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Ski Bums

(I forgot to post this on Monday. I re-read it and desperately want to edit, but I’m not allowing myself. Pictures added today.)

The kids are on Spring Break this week and I am READY. Tons of plans in the works, starting with taking them skiing today. Peter took off the day from work and we left super early.

We saw some beautiful bison on the way up. Gorgeous creatures.

I’m sitting in the lodge at Loveland watching Team Provost take on the mountain. So so so sweet! Bittersweet, actually. (I’ll explain in a minute) Peter is snowboarding and the kids are skiing for the first time. They’re naturals! I love it and am kicking myself for not getting them on skis sooner. (although judging from Peter’s sporadic texts send from the slopes, it sounds like my little Finn is getting pissed easily. He’s a perfectionist and if he’s not perfect at something the first time, he doesn’t want to do it.)

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I haven’t taken them skiing sooner because we just didn’t make it a priority. Or “I” didn’t make it a priority. (I don’t know how it is in your house but if this mama doesn’t plan shit, nothing gets done.)

I loathe being cold. Loathe it. My hands and feet freeze, as does my nose. I’m not talking the usual “I’m skiing. it’s a little brisk.” No. It’s serious business. I know I’ve mentioned it before that I have Raynaud’s Syndrome, but people have no idea what that means.

My hands, feet and nose get so cold, I can’t feel them. My college gal pals used to call them “dead hands.” They go bluish white and numb. The numbness could go on for hours, even after I go inside. Sometimes it’s just a few fingers. Then they get red and hot and hurt, until they finally calm down to a normal temperature. It fucking sucks. I’m not a wimp. I can’t “buck up.” There are no magical gloves that will keep this from happening. (Believe me, my dad and I tried every single pair at REI when I was younger and would go ski.) When we got here today, while renting boots and skis, I actually had the familiar sinking, panicky feeling I got when I used to ski. I had to tell myself “Oh no, lady. You’re not going. You have hot tea, your laptop, magazines and a Larabar waiting for you in the warmth.”

I tried to buck up so I could go get some pictures of them starting out. But that didn’t last long. I actually had to run inside because after being outside for 20 minutes, it had started and I couldn’t feel my feet, hands or nose.

Keep in mind, it is SPRING here in Colorado. It’s like 45 degrees and BEAUTIFUL. A bit windy, but beautiful. There’s no way I could be up here in the winter.

Before you ask, yes I had on enough clothes. Yes, I was wearing wool socks and boots. Yes, I was wearing the warmest mittens you can buy. Yes, I was wearing a scarf and hat. Yes to all of the questions you might ask me yourself and that I have been asked a million times. Nothing helps but getting out of the cold.

I’m a little pissed today because I wish I didn’t have an ailment where this happens. (I’ve been in stores before where if the air is too cold, it’ll happen.) Not to even mention the beautiful sun which is SHINING. No sun for lupus girl. No cold weather for lupus girl.

While buying tickets for Peter and the kids, the guy behind the counter said “Where’s your gear? What’s wrong with you? Get on the mountain!”

I smiled and said something about needing to catch up on some reading but the truth is I kind of wanted to cry. Yes, another instance where I look like nothing is wrong with me. (I know I know, I should feel grateful that it’s not something worse. And that I have two legs, etc but this is my pity party so just shut it for one second.)

(sidebar: Even though I overshare quite frequently, I pride myself on NOT being that jackass who says “Yeah, I can’t ski because I have lupus and Raynaud's syndrome and blah blah blah. I was at Target the other day and said to the checker “Hey, how are you?” and she said, in a VERY leading manner “Well, I’m FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!”

“Fantastic? You never hear that. That’s great.” I said.

“Well, today is my birthday and I’m very lucky to be alive.” she said looking at me dramatically.

I hate leading statements.

She wants me to ask why she’s lucky to be alive.

I’m not going to.

Because you know what?

I could answer “Guess what, asshole? ME TOO!”

I didn’t say anything. She finished checking me out and tried her gimmick on the next victim customer.)

But today, I’m pissed because I’m not out there with the rest of my team taking on the day.

End of pity party.

On the plus side, my hair looks really good and I’m not wearing uncomfortable ski boots. Those things are brutal.

More pics of the blue eyed devils on the mountain!

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Thursday Loves

Sister and I were having one of daily chats when we started talking about whether we’re introverts or extroverts. I know people see me as an extrovert, and I am, but I’m also quite an introvert. Meg said ‘You’re an extroverted introvert”, you get energy by being alone to fuel your extroverted-ness.”

I like that.

So, now just as I envision a car filling up with gas when I’m eating really well, I now do the same when I’m alone. (I’m all about visualization.)

Peter is in Seattle until tomorrow and while I miss his sweet beardy face and can’t wait to hug and squeeze him, there is something to be said for having time apart. (He works from home and is in a tie with my brother, A, as the loudest talker in all of the land.)

He arrives home tomorrow on the day our sweet rare bird turns 9. NINE. As in, I have a 9 year old daughter. As in, my nine year old is a total tween. WHA? Oh sweet Lady Jane. Where did the years go? I’m hoping she is a late bloomer and continues her love of all things creepy, arty and eccentric. The mean girls swarm but so far HJ has been immune to it. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Here are some things that are making me love life:

  • TWO of my girlfriends are having twins. It’s has been so exciting thinking about it and anticipating the arrival of four new, fantastic humans. And I often find myself in AWE of these women with TWO babies wriggling around in their wombs. GAWD.
  • Almond butter on banana. Perfection.
  • the weather here in CO the last few days. Unbelievable soul and mood fuel. 65 and SUNNY. It makes me miss the 1976 CJ7 Jeep I drove in my teens. That car was perfect for days like these.
  • Boulder Veggie bowl with gluten free teriyaki and brown rice at Tokyo Joe’s. Mmmmm…serious goodness.
  • Coming Clean…Things I never told my parents made me laugh out loud. It reminded of a time when my Dad and I went out to breakfast when I was about 22. We were laughing reminiscing. For some reason I decided to tell him that one day in high school when they thought I was at school, we had really driven to Taos. He wanted to be pissed but he couldn’t. We laughed and laughed. (The really hilarious part of the story is that I called, like a good daughter, and said that I was at A’s house and A’s phone wasn’t working so I would talk to them the next day. (um, good one, dumbass) My dad said “Nah. You can come home tonight. Be here by 7pm.  You did not say “no” to Roger.  It was like Noon or something so I knew I had to hustle. (we ditched school to drive to New Mexico that morning) So, I freak out and A and I drive from Taos home to Denver in totally shitty weather. (Meanwhile, the only money I had was my parent’s Phillips 66 gas card. Serious dumbass) When I get home, ready for all hell to break loose, my parents WEREN’T EVEN HOME. They had gone to a dinner party!  Jerkfaces. My Dad thought THAT was hilarious.
  • Sharpening pencils. There is something oddly meditative about it.
  • My bed, or as I now call it, “the command center.” 


  • love this pic by Nathan Coley
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Artsy Fartsy

I volunteer once a week at the kid’s school in the art room. I want to make sure that in addition to helping in the classroom with academics, the brilliance of art programs don’t get ignored.

The art teacher, Mrs. O, rules, of course. She’s young, creative, interesting, smart and artistic. (duh) I do whatever she needs me to do and I so look forward to it. For one, there aren’t any children there when I volunteer. (Bonus!) They are at lunch. So it’s quiet and deliciously meditative. Mrs. O goes to lunch too, so we chat for a bit, she tells me what she needs done, and then she leaves. I put on my iPod and get to work. It’s deeply satisfying being in a room that is swirling with imaginative energy and fantastical creations. I’ll have to bring my camera next time. It’s badass.

Last month, when I was in the room, Mrs. O told me that she selected Hadley to participate in an art show. Accordingly, we made a huge deal about it at home, as it is a big deal. Rare Bird’s first art show. One of many, I’m sure.

All of the work is being shown at a local mall for a week. We went on Saturday to check it out.

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They are allowed to create whatever they want during art class. Hadley made a dog and a mouse out of old ribbon rolls.

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Here’s Finn dutifully posing. While looking at all of the other art, he said something profound like “This sucks. Can we go to the toy store?”

So we did.

At the toy store, Peter found the game KinderBunnies and immediately grabbed it. Apparently, he has played the adult version, KillerBunnies, and wanted to try the kid version out. I’m down with anything that gets us spending time together and gets the kids thinking.

The game is really fun and the kids LOVED it. I’m sure adding to the fun of the game was the fact that Peter and I agreed to play the game in the fort the kids built. We also agreed to eat take out for dinner in the fort. (note: Peter, aka Old Man River, was not pleased about sitting on the floor. He made it known and had trouble walking when he got up.)

While it was a bit of a pain in the ass, it was SO novel that the kids were freaking out and squealing with delight. I kept leaning over to Peter saying “This is fun. We’re fun parents, right? Say this is fun. They’ll remember this, right? And think we were fun, right? I mean while they are talking to their therapist about something else we screwed up….”


My cleanse ended on Monday and while I was a bit sad, because I like structure, I just realized I can continue to eat this way. So I am! Modified, of course. Vegetarian flirting with Veganism. Trying to avoid gluten and dairy because it makes lupus happier. I am allowing sugar back onto the scene and I welcomed her with HUGE open arms. We did have to have a heart to heart though about her controlling ways.

It’s 65 and sunny here. Just try to ruin my mood.


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