know where that is, but I know it must be far away from the way my mom is talking about it.

4.My mom decides to help me brush my hair as I am getting ready for school one morning in May 1984. “Grandma L died early this morning”, she tells me. Grandma L was my mother’s maternal grandmother and had raised my mother during high school after my grandmother passed away and my grandfather remarried. Grandma L had outlived all my grandparents and was only a few months from her 90th birthday. I will miss her house and all its familiar smells and sights.

5.After giggling endlessly at my aunt’s use of the term “passing gas” while eating dinner at Denny’s, I learn my mom did not find her sister as funny as I did and tells me to never repeat that term.

6.Island. I-S-L-I-N-D. Island. I miss the first word I was given in the school spelling bee in third grade. Sure, I am up against fourth and fifth graders, but my sister had won the same school’s spelling bee when she was younger! (A few years later, at another school, I win back-to-back spelling bees.)

7.Being subjected to those disgusting chicken pot pies at a neighbor’s house between the years of 1983-1986. My mom tells me C’s mom never cooks – they always eat out or eat frozen dinners. I much prefer when they eat out because it seems those pot pies are always the frozen meal of choice. (The thought of eating a pot pie still turns my stomach at age 30.)

8.Just a day after our beloved Chicago Bears trounced the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in January 1986, my fourth grade classmates and I hear the news that the Challenger space shuttle exploded soon after its launch. Christa McAuliffe, first teacher in space and hero of our Weekly Readers, is among those who perish.

9.Being subjected to another summer of day camp in 1986. I am 10 years old and the oldest camper there by two years. My mom isn’t working anymore that summer, so I really don’t understand why I have to go every day. In acts of pre-adolescent rebellion, I fake illness several days throughout the summer. (I later learn that she couldn’t get a refund after she stopped working.)

10.Being told that my parents and I are moving to a smaller town in Wisconsin from the northwest suburbs of Chicago is the worst news ever. I will be starting seventh grade in a new school – away from friends I have known since kindergarten, away from my sister and brother (who are now 22 and 20 respectively). We’ll have to listen to Chicago Cubs games on the radio since we won’t have cable to watch WGN. And I won’t be able to play viola anymore because the new school does not have orchestra and all alternatives are cost-prohibitive.


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