Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Originally uploaded by sunspotting.

This past Sunday marked the third week of the training schedule, and I am *finally* taking time to record our efforts. Petrochemsaurus soundussafetii simply had to be the first image of the season! My goofy plastic bike horn continues to make people smile for yet another year.

That's my goal too.

Here's my new biking slogan: "I'd like my WHINE in a glass, please. Hold the 'H'." Yeah, it's going to be a whine-free year, insofar as I can manage it!

We have been using the Cleveland Metroparks branch of the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation (http://www.clemetparks.com/recreation/hiking/index.asp, select "Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation, and a .pdf file will open) for our early season training rides. The trail is asphalt, helpful for the riders with road bikes or easy on the bones of riders who haven't been on a bike in several months.

Next week we will merge our training with the Ohio City Bike Co-Op rides on Saturdays. Later in the month we will add our own training rides on Sundays, too. This is so the team members unable to join us on Saturdays, CAN on Sundays, and those who are able to, can do two days in a row earlier in the season than we did last year. This will certainly help me.

I am so excited! We all agree, we are all having a stronger start this year than we had last year. The learning curve is better for each of us now than it was at this point last year. So, hopefully, unlike my little dinosaur bike horn, we won't go extinct!!

Hiatus is OVER, 8 months in review kinda

This time, no picture. I will make up for it soon. In a big way, in all likelihood. It's been a long time since I've posted, and for good reason. LOTS has happened.

Shortly after my last post I got a job. Not just any job, my dream job. Well, my most recent dream job: to teach at a school. I am the K thru 8 Art Teacher at a Lutheran school in Brunswick, and I LOVE IT. I can't believe how lucky I am. My children are wonderful, mischievous, full of energy, so enthusiastic, oh my goodness, they just tear through every project I put in front of them. It seems like I can't give them enough of the messy!!! That makes me so happy. And they are pretty good about cleaning up, too. Usually.

I have Two Major Rules: they have to 1.) Follow ALL Instructions, and 2.) Try Their Very Best. I remind them of this every class. This is also how I assess them for their grades. I have to -- there's no exam, there's no level of perfection (2+2=Van Gogh... yeah, that doesn't work), in fact, in almost every case, there's no single correct answer. This method also removes the pressure from the occassional perfectionist child who has to have everything exactly SO. They get to break out of the mold (although I'll admit I've had a few that have a very difficult time doing that) and just experiment. I do find myself repeating the phrase loudly, "Less talking, more painting/drawing/clayworking/(whatever we're doing that day)", because when children DO let loose to do this sort of work, so do their lower jaws. Funny how that happens! But they usually get their work done.

So I've been getting home, completely exhausted. Needing a few days to recover. And regroup. And plan for the next assault. NO, I mean foray into the classroom. :-) Seriously, I am so very happy. I can't believe how lucky I am.

Still with the migraines. Whatever. They will be what they've always been. Daddy remembers a Sunday before we got Matt when I cried and cried and cried, for no apparent reason. So Dr. Friedman's theory that my migraines began in infancy are panning out.

There's a lump in my breast that seems more of a nuisance than something to be actually concerned about. But the Breast Specialist (hold on) ...

***Breast Specialist -- how would you like THAT as a job description? What would it be like to have that on a business card? Can you imagine being at a cocktail party, explaining you're a surgeon and being asked, "Oh really? What's your specialty?" You'd answer, "Why, I'm a Breast Specialist," pause as all listen to the ice *clink* *clink* *clink* in glasses as everyone flounders for another topic, or at least somethingANYTHING to say in response to "Breast". Because, let's face it: really! What DO you say to that? "Oh! How nice!" "Chicken or Turkey? Or Duck?" "Did you say 'BEST'?" I mean, they're all smart-alecky, and they every one of them undermines what my surgeon does, which is save lives. Back to my Breast Specialist.***

...my Breast Specialist is confident -- "Better than 99%", he said -- that it's just benign. He could be more confident if he had 2 other bits of data. One would be if we did surgery. It's not the time for that. The other would be if I had any family medical history that could guide him in either direction.

Sigh. I am adopted. I have no medical history.

I am working on righting that wrong.

The wrong is not the fact that I am adopted. I am grateful that I am adopted. I love that the egg-woman was generous enough to give me up. I feel tremendous affection for her because of that fact alone. I love my family. My family loves me. I would not have had the life I've had if my parents hadn't come into my life. I have been very VERY blessed. The wrong is that I have no blasted clue what time bombs are ticking in my DNA.

So I contacted Lutheran Social Services of Montana to find out who my bio-folk are. They found my folder right away. The good news is that I have a folder! I have a folder, and they found it!!!!! Not only on the first day of searching, but within 45 minutes of beginning the search. Apparently that doesn't often happen. It's thin, which is not helpful if information is what one was hoping for. And I was. I got a little, just not the medical info I wanted.

It's still going to take some time, probably several years. I'm on a waiting list. But I found out my ethnic background (Swedish (! I get to sing the Swedish Chef song whenever I cook now, that's a plus, and lightheartedly threaten my students with "going Viking on them" -- "what's in your homework folder" a la Capitol One pillagers), Scottish, Irish, English, German) and that the sperm-guy was a pastor. Which explains why he was unnamed in my folder. They were able to provide me with what's called "unidentifying information". If they gave me information which potentially could ID the people named in the file, that's stepping over legal boundaries, otherwise known as breaking the law. In the meantime, I wait in limbo for life-changing basic medical inforgoshdarnmation.

Still: to have some of the pieces about my mysterious background. It's like doing an archaeological dig on my soul. I'm inexpressibly grateful for the tiny tidbits of what I've got, but I'm so hungry for more! I hope I get to meet the mystery people. I hope they want to meet me. I'm absolutely sure I am going to be an embarassment to the sperm-guy. I hope he will be bold enough to choose to meet me. I think I will not disappoint him. Well, um. In both directions, I'd imagine... I am a typical PK... My dad laughed about that when I told him about this on Saturday. He agreed. :-) (PK= pastor's or principal's kid; my dad is a retired principal.)

Oh yeah, final big bit o news, for now, at least. Wedding stuff. We are one of the millions of couples getting married on July 7. Yes, 07.07.07. Rick suggested it because of the ultimatum. I like it cuz it's prime. Didn't really want to have to wait (furthermore, we couldn't) until 11.11.11, which would have been a WAY cooler date: prime AND binary. We had to do it this year or I won't get my job back. (Lutheran school, we're living in sin, most people outside of the culture don't get it, I assure them it's legal because it's private sector. Yes I'll put up with it because I love my job and respect their position. Rick hates it. Rick's family resents it, don't understand when I'm usually so outspoken on so many other things that I'll actually cave on this point. They're waiting for me to blow. Especially when this is the second time Rick has been FORCED to get married, and I promised him I'd not do to him what Tracy did. But I really do understand -- and so does Rick -- the position the school has on this point.)

We are determined to have a day we will be happy with, regardless. Especially regardless of the fact that we really can't afford to pay for any of this. We are getting married in one of the reservations of the Cleveland Metroparks. Reception's at the home of our dear friends Mike and Patti, who are also my Guy of Honor and Rick's Best Girl. Most details will be very quirky. Very odd. I refuse to be married in white/ivory/cream, though that's probably not all that strange. Green or blue is my choice. It's aesthetic -- I look better in those colors, and it's my day to look nice, right? Why wear a color that look like death warmed over on me? My engagement ring is an aquamarine. Flowers? Either recycled tin from a website I like a lot (it's a whole bouquet, very pretty, multiple colors) or a metal bird's nest with 2 alabaster eggs, I haven't decided. There will be games! Desserts! Maybe jarts, although probably not, given the number of small children who'd be running about. Jarts and alcohol are a good combo, but usually when the children are tucked safely at grandparents' homes for the evenings... We may have to stick with the usual combination of fabulously uber-geeky computer games. And lots of bubbles.

That's probably enough for now. It's been a full school year. I will be more vigilant about keeping up with this. Especially with stories from the end of the school year.