Friday, August 7, 2009

Comfort in my own skin.

I'll often tell people that a big turning point in life was the 8 1/2 days that I spent in the hospital during the Bailey episode. Six months after that, I turned 30. People asked how I was with turning the "Big 3-0" and I said wonderful. I was very nearly not here, so turning 30 seemed pretty good to me.

Lately, though, I've found even more comfort in my own skin. Soon, I'll be 36.

I don't have "squares in my stomach" anymore, as one guy I dated used to refer to them. I have the mid-thirties pooch. Not huge, but certainly not flat anymore. That's okay. Low rise jeans accommodate for that.

My hair is peppered in gray. That's okay. It keeps me on my toes when it is really humid. My hair can wire up into crazy curls anyhow. You should see what those wild grays can do!

My skin isn't perfect. Truth be told, it never was. I have dark circles under my eyes that with the help of Cover Girl Aquasmoothers, they aren't nearly as visible. The teenage breakouts? Yup, they still happen. I've found that double rinsing the bed sheets has resolved much of that, though. My pores are bigger, but I get that from my mom. I also have a few wild chin hairs that I swear crop up at an inch in length overnight. I've been known to pull them with jewelry pliers at work. It shows that I can be creative in a pinch regarding facial hair removal.

My thighs rub together. I made a pact with a college friend that I would never ever have thighs that rub together. I believe that he swore that he wouldn't have a beer gut. The thighs? Not the end of the world. Would I rather they be not be a zone of much friction? Sure. I'm walking. I'm working on it. I'm glad that I have legs, though. I'm glad that they function for me and if they are going to rub together, there are certainly worse things that they could do.

I'm a hair under 5' 1". That's okay. I can promise you that I never have pants that are too short.

I wear an A. That's okay, I promise you that I have no back problems whatsoever from "the girls," don't stretch shirts all out in front and am so excited if there is something that I'm wearing that shows a hint of cleavage. That happens rarely. I have to mention that anytime it does, Hubs always notices.

The back behind? It's gotten bigger. However, I have something to sit on and Hubs doesn't seem to mind it in the slightest. He still pinches a cheek and tells me, "Nice butt!" God bless him.

The tendons? They seem to get angry now. But, I have muscles that allow me to lift and tendons that help. My thumb has discontinued locking for now. The bicep tendon seemed to have held up to the heave ho-ing of the patio gravel, and that is a good thing. I know people who have bodies that don't quite cooperate with them as well, so a pain here or a tweak there-- that's okay. Ibuprophen doesn't hurt either.

My joints pop and crack. I can lay in bed, flex my left foot and my left knee will crack. I attribute that to the ACL surgery. My toes continually crack. In the cold weather, my right hip will pop all day long. I can lay on the floor, take a deep breath and the bones in my upper back and neck will crack. That is from a lovely case of whiplash from when my Trans Am was totaled. The popping and cracking make K- giggle. I have the hearing to hear my joints and I have functional joints that allow me to move. I know others with joint issues that aren't quite as easily laughed at or ignored.

Comfortable in my own skin? Yup. I'm good with that. This is the body that the Lord gave me. With all of the wrinkles, grayness, cellulite, popping, cracking, aches, pains and whatnot, it is my temple. It is a gift to me so that I may be a blessing to others. Now if I can only do all that is hoped of me.

Smiles in my day:
- Date day with K-. By her request, we had lunch first. We shared a bowl of Cheddar Broccoli Soup at Panera, that little by little she scooted her way until it was completely hers. We ran through Office Max for 1 cent folders. We went on to the Akron Art Museum for the Wegman exhibit, giggled at all of the "bare brea*sts, Mommy!" and drove home to get the laundry off the line before it rained. (It never did rain.) We took a trial run walk to the school. We wanted to get an idea of how long it would take us to walk. It was 15 minutes one way, and K- was able to play for a while before heading back.
- Taking a zipadeedodah to Super Wal tonight and seeing a hot air balloon. My parents only live 10 minutes away and I remember seeing hot air balloons all the time as I was growing up. At our house, we are in the flight path of a small airport, so no hot air balloons (besides the Goodyear blimp), no kites, no remote control aircraft (which frankly, I'm fine with) and no star pointers (which I had to call the FAA about when Hubs was conducting a park program on constellations at a park on the other side of the airport. BTW, they said no to the high powered laser star pointer.) I took the hot air balloons for granted when I was a kid, since summer was filled with them. Now, if it is a balloon, it is a silver football with fins. It's just not the same.
- Starting to move the patio gravel. Hubs laughed. Apparently, the wheel on the wheel barrow needs air. That may have helped. I did get 1/3 of the yard of gravel moved.
- K- curling up in our bed with us at about 3 AM. She had a nightmare about Swiper taking her bedtime toys. She crawled in, made herself comfy and fell right to sleep. Nevermind that she left me clinging to the edge of the bed with the 3" that she left me. That's okay. I was happy to have her warm little body curled up next to us.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear Lipitor,

It appears that I shouldn't have doubted you. I worried about my liver. I worried about the state of my muscles. I worried that you wouldn't work. I worried for nothing. My total cholesterol before you came into my life? 249. My total cholesterol now that we've been together for 6 months? 140.

Amazing. I couldn't do that no matter how hard I tried. My body requires your medical intervention. Believe me, I tried it on my own for three years. Then at 35, I had a medical flash of sorts, making me realize that I could be one of those young, healthy people that drops over dead of a heart attack. Oh, they did the test on me that gives the likelihood that you'll have some type of cardiac event without intervention. The cardiologist's message 3 years ago? You need to take a statin. Thankfully, my good cholesterol has been so good that it has prevented the bad stuff from sticking. I knew that I couldn't rest on that forever, though.

Thank you for taking care of me. Oh, and I don't know if it was you or not, but even though I was nervous about other reasons I was there, my blood pressure was 110/70. It is usually 120/80 and that is relaxed.

Good for you, Lipitor. Go! Go! Lipitor!

With liver intact,


Smiles in my day:
- The load of patio gravel that my dad left behind. Mom called and said "You've been stoned! Happy Birthday." (My birthday isn't for a few weeks yet.) Still, it was something that we needed and my dad could purchase it from work and deliver it here free. Hooray!
- K- is excited for our "Happy Mommy Day." We'll be going to the Wegman exhibit that we missed last week (because of bad behavior) and to Panera to share a bowl of soup. We'll probably scoot onto Target to get a few school supplies on the list (believe it or not, I don't have washable markers) and maybe hit the dollar section just for just. My sister would tell me that is living off the edge.
- The customers today weren't nearly as annoying as yesterday. I do admit that there was a 70 + year old granny that was sporting Daisy Dukes. Bless her heart for being so self confident! At nearly 36, my thighs will remain covered thankyouverymuch.
- The cherry tomatoes are FINALLY beginning to turn. Sweet Pete. I thought it would never happen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Waste-free Lunch + Snack Ideas

I think that it is very important to minimize the amount of waste that we generate. One way that I can do this is with our daughter's lunch. K- will be starting Kindergarten on August 26. (AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! Can you see my mommy heart attack?!) Our public school system has been provided with a grant that allows them to serve no cost meals to all public school children from K-5th grade. The meals are well balanced, and not the same ole stuff that I ate as free lunches. They have chef salads, carrot sticks, fresh fruit cups, vegetable plates . . . healthier offerings than what we had. Even still, I'm not under the illusion to think that K- will be wanting to eat the school lunch option every single day. The public school lunches are served on sectioned, reusable trays with silverware. Drink containers are disposable, but by and large, the lunches themselves are pretty low on disposable waste.

We have a lunch kit for K-. We purchased an LL Bean lunch kit last year and have taken it on different trips.
In it, we have K-'s Klean Kanteen to be filled with cold water, ice cubes and a frozen lemon wedge, a cloth napkin (we have many for her to choose from), silver ware, a thermos container to keep hot food hot and cold food cool (like grapes and sliced fruit) with the use of reusable ice cubes and a small Rubbermaid reusable snack container. It is big enough for a snack, 1/2 of a sandwich, I'll be able to send some noodle-y soup in her thermos (to keep hot for up to 6 hours), macaroni and cheese or other nice, healthy things.
The "kanteen" covers are to keep K-'s drink container from sweating all over her lunch box. I think that she'll think that they are pretty spiffy. I also have reusable straws for her to use, if she'd like.

I had a coworker say, "Oh, she'll probably accidentally throw that away." My response? There is no need for her to throw anything away. It is all waste-free packaging.

So snackwise, I have a few suggestions. Here goes:

Granola (from New Vegetarian Cuisine)
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts*
1/4 cup plain or honey flavored wheat germ
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 T grated lemon peel
2 T smooth peanut butter*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
2 T honey
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 cup dried currants
1 cup coarsely chopped mixed dried fruit

--I'll admit first off that I tweak this recipe. I'll use different oats. I've skipped wheat germ. I've put raisins or craisins in instead of currants. I've skipped the lemon peel. I've followed the measurements and cooking times, though. With that said, here are the directions for prep and cooking:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a cake pan with non-stick spray. Add the oats, peanuts, wheat germ, sesame seeds and lemon peel to the pan; toss to combine.

Place the peanut butter in a small bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute to melt. Stir in the maple syrup, juice concentrate and honey. Drizzle over the oat mixture. Mix well, then spread evenly in the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, stirring twice during that time to prevent burning. Sprinkle with the pumpkin pie spice and toss to mix well. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden.

Transfer to a large, sealable bowl. Stir in the currants and fruit. Cool completely. Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

Whatever-is-in-the-Cupboard Trail Mix
Pretzel balls/sticks/knots
Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, apples, banana chips)
Goldfish (cheddar, chocolate or graham)
Yogurt raisins
Soy nuts

I'll combine a bunch of different things that we have to make a tasty treat.

* ALLERGY ALERT- subject to change, depending upon the allergies of those in K-'s class. Honestly, any ingredient is subject to change because of that. Janeen at Our Story is our cousin and she has a son with severe food allergies. She has done a good job of teaching us about food allergies and trying to keep others around us safe. I will absolutely NOT send anything in my child's lunch that will be a potential trigger for any child in her class (or school.) If there is a peanut ban, there are other products that I will happily substitute. Another child's health and well-being is far too important to me (J- is anaphylactic) than being insistent that I include a particular trigger food item in my child's lunch. For more information re: food allergies, please visit Janeen at Our Story. Feel free to click on Wego Health on her sidebar, as well. She is always so kind in answering any question that I have.

Smiles in my day:
- My interview with Cleveland Magazine was done this AM via phone. I really hope that I did well by my bosses. It kind of seemed like the interviewer was a little all over the place, giving my answers a somewhat disjointed feel. I tried to make things clear and creative. I am almost 100% positive that I will end up in print within the article. She has asked that photos be sent along, so maybe those will be included, as well. The gallery that I work at is pretty well known across the nation, so it really was an honor to be able to possibly represent the gallery in a bigger area publication.
- The whisper technique has been adopted by my husband, as well. Much whispering was done to K- this evening, which calmed her tired 5 year old soul. In fact, she climbed up on the couch and started talking to me in my ear, rather than screaming at me. Little girl just gets so blasted tired that she just falls apart. She feeds off of me being frustrated and it only escalates. Oh praise Jesus that the whispering is working.
- Laurie made the Klean Kanteen covers for K-! What a wonderful friend she is. She made different covers that are all reversible and match her lunch kit.

A quick plug for Jolanthe-
Though I don't homeschool, I do a lot of supplementary school work with K-. I've found a lot of great items that I could really use.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Internet Panhandling and Authentic Fundraising

I'll begin by saying that this all started innocently enough. This past weekend, it was the Breast Cancer 3-Day. I looked into it, as walking 60 miles in three days is something that I could completely handle, but what were the details? I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw that each person who participates in the 3-Day is required to raise $2300.00. I thought that there was no way that I could do this on my own, but perhaps if I formed a team (April and Kim came to mind), we could split that 3 ways and that was a much more attainable amount for each one of us. As I read the team requirements, it stated that each person was to raise $2300.00, no exceptions. If you weren't able to raise the required amount by walk time, you could either forfeit your walking experience (but all funds raised would remain with the organization-- as it should be), you could front the money on your credit card then or on a temporary hold for a short period of time that would give you more time to raise your monies. Participated in the walk, but didn't finish fundraising by the extended deadline? The remaining amount that you didn't raise would be charged to the credit card that you left to hold your "balance due." Yikes.

Then I started thinking. How on God's green earth could I possibly raise $2300.00 on my own? I've seen Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes post a donation button on the sidebar for the Buddy Walk, but that amount wasn't nearly what this was. She didn't do it as an obnoxious thing. It was small and tactful. I couldn't do that, though. It was far too much money and so many people are so wary due to being just flat out worn out by, "I need money for this and for that." What am I talking about? The internet sensation of panhandling. There is a difference between panhandling and fundraising. I have a few examples of the panhandling that drives me crazy.

The Baby April Rose Scam. The story goes like this, woman pregnant with baby that was confirmed to have two different birth defects that would prevent her from living for long, if not at all. The story is talked about here and here. I remember reading about it. I remember having had all of Bailey's birth story flash in front of me. I remember being in tears and praying for her and her mother. Her blog was apparently set with ads, which would generate funds. The bigger the story got, the more clicks and the more the money added up. (Presumably, as no one confirmed her personal payment with such ads.) And while she didn't ask for things, items were sent on to her. She posted a PO Box on her blog sidebar (if I recall what I read), so she knew that gifts would be coming to her. So. not. cool.

Wish Upon a Hero. This is a panhandling website that I was introduced to through Bzz Agent. It was a Frog in the Frog Pond and I remember that when I gave feedback about it, I wasn't completely sold on it. I remember reading someone stating that they needed a limo and their nails done for their wedding (along with other wedding items) because that is what she wanted and she didn't have the money for it. (Let's face it, not necessary. I didn't have a limo and only had my nails done because I had a gift certificate from my birthday 6 months earlier.) Someone was asking for a mobility scooter because they had one that didn't move fast enough. (I'm not kidding.) I'll pop in from time to time to see what people are asking for. You can be guaranteed many requests for utility bill payment, a car, a wish list for Walmart because they need new underwear, socks or just "something nice for themselves since it is their birthday." I have a birthday coming up. Perhaps I should register and see what I get, right? (Truly not serious.) They are "hungry for pizza tonight" and "I hope that there is a pizza hero!" WHAT?! I'm hungry for pizza any time of the day, but I don't ask y'all to buy me one. This website makes me ill. The sad thing is that I'm certain that in there somewhere are legitimate requests for people. You just can't figure out which ones are true needs and which ones are just folks on a corner jingling change in a cup. Unfortunately, I believe that at least 80% of what is posted on there is schlock that someone is dishing out just to get an easy way.

Save Karen. This is where internet panhandling got most of its beginning press. "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs, so if each person gives me dollar, then I'll be out of debt!" The last I checked, no one was offering dollars to my doorstep to pay my mortgage payment (at this point that would be 65,000 kind souls) or my RAV payment (that would be 10,000 envelopes that my pin-head mail carrier would have to take to presumably the CORRECT box here and not somewhere up the street. And yes, I know that there is Pay Pal, but I'm going for effect. Just go with me here.)

Since when was it everyone else's responsibility to take care of the general public's debt? Okay, I understand that there are governmental programs, funded by tax dollars that nearly all of us pay into and we all most certainly benefit from at least one. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about going to the general public to take care of debts that you accrued on your own, often knowing that they were far and above your means only to figure that someone else will bail you out.


Now, I'm also not saying that there isn't genuine internet fundraising. Again, Michelle fund raises for The Buddy Walk. Her daughter, Kayla, was born with Trisomy 21 and Michelle is quite an advocate for education and awareness in regard to Down Syndrome. Kelli, in need of a kidney transplant, was the recipient of some blog fundraising love years ago through Boo Mama. B-Mama also fund raised for Heather when she was diagnosed with what was first termed as an inoperable brain tumor, later to be removed at the Mayo Clinic. Tammy, Parker's mom, had a fundraising button on her website, as Parker suffers from myriad medical issues and their medical costs are out of sight. I hadn't popped in on Parker for a while, but when I did the other day, I noticed that the button is no longer there.

There are many other truthful pleas regarding internet fundraising. Too bad that so many have been burnt by the fake ones trying to make an easy buck. In fact, when I was researching for this post (believe it or not, there was a lot of research involved), I popped on in to Kelly's blog. I was surprised by the post that she had up that very day was about not posting fundraising on her blog for folks. Kelly was where I linked on over to the April Rose blog. I think that for Kelly, it probably still stings a little. (Authentically just a very caring and prayerful Christian. So many of us were duped by the dishonesty that Beccah barfed out onto her blog.)

Lesson learned. Don't believe everything you read.

What's your take on internet panhandling or fundraising? I'm curious. Speak your mind. I won't give you a lashing with a wet noodle for having a different opinion. All I ask is that you keep it civil, please.

Confession #1:
The talk-to-the-doctor thing yesterday? I was concerned about the tendon thing, but also a small area of swelling-- didn't seem totally lump-like but definitely needed checked out-- is fine. I was worried since it is in the exact area of lymph nodes. I had myself a little freaked out, but had been watching it. So, lesson learned. Just go when you feel it and not let yourself worry about it. (It had been since June that I noticed, but I figured it was a tendon thing.) Seems as though I tweaked my left shoulder. (I think that the left was jealous over the attention that my whiplashed right shoulder got last year.) Dr. Wilson poked, pulled, had me pull and tug and felt around everywhere. And yes, Rachael, we believe that the bike is to blame. It did give me an opportunity to discuss family history of cancer with him, which he took very seriously. I explained that since my grandmother died of colon cancer, I'm on the 40 year plan. He absolutely agreed. Aunt Carol died of a Glioblastoma in the temporal lobe. Grandma Gum has Small Cell Lymphoma. He told me to keep going for yearly exams and to keep up doing what I'm doing. He sat in a chair and talked with me. He's a very young guy and when I first started seeing him (started with the RAV accident), I wasn't sure how to take him. He is a genuinely nice guy, laid back and didn't get his degree from a Cracker Jack box. (When he came in today, we both had jeans on that definitely looked like they came from the same store.) We really love all the doctors in the practice and it makes me so thankful that we go there. We've had such crack-pot doctors that could care less, that to have a practice full of doctors that really support each other is quite shocking. I thank my biopolar brother for the referral.

Confession #2:
After having had my cholesterol taken today, I've decided to be cholesterol-watch free today. I left and got myself Cinna-melts at McD's and this evening my dinner was a Rodeo Burger, Onion Rings (with zesty sauce) and a piece of Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake. Back to being a good girl tomorrow. Everyone has to have a cheat day.

Thunks to a customer forehead:

To the lady who left the dog in the hot car for two hours as you leisurely shopped,

I understand that the dog was not yours, but was your friends. I also understand that you had each window cracked about 2". I applaud you for that. However, when I stood next to the window, heat was pouring out of the windows. It was about 82 degrees out. That's not terribly hot, but the inside of the car heats up higher than that. There was no food or water for the dog, who was continually panting the entire time you were in the store. I threatened to go fill a water bottle to dribble it for the dog to drink. I also threatened to fill the backseat with dog biscuits. Your pet irresponsibility is so not cool. If the dog locks you in the car and goes into Petsmart by himself for 2 hours, I won't blame him. I just ask that he gives you the same courtesy that you gave him. Just crack all the windows, please. No drink. No food. No shade. No toys. Nothing to do. Just some dirty windows to look out of. Sounds fair enough, yes? Maybe a nice stranger will come and scratch you on the nose like I did for him.

Also, I understand that you were peddling your "wire wrapped jewelry," but displaying it in a jewelry tray on your dashboard as you shop is probably not the best way of getting the word out there. I do thank you for not coming in and plunking it down on the counter.

I know that you mentioned something about coming back today. Please leave the dog at home.

Thank you.

Smiles in my day:
- My dad will be delivering the patio stone tomorrow. Oh thank goodness!
- My dad will be delivering driveway/shed pad stone at the end of the month. Double goodness!
- My doctor's visit proved many things to me. Wow, do I feel better.
- Laurie made a water bottle cover for K-'s Klean Kanteen. I just didn't want it to sweat in her lunchbox!
- I confirmed K-'s alternate babysitting arrangements for next week when the MIL is in Wisconsin. Whew-whoo!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A little post removal and plowing over the garden plot . . .

The horse that needs a haircut. K- needs one too, but not quite this bad!

The weekend was packed, as usual. Thursday and Friday were the "going through Grandma's belongings" days. We had to skip the Wegman exhibit on Friday, due to K-'s poor behavior the night before. Don't worry, we've rescheduled that for this Thursday. Saturday, though, took us to Amish Country.

I have to admit that Amish Country on a Saturday is not my favorite. I like Amish Country during the week when everyone else has to work and we only have to share the joint with the bus tours that don't typically go where we do anyhow. I had a plan, though. MIL got here at 9 AM sharp, so we headed out. Thanks to my heavier foot, we got to where we needed to be at about 10:10 AM. We did the bulk food store first, because we found that if you wait to do it later on, on Saturday, you miss out on lots. We spent over an hour there where I once again shocked my MIL by spending $67.00 (it was my grocery shopping for the week), then we went on to the restaurant for lunch. Again, we've found that hitting them before 11:30 AM promises that we won't have to stand in the line that can wrap around the building. After eating, we shot out to our vegetable stand. It's off the beaten path, so it wasn't overly crowded. I did, however, miss getting the very last box of cherry tomatoes for K-. So sad. I did get a lot for my money, though. For 1 pound of green beans, 2 patty pan squash (for mom), 4 giant candy sweet onions, 1 crookneck squash and 2 green peppers, it was only $5.00. Can we yell a big ole YUM?! We flew by the bakery and the pack of cookies that I bought with the 50% off coupon from the Entertainment book (thanks, Laurie) are all gone. After that, we went back-tracking to the places we flew past on the way to the vegetable stand. This took us past the shed place. That is a story all by itself.
My vegetable basket. I was so excited about my onions that K- took a picture of me holding one.

Making an extremely long story short, we have been gifted a storage shed. The local places were checked out, then as a shot in the dark, we decided to cruise by an Amish shed place. Turns out that shed is better built, of better materials, includes the floor, roofing shingles, paint of your choosing, door hardware, delivery and on-site installation for less than the one at Lowe's would have been. The shed is completely built ahead of time, then hauled in pre-assembled. Even the painting is done before it gets here. There's a trick, though. We need a 10' clearance to get the shed into the backyard. Our gate opens 8'. Hubs needs to remove one of the posts that was firmly cemented into the ground 6 years ago and take out several sections of fence to get it in. He does need to make a level pad of limestone for the shed to sit on, which isn't a problem. The funny thing is that to get the shed where it needs to go, we need to completely pull my garden out, fence and all. That isn't going to be that big of a deal. Sadly, the weather has been so chilly this summer that the beans (which were planted late May) are just now flowering. I did want to plant peas, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Oh, in the spring or late next summer. We do need to completely move the garden plot up one full plot, so maybe that'll give me more sunshine anyhow!

So, we're thankful. I'm going today to the doctor to have the cholesterol checked and to discuss the pesky tendon issue that I'm having in my left underarm. Either hauling K-'s bike up and down the basement steps is causing a bit of a tweaky tendon, or the Lipitor is goofing with muscles and tendons. Let's hope it is just the bike that will soon be stowed away in the shed. That's my thought, but I'd still like to have him take a look at the inflammation just to confirm. If it is the Lipitor, we'll just switch to something else and all will be well.

Smiles in my day:
- Going to see Grandma at the rehab place and finding her making her way to the dining hall. She was in a wheel chair, sca-doodling herself down the hall. I told her that I wasn't being unfeeling or mean, but she was there for rehab and I was going to make her get herself there. I walked along and talked to her, though.
- We finished reading the Horton Hears a Who Pop-Up (a side note for libraries, pop-up books are not good loaners) tonight. K- was asleep by 9 PM. No fits. No crying. No hard time. No rolling across the floor. It also helps that the more distressed she gets, the lower my voice goes. This week, I've been practicing the "more you make me mad, the lower my whisper will be" and it is working.
- The fresh caramel candy that I had. Coblentz Chocolate Factory is just divine. I do admit that we skipped chocolate covered coffee beans this time. We've decided to reserve those for the anniversary trip. Too many give a very giant belly ache and are generally a bit digestively unsettling.
- Leland stopped crying when my sister handed him off to me. It's good to know that I didn't lose my touch. (Though K- was not a particularly fussy baby. Now the eye teeth were a completely different year and a half cutting story, but a very good baby otherwise.)
- Hubs had a good day for the butterfly count. We've been having rather torrential rains, and it had rained overnight. When he left this morning, he was quite concerned that this wouldn't be a good count day. It all worked out, though.

Have a great day!