Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
You may have heard that things grow bigger in Texas. You want proof? My mom took a birding trip to south Texas for Spring Break. Here's a photo of one of her "Birds of the Day."
"Cluck"--not in the Merriam-Webster sense of the word:
intransitive verb 1 : to make a cluck
2 : to make a clicking sound with the tongue
3 : to express interest or concern
2 : to express with interest or concern
but in the chicken language sense of the word: "I need help" and that is what I need from you. I have a gifted student who has offered to help me (re)design and build a new web page for our lanyard project. You may have noticed that the old one isn't so hot in the sense that things are hard to find and it doesn't use space efficiently. It might get a "fail" on other important dimensions as well.
Please take a minute to answer two questions that will help me begin the redesign process. Either leave a comment or email me at
1. Why did you visit Erin's Dream Lanyards? (choose as many as apply)
- To make an order
- To find out how to help
- Followed a link
- Interested in lanyard stories
- To see the workshop schedule
- To download material about lanyards
- Other (describe)
Of course, if you have any other feedback, I'd love to hear it. Believe me, you couldn't offend me by detailing the ways the website needs fixing (confusing, etc.).
As long as I'm clucking (in the chicken language sense of the word), I'd like to remind all the locals and those within driving distance that this would be a great weekend for you to do some spring cleaning. AND if you find anything that needs a new home:
This sale is the major way the the Jane Long PTO funds the Erin Buenger Scholarship, established in her memory.
Holy Flying Mammal! Here's what I found on the ceiling of my office when I got to work this morning:
Monday, March 22, 2010
I wasn't surprised that I broke out with poison ivy towards the end of the week. I had spent some beautiful days in the yard pulling weeds, clearing out the accumulated fallen leaves, and generally looking for excuses to hang out like a contented river otter soaking up the sun. I hadn't seen any poison ivy, but that doesn't mean that it hadn't seen me.
I was, however, surprised that my poison ivy rash looks a lot like the imprint of a curled up Teddy, right in the lappiest part of my lap (easier to explain a dog-shaped patch of poison ivy on the front/inner part of your thighs than some other spots you might have a rash). I have noticed that I can actually function taking one benedryl before bed and one when I get up (not too sleepy, not too itchy, not too grumpy. . . in fact, not really any of the seven dwarfs at all).
The benedryl has had one unwanted side effect. You may remember that the current (and still continuing) book in the mother/daughter book club is The Arabian Nights. I've made it up to the "Tales of Sinbad, the Seaman" (although apparently he is also sometimes Sindbad the Landsman, depending on whether he is home or away). Anyway, I have experienced the same thing reading through each of the seven voyages of Sinbad as I used to experience watching "Leave It to Beaver" or "The Wonder Years." Every episode (every tale), you just want to put your hands over your eyes and say "No, Beav/Kevin/Sindbad! Don't do that! That's big trouble!" Believe me, you don't get very far reading if you cover your eyes, AND if you cover your eyes after you have had a benedryl, just forget progress.
I booted on Sinbad last night to tune into C-SPAN to watch the health insurance reform vote (I know. I know. Where are the Esquire photographers for my "Girl Gone Wild" photo shoot?). Having watched the whip count on various websites for days, I had a good feel for what would happen, but I watched partially as a tribute to Erin. Kim, my friend from New York, wrote me this morning, saying that she was sure Erin was smiling after the vote and had probably made an elaborate table with the pros and the cons of the bill to make sure it all went down the right way.
I figure Erin would have taken it a step further, like she did on election night, and put together her own whip count charts to supplement the published ones. I suspect she would have even done a little whipping of her own (and probably would have squeezed at least one more vote into the yea column). Health care has been a divisive issue for the last many months, but I know my friends in the pediatric cancer world no longer have to worry about reaching their life time maximums or about their parents being locked into untenable jobs because they are virtually uninsurable with that pre-existing condition called neuroblastoma. It doesn't solve the big problem presented by their diagnosis, but this bill promises to ease the stresses in their tough lives a little.
I also thought of Erin and how much she would have approved of President Obama's final pitch to the Democratic caucus on Saturday, when he said:
“Every once in a while a moment comes where you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes that you had about yourself, about this country, where you have a chance to make good on those promises that you made ... And this is the time to make true on that promise. We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.”
Paul Krugman, my favorite heartthrob, Nobel-Prize winning economist puts this passage into context in his column "Fear Strikes Out." He writes "on one side, the closing argument was an appeal to our better angels, urging politicians to do what is right, even if it hurts their careers; on the other side, callous cynicism." In the end, he concludes "a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out."
Today, I muse on the many lessons Erin taught me. One (that I needed to review before last week) was to stay away from poison ivy. Another was to put aside fear and work (and play) on and let our light shine.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
- Baby/toddler clothing in good condition
- Furniture in pretty good shape
- Home Electronics (tv, radio, dvd players, etc.)
- Art Supplies
- Anything for kids
- Computers and Equipment
- Art Supplies
- DVDs & CDs
- Gardening equipment
- Art & Collectibles
- and more!
- Bed mattresses, sheets
- Items too "used" or worn
- Magazines, books
- Anything dirty or dusty
- Anything torn or with stains
- Shoes (unless new and unworn)
- Most clothing not for babies/ toddlers
- Upholstered furniture not in great shape
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This means that I have to attend a series of receptions, cocktail parties, and other events with rich food and charming company, but I am willing to do the hard work of being the President's wife. Walter even voluntarily offered to wear his conference ID on one of the Erin's Dream Lanyards that I brought along, which is pretty awesome, because in addition to the ID card with this name and affiliation, his badge has more colored ribbons (indicating various honors and roles) than a Russian general. Talking about a magnet for extra attention! Maybe someone will take his picture and I can show you.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Willie wanted some entertainment, and our new neighbors seemed happy to provide it. Who are our new neighbors? A pair of peace-loving emus. They browse the local ranch just across the fence behind our dam, scrounging for whatever plants and insects are in season. I don't think they eat dogs, but I'm not sure. While the video I have embedded is not actual footage of our actual neighbors, it does seem to capture their mild-mannered attitude towards the world.
(NOTE: I removed the embedded video because it just caused too many problems. Make sure you click on the link below for maximum laughs.)
EMU VIDEO LINK
Willie noticed their carefree, bon vivant posture and knew in his heart that they would want him to join the filming of their episode of "Dancing with the Emus." So he did.
First, they danced stage left to stage right (as illustrated by Sunday's B.C. comic strip):
Then they danced stage right to stage left:
I never really thought that a bird could run as fast as Willie. But apparently, at least one can. I think the whole episode left both Willie and Mr. Emu wondering. . .
"Do you think dog/emu tastes like chicken?"