Tag Archives: family

Rinse and spit

Rinse and spit

I’ve spent the past 6 weeks in dental hell.  And it’s not ending anytime soon.

Labor Day weekend we were getting ready to go to the beach when I noticed Xander’s right cheek was all swollen.  “Do you have a toothache?”  After a moment, he said sheepishly, “Kinda.”  I sighed.  “Okay, we can’t do anything about it right now.  I’ll call and make you a dentist appointment on Tuesday.”  A little while later, I said, “Here, let me see it.”  He pulls open his cheek, and I look in to see half his molar is gone.  “Why didn’t you SAY anything?”  He shrugs.  Kids!  What is worse is a few days later, after I scheduled the appointment but before the appointment itself, I asked the question I should have asked in the first place.  “When did this happen?”  “I don’t know.  Around graduation?”  Kid, that was THREE MONTHS AGO.  I don’t know if he just didn’t realize that pain wasn’t normal or if he was scared to tell me.  Either way, he and all the kids got the lecture that if they’re hurting, they tell me and I worry about things like how we’re going to pay for it.

That lesson didn’t sink in so good, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

So we went to Xander’s appointment, which to my shame was many years past due.  The first appointment was just a cleaning and x-rays, but he was pretty nervous as he couldn’t remember having been to the dentist before.  Everything went well, but there was no saving the molar, so that would have to come out, and he had 5 cavities that needed filling.  So I scheduled weekly appointments and got the name of an oral surgeon, which I also scheduled.  Every week for the past month I have been at the dentist with that kid.  He did great.  Didn’t have any problems at the oral surgeon, which surprised me, especially since I couldn’t stay in the room with him.  But then that kid always surprises me.  All his cavities have been filled, and his wisdom teeth come out on Monday.  After that he’ll heal for a month before we go back to the dentist to get a spacer in where his broken tooth was.  Unfortunately we have to wait a couple of years before getting an implant or bridge until his jaw finishes growing.

In the meantime, though, I’ve become very aware of my kids’ teeth.  I’ve been nagging them all about improving their dental hygiene (my parents were pretty lax about it when I was a kid, and that’s carried over into my parenting), and we got the water pik the dentist insisted on, and both Crow and Xander have taken to that pretty well.  So when I glanced at Crow the other day and noticed a black spot on her front tooth, I went uh-oh.  Sure enough, they have a big cavity right on the side of their incisor.  So, back to the dentist we went.

Their cleaning and x-rays were today.  The dentist said she could tell Crow was starting to use the water pik, so yay for that investment.  But they still have 8-9 full blown cavities, and half a dozen more “baby” ones.  Those we’re treating with prescription toothpaste, but the others need a whole lot of appointments, especially that front one.  It is millimeters away from needing a root canal, which none of us want.  So I have all THOSE appointments made, and will be at the dentist most of October and November as well.

I am so grateful I have what passes for decent dental insurance in this country and a health savings account to pay for all of this.  I know it’s largely my own damn fault, but when you live on the financial edge, going to the dentist is terrifying.  Crow needs braces, and has for a while, which I’ve known and just had no way of even considering before now.  But the fear of being told it had to be done and figuring out how I was going to pay for it kept me from getting even the basic care done for them.  That kind of financial insecurity is so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, and the shame spiral that goes with it is impossible to escape.

Morgan goes to the dentist on Monday, the same day Xander gets his wisdom teeth out.  Fortunately Morgan’s teeth are rocks like mine are, so I’m not too worried for him.


How Thin the Veil

How Thin the Veil

I’m spending a quiet Samhain this year.  For our family, death is too close.

This past weekend, the kids went with their dad down to Delaware to visit their great aunt, who went into hospice care last week with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  It was a mixed occasion, acknowledging the passing of a truly kind and loving person but also getting to celebrate the family that she leaves behind.  I didn’t go, just because they didn’t need to be dealing with weird vibes of a former family member while dealing with their own grief.  Instead I stayed home and knit, waiting for the kids to get home in case they needed their mom.  They were fine, of course, but still I worried.  I didn’t have to deal with my first family death in any kind of personal way until I was in grad school.  My grandmother passed when I was in high school, but she was a thousand miles away and I didn’t get to go to the funeral, so it wasn’t until my grandfather died that I had to truly face it.

I know there are more funerals coming, though.  For a family the size of my extended family, we have had relatively few passages.  But health and age are creeping up on all of us.  I try to be calm in the face of our mortality, but some days it’s harder than others.

Sal passed into the Summerland yesterday morning, surrounded by her family and knowing she was loved.  That’s about the kindest death can be.


Parenting Success

Parenting Success

The other day I was talking with Morgan about his life goals, and half jokingly I said he should move to Germany to live with his boyfriend.  He looked very serious as he said, “I want to live on my own for a year first, just to know I can do it.  That’s what you always said.”

He repeated it to our family counselor tonight.

I just about burst.  This was something my mother always told us (well, at least me.  I can’t attest for my siblings.), that you needed to know how to take care of yourself so you never felt trapped.  My ex moved right from his dad’s home into mine, and it wasn’t until after we separated that he ever lived on his own.  He said to me a couple months after he moved out, “I wish I’d lived on my own sooner.  There’s so much I don’t know.”

So yeah.  At least one piece of advice will be carried on by the next generation.

I’m pretty chuffed.



My strongest sense is smell.  I have so many memories that get triggered by scents, real and imagined.  But every once in a while a piece of music can do that for me, too.  At church on Sunday, the offertory took me back to the summer of 1976, a pretty unexpected mental trip!

I was 9 years old, living in a small little town in the middle of Michigan.  My baby sister had just been born, it was summer, I had a bike, so I pretty much had all the freedom I could ask for.  This was back in the day when kids’ time wasn’t scheduled to the last minute.  My brother and I would ride for miles in all direction.  We’d go to the river a couple of miles north of us to go wading, or out to the Hush Puppy factory to steal bits of leather, or up to the cemetery to race down the giNORmous hill (Ben wiped out more than I did, but I took my falls.)

The biggest thing Reed City had going for it was the fact that it was the crossroads of two railroads, one running north/south and the other going east/west.  It’s how the town got its start.  There were tracks and sidings all over the place.  We learned that if you put a coin on the track, when you went back the next day it would be squished flat.  Much more exciting to do it that way than in one of those crank machines at tourist traps.

But that summer, the tracks brought the Art Train.

I think my dad took me the first time.  It was parked on the siding over behind the Yoplait factory, three beautiful train cars just sitting there.  My family has a long history with trains (my mother’s father was a railway postman), so getting to go on one for any reason was exciting.

But this one was filled with art.  Real art.  Museum quality art.

I wasn’t a complete hick.  We’d been to museums before, but mostly history museums.  I don’t know that I’d ever been to an art museum at that point.  Which of course was the point of the Artrain project, to bring art to smaller communities that didn’t have their own museums.

I was entranced.

The tour started with a movie about all sorts of art, with a backing track of classical music I hadn’t heard before.  Every time I hear Satie, I’m instantly 9 and wide eyed again.

I can’t even tell you now what the pieces were they displayed.  I think there was a Mondrian, and Tiffany glass, and Calder.  I couldn’t tell you what was actually present and what was in that movie.  I can tell you that I rode my bike back there every day for the whole two weeks the train was there, just staring at everything and feeling the world open up for me.

Reed City has of course changed since then.  The Yoplait factory is still there, but in a different location.  The east/west train line is now a rail trail (if we knew it came out near our favorite ice cream parlor, I think Ben and I might have walked along it a lot further than we ever did!).

But to my surprise, the Artrain program still exists.

It was envisioned as a short term project that has now been going on for over 40 years.  I’m so glad.  I hope some other small town kid has the same kind of epiphany I did all those years ago.

I may need to take the kids to the art museum this weekend…

Boot-y Call

Boot-y Call

Had Hero’s follow-up appointment today with the orthopedist.  It was actually pretty anti-climactic.  It still hurts a bit, but it’s better, so she can start easing out of the boot.  She’ll only wear it at school for the rest of the week, and she can start swimming now and easing back into cycling.  She needs to hold off on running until it stops hurting, so we figured we’ll give it until November and then she’ll do the C25K program again.  That goes slowly enough that it won’t re-injure her.  She doesn’t need to go back to the doctor unless things get worse or it doesn’t stop hurting.  But he seemed confident she would be fine.

I just know she can’t wait to get back on her bike!



As of 9:30 tonight, I have another kid.  A teenager, even.  Lord help me.

They are a friend of Hero’s who is fostering with another friend’s family.  But due to the vagaries of the foster care system, they aren’t allowed to go with the foster family on their vacation to Canada.  Rather than stick them with strangers for only a week, we agreed to take them in.  It will be like one long sleepover.  I hope.  Except now I have another teenager to roust from bed in the morning, and this one goes to a different school, so I have to take mine and trust that this one gets themselves to the bus on time.  Worked this morning, at least.

And no, neither I nor they are gender confused.  They prefer they/them pronouns, so I do my best to honor that.  Doesn’t mean I don’t get ticked off when they chirp me for getting it wrong, though.  And what’s the singular construction of “themselves”?  Themself?  The autocorrect keeps changing it for me.

I sense another blog post.

Thrilling Hero-ics

Thrilling Hero-ics

I should probably follow up yesterday’s post with a What I Did On My Summer Vacation flashback.

In July, Hero got hit by a car.


As anyone who knows her can tell you, that child is an incredibly independent soul.  Where most of her friends sit around waiting for their parents to drive them hither or yon, if she wants to see someone, she gets on her bike and goes.  Fortunately most of her friends live within two miles of the house, and she rides mostly on the sidewalks (because heaven forfend that bicycles get any respect as a mode of transport.  But that’s a rant for another day.) So on this particularly lovely Thursday in July, she was out visiting, and I was waiting for her to get home, as it was her night to make dinner.  She had wanted to try deep frying, and we had found a deep fryer at the thrift store that we were looking forward to testing out.  But it was getting late, and she wasn’t home, so I was getting cranky.  She has a bad habit of being late getting home, despite my reminders of both the carrot and stick variety.  So when her name came up on my phone, I was ready to lay into her.  What she said stopped me cold.  “Mom, I’m really sorry to bother you and I know I’m late, but I just got hit by a car.  Could you come?”

I scared the boys, who were both in the living room at the time, as I raced out the door.  I remembered my keys, wallet and phone, thankfully, as I’d be needing them all over the next couple of hours.  She wasn’t far, just at the train station a few blocks from the house, but I took the car anyway just in case.  They were right at the entrance to the station, and as I whipped into the nearest spot, I could see she was sitting up on the curb and that there didn’t seem to be any blood.  She was shaken, though.  A couple of young men helped bring her bike over as an older woman came to talk to me.  I don’t even remember what she said, other than that she’d been so scared she wet her pants.  Which I could see the truth of.  One of the young men offered her a pair of sweat pants.

Tangentially, I love these guys.  I don’t know who they are, but if I ever find them again, I’m making them cookies.  You see, there are two Pokestops for Pokemon Go right near the station, and one of them is kind of a hangout for the local players.  People put lures on both of them and can sit around in the park talking to each other and catching Pokemon.  Hero and I had both done it ourselves the week before.  These guys, though, had been out playing, saw what happened, and immediately came over to help.  Don’t ever bitch to me about Pokemon Go being a distraction and a waste of time.  It gets people out into the world, and more people in the world is a good thing.

The police showed up shortly thereafter, got our information and called an ambulance for us.  She hadn’t hit her head, but she insists that the car rolled over her leg.  She certainly had the scrapes to indicate it, although I’m not sure how her leg wasn’t broken if it had.  What we were able to figure out from the conversation is the driver didn’t see Hero riding on the sidewalk and went to turn right into traffic.  By the time Hero realized the car wasn’t stopping, it was too late for her to stop.  Fortunately they were both going slowly, or this story could have been a lot worse.

We left the officer to deal with the driver and got in the ambulance for Hero’s first ambulance ride and X-ray.  She did a great job holding it together until we were waiting in the hall for the x-ray tech.  She felt so bad to be crying, but I talked to her about shock and that she was going to be fine.  And she was.  I hated not being able to hold her hand while she was getting the x-ray, but it didn’t take very long, and she was good.

In the end, it looked like just a sprain on the top of her foot (not her ankle), so they gave her a wrap and an ice pack and sent us home with instructions to see the family doctor in a few days.  She was not happy to be sidelined in the middle of the summer, but she did like having permission to basically live on the couch.  She even slept there every night!  The PA at the doctor’s office confirmed the sprain and just told her to keep off it until it didn’t hurt.

Except it didn’t stop hurting.

She was getting around okay, so when we went camping, she just did her thing.  We aren’t hugely active when we camp, but we did do a couple of light hikes and a lot of swimming and bike riding.  And then school started and it was still hurting, so we went back to the doctor.  This time we got to see our GP, who ordered an MRI.  Joy.  Memories of my claustrophobic MRIs danced in my head, so I warned Hero as much as I could.  Except she didn’t have her head in the thing, and she got good music, so basically I came off as a big whiner.  I’m okay with that.  Once the doctor looked at the results, she recommended we go to an orthopedist, so I got an appointment at CHOP.  He looked at the results as well, and saw definite swelling along the bones of her second toe still.  He said it could just be healing slowly, but the swelling could be hiding a break, so he put her in a boot.  Now she was not a happy camper.  No biking, no swimming, and she had to stay in it unless she was sleeping or bathing.  This was the day before their placement tests in swimming class at school.  But on the plus side, now she has extra time to get to her classes, and she gets a set of elevator keys for the duration.

She has another week of the boot.  We go back to CHOP on Monday, when they’ll either release her or do another set of x-rays to get a better sense of what’s going on.  She has everything crossed for the first, but she says it still hurts, so I’m betting she’ll have some more time in the boot.  Not what an active teenager wants to hear.  After my experience last summer, I can totally sympathize.

The driver’s insurance company has been very good so far.  They gave us replacement money for her bike right away, and then gave a generous “pain and suffering” settlement.  I’ve stuck that in her savings, and with the exception of her new computer, she’s not touching it until college.  And they keep paying her medical bills without complaint, a pleasant surprise considering the unexpected MRI.  Which is all I can ask.

If it had to happen, this was probably the best way it could.  We both feel really lucky, and while she’s not scared to bike, it has made her a bit more cautious.  But I would always choose for it to not have happened.  That is the kind of phone call no parent ever wants to get.

Animal Update

Animal Update

Current index of our menagerie:

3 rabbits
1.5 cats
1 guinea pig
4 black swallowtail butterfly chrysalises

The Rabbits

We lost Taffy over the summer.  We still aren’t sure how or why she died.  It wasn’t overly hot, and the rabbitry is well ventilated.  We suspect it may have been wool block.  Long haired rabbits chew on their own fur, which builds up in their digestive tract and can cause blockages.  But we weren’t seeing any signs of it, such as rabbit poo linked with fur.  She was fine when Hero fed her that night, but the next morning she was dead.  So that was really hard.  I respectfully collected some of her fur and have spun it into a special yarn for Hero.  Now we’re trying to decide what to do next.  We could buy a breeding pair, or we may breed Loki with another purebred French Angora to see if we get any long haired babies.  That will wait until January or so, though.  We don’t want to be dealing with bunny babies during the holidays.

Loki had an unexpected health crisis over the summer.  Three weeks before the 4H fair, she got an open sore on her side.  I took her to the vet (I’m a bad pet mom.  They only go if they are really sick.  This was pretty bad.), and it turned out she had a hot spot that went the whole length of her side.  Think a really bad blister.  The doctor had to cut back a lot of her fur and skin.  Brace yourself.

Then we had to put a poultice on it twice a day for two weeks.  Which she didn’t like much at all.  It healed quickly, though, although not quickly enough for her to be shown at the fair this year.  Hero was upset about that, since this was her last year in the club.

The boys did show, and did well.  Sam beat his dad out for Best of Breed this year.  Tux is so small next to his kids!

Sam made some friends at sleepaway camp

Sam made some friends at sleepaway camp

Now we’re settling into the fall schedule, making sure the rabbitry is snug for the winter.  Sam has decided to channel Houdini, so we’ve had a couple of rabbit chases through the neighborhood.  Brat.

The Guinea Pig

We found someone else at the 4H fair:

This is Wheatley.  One of Hero’s 4H buddies breeds cavies as well as rabbits, and was selling a couple at the fair.  We’ve been trying to convince Xander he wanted a pig for a while now, and he fell in love with this one.  I didn’t want to get him that day, as the next day we were leaving to go camping for a week.  So we arranged with the owner (and her grandmother) to buy him but then pick him up after we got back.  He and Xander are actually pretty well suited.  Wheatley doesn’t like to be handled much, and Xander doesn’t like holding him much because he moves weirdly.  The two are pretty content just to share space.  But he’s been a nice addition to the household.

The Cats

How does one have half a cat, you ask?  Well, Lewis, our grey tabby that we’ve had for about 6 years, has decided he doesn’t want to live with us anymore since the other one moved in.  He’s always been an outdoorish cat, but over the summer he just stopped coming home.  We know he’s still alive, as both Morgan and I have seen him in the neighborhood.  With the seasons turning, we are devising a plan to try to lure him home and get him back inside so we can re-acclimate him to being our cat.  Updates as we get on.

Hudson, meanwhile, has settled in nicely.  He tolerates the rabbits and can’t really be bothered with the guinea pig, although Morgan says he was kind of a dick to Lewis, leading to Lewis’ emigration.

He’s also decided he wants to be an outdoor cat, too.


He doesn’t go far.  Just enough to show me he can do what he likes.  Brat.  All my animals are brats.

The Caterpillars

I went out last month to harvest my carrots in preparation for planting a fall crop, and found them covered in these:


I did some quick research and identified them as Black Swallowtail caterpillars.  A bit more research, and I brought 4 of them into the house to hatch.  Kept stuffing them full of carrot tops, and 5 days later they were all tucked away in their chrysalises.


You can just see two of them hanging from the top of the habitat there.  Not as pretty as monarch chrysalises, but interesting nonetheless.  We used to hatch monarchs every summer when I was a kid, so this was a flashback for me.  But these guys were so late in the season, they’ll stay wrapped up now until spring.  We just have to keep the habitat a little humid so they don’t dry out this winter.  I look forward to seeing them in the spring!

So that’s the zoo.  For now.  I don’t forsee us getting anything more, but in this house, you never know…

The Word Made Manifest

The Word Made Manifest

(I may get struck by lightning for that title…)

Something I tend to forget is the power of sympathetic magic.  How like attracts like, and naming something, whether it be something material or something more ephemeral, helps make it manifest.  But I’m starting to see it in my life right now.

I started going to church in a search for community.  What I wanted out of that was kind of vague.  I think at the heart of it was I wanted a place where, if something were to happen to me, there would be people who would help me beyond my two best friends and a handful of people at work.  A place for my kids to have adults to look up to.  And a place where I could contribute to other people’s well-being.

This started paying off in unexpected ways a few weeks ago.  I took the kids to game night, and for the first time they were exposed to kids significantly younger than them.  Young kids see teenagers are basically superheroes, and my kids had never experienced that before, really from either end.  They were both a little overwhelmed by it, but they rose to the challenge.  Hero did so well with one overly exuberant little girl that the mom spoke to the director of religious ed (basically the Sunday school director) about hiring her on as a regular babysitter.  So Hero now has a job, and one that actually pays!  She can pick and choose which opportunities to work fit her schedule (for example, she’s babysitting during the Wednesday class I’m going to), but she doesn’t have to work every Sunday, for example, or every special event.  I’m hoping after a couple more events, we might be able to get Xander on that list, too.  Once he’s not so overwhelmed by the attention!  He did seem to have a good time playing with the younger kids.

And I scored a hat!


Back in December when I first started, I think it was my second Sunday there, they had a craft fair after service.  So many creative people in that church!  One of the women did hand-decorated felt hats.  I love hats.  I had a real Indiana Jones fedora I wore so much in college until one day I left it under my seat in class and someone swiped it.  She had one that I fell instantly and completely in love with.  It was teal green with a rounded crown and a brim with a lip on it, and she had decorated it with peacock feathers.  It was gorgeous, I loved it, and I was broke.  I put it down sadly and walked away.  I ran into her again at church last week.  She was wearing a dramatic straw hat with purple flowers all over it.  I took a chance and asked her if she still had that hat.  She said she wasn’t sure, but she’d check.  Middle of the week, I got an email that she’d found it!  Hooray!  She brought it to church on Sunday, and it was awesome!  Hero’s jealous of it.  Maybe I’ll get her one next craft fair…

But opening myself up to community is helping in ways I hadn’t expected.

I walk with a former co-worker at lunch most days, and we talk as we walk (obviously).  The other day I got complaining about my basement, and how it’s always flooding and I wish I could  dig out a hole to sink a sump pump, but I can’t break the concrete.  Out of nowhere Friday night she texts me to ask if she could bring her husband over to take a look at it.  Well, he’s a union plumber, so of course I said hell yeah!  They came over last night to have a look at it, and he agreed with my assessment, that the stand pipe there was probably a drain and that the concrete wasn’t so thick that he couldn’t hammer through it easily enough and sink either a bucket or a deep pvc pipe with rock at the bottom.  The benefit of the later is it would allow ground water to seep directly into it instead of having to rise to the surface and then run in.  I already have the pump, so Joe is going to check around his job site to see if he can find something to use for the insert, so yay!  I also mentioned wanting to permanently pipe the outside spigot and that I need to replace the water heater, and he immediately started making suggestions on that, too, so double yay!

I have to think that some of this comes from the service we had last Sunday.  It was an extended joys and sorrows ritual, where instead of being a small part of the service, the majority of the service was encouraging people to name their sorrows, their joys and their hopes.  Since there was more time allotted, I took the opportunity to stand up during the joys part and celebrate the fact that I fixed my own washing machine all by my own self.

Wait.  I don’t think I told you this story!

Three weeks ago, about two weeks after I paid $200 to get my 18 year old washing machine fixed, Morgan woke me up to tell me that the washer was flooding again.  I was barely conscious, he’d dealt with it, and there wasn’t anything more I could do about it at the time, so I went back to sleep.  The next day, I spun the last of the water out of my clothes, threw them in the dryer and promptly went into denial.  I just didn’t have the money to pay for another repair, let alone a new washer.  But eventually people start running out of underwear, so I had to deal with it.  I did some research based on what Morgan had told me happened, and decided that it was probably one of the internal water supply hoses that had given out.  That didn’t seem too hard to fix, if I could figure out how to get the housing off the machine.  But I needed to confirm that was the problem and get the hose off so I could drive around and try to find someone who carried the right part (all the appliance repair supply shops in our area have closed.  No one fixes things any more!)  So I pulled it out as far as I could, climbed over to detach the supply hoses…

And found that the drain hose had come off.

Seriously.  That was it.  Shoved it back on, clamped it back in place, and it was fixed.  No fuss, no cost.  I was stupidly chuffed.

Back to church.  So I stood up in front of the congregation and told this story, ending with something along the lines of, it wasn’t the actual act of fixing that I was so proud of, it was the fact that I was brave enough to look.  That kind of bravery, the “Maybe I can do it myself” feeling, I think gets harder and harder as our world gets more and more complicated.  So yes, I think taking the chance is an act of bravery.  Especially for me, who has no childhood experience of watching a parent fix things, and who hasn’t been educated in any of this stuff as an adult.  I think that bike repair class helped in more ways than I expected!

But more important was the naming of it.  By saying aloud in sacred space, “This I can do and this I am willing to do,” it put it out into the Universe that this is who I am, and has started bringing those things to me.  While I can’t do some of the stuff myself, I think Joe will explain what he’s doing and give me a chance to learn some simple things that I can do.  I’ll learn.  I’ll grow.  I’ll connect.

Hrm.  This post didn’t go where I thought it would.  But I’ll leave you this.  Name your fears aloud.  Name your triumphs aloud.  Speak your hopes, your sadness, your curiosity aloud.

Someone is listening.  Believe me.

Let Me Knit You The Stars

Let Me Knit You The Stars

Hero’s going to Disney World.

We hope.

She’s been having a great time at tech school.  I love hearing her stories, especially when she complains about the other kids not being serious enough about it.  That tells me she IS taking it seriously.  So far she’s done the industrial cooking section (cafeterias), commercial cooking (restaurant kitchen), and is now doing the front of house component.  She won’t do the baking component until her last marking period, but as of right now, she’s most interested in the commercial area.  Which, yay!  I think she’ll have more opportunities as a chef than a baker.  And maybe I can get out of having to cook dinner all the time!

The school is offering a special opportunity for their culinary and hospitality students this year.  They are sponsoring a themed trip to Disney World in Florida to get some direct learning experience in a major hospitality venue.  It sounds like a really amazing program.  I’m kind of jealous, because I’d love to do it myself!

During this trip, the students will:

  • Visit the Epcot Land pavilion to meet with the master gardeners there to discuss food production and resources, and will get to cook with some of the ingredients grown there.
  • Spend a morning at Le Cordon Bleu Academy, an internationally recognized culinary school with a campus at Disney, for four hours of intense culinary education, culminating in a feast of their own creation!
  • Go behind the scenes at The Grand Floridian, one of Disney’s premiere hotels.  Here they will get to learn what goes into running a first class hospitality enterprise, from the front desk to the back of house and into the kitchens.
  • Tour the World Showcase restaurants and talk to the staff about their experiences with food from their native regions.
  • Talk with executives from all over the property, from the head chefs to hotel managers and more, with the chance to ask them questions about working in the industry.
  • Meet other students and chefs from all over the country, with powerful networking opportunities.
  • And of course have opportunities to explore the park and have fun!

I’m especially excited for her about the Le Cordon Bleu opportunity, since the school is closing their doors in the US and will only be available in Europe after next year.

The only problem is that it’s expensive.  $1,600ish.  I’ve already put down $500, and she’s been doing fundraising that the school is offering, but it’s still going to take a big chunk of change on our part.  I was getting a little desperate, so I started a fundraising campaign on one of those websites.  Not GoFundMe, because I heard some horror stories about them not releasing the money quickly.  We went with RallyUp, which has been working well.  But we aren’t even halfway to our goal.

I’m sure most of you reading this have already seen my pitches, but if you haven’t, we could really use your help.  We’re offering baked goods and knitting in exchange for donations.  Seriously, if you are looking for a gift, I am DYING to make someone a Celestarium shawl.


I made this one for my mother, and it’s just gorgeous.  Those holes?  Glass beads laid out in the patterns of the constellations. Total heirloom quality, which is why I don’t feel bad requiring such a large donation for it.  Or for a smaller donation, I can make a scarf.


Again, heirloom quality. Totally worth a donation!

The final payment is due next Friday.  So please, spread the word, share the love, and let me knit something for you!  (Hero’s red and white brownie/blondies are amazing, too.  I’m just saying!)

ETA:  Like a moron, I forgot to include the link to the RallyUp! campaign!  If you are interested in helping out (THANK YOU!), you can find all the deets here.