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October 28, 2006

Thank You.

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments and the emails I have received offering condolences.  It means so much to me, and to my family.

We're heading home to RI for a few days to say our final goodbye to Grammie.  It will be quiet here while we're gone.  I don't think the cats will be signing on to post anything.  Please call me directly if they do.  I'll fix any typos they make upon my return.

Ah, laughter through tears.  It's the only way I know how to manage things like this.

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October 27, 2006

Eleanor

Last Easter

My beautiful grandmother died this morning.  She was 79 years old.  Mother to seven children.  Grandmother to 19 grandchildren.  Great-grandmother to five great-grandchildren.  She made us laugh.  She did headstands in the mud.  She made the best sugar-free apple pies. 

She was the very soul of our family. 

Thank you for all of your prayers.  I know she appreciated them.  And I do, too. 

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October 26, 2006

Open windows.

Someone told you that angels slip in the window and hold your hands as you die.  Your last breath escapes with a whisper and they rescue your soul from a frail, broken body.  Slipping through the open window, they bring you from this world to the next, helping you find your way Home.

I went to you and whispered my goodbyes.  I told you I loved you and that you are the kind of woman that makes me proud of my family.  I told you I would be okay and that I would make sure my mother was okay, too.  You couldn’t talk – only with your eyes and the nod of your head – so I asked through my tears if you loved me, too.  You nodded and closed your eyes as a tear fell out and landed against the folds of your nursing home sheets. 

It’s so hard to say goodbye to someone who shaped your whole life.

I love my grandmother so much.  As much as I will miss her, I wish for her peace to come quietly and with haste.  This cancer has taken too much from her.  To suffer like that is unbearable.

I opened the window of her room before I left.

Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for this journey.

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October 25, 2006

Update on Spam.

Spam sucks.There are things going on here that I can't wrap my head around at the moment, so in the meantime, I leave you with the three most interesting bits of spam I've received lately: 

"Unless you become as little Children, you can't see casinos. All you need is faith and trust... and a little bit of casinos."  (This gem was submitted by "Fred".) 

"The fact is, there is a single source of all your problems, casino unhappiness and self-doubt. It's called casino - the hidden part of your mind that stores all painful experiences and then uses them against you."  (Thank you for this poetry, "Online Gambling".)

"If you?ve ever felt there was something holding you back in life, ruining your plans and stopping you from being who you want to be, you were right. We call it internet casinos."

Because I always felt like my plans were being ruined because I wasn't frequenting internet casinos.  Maybe I'll start gambling online and I can start being who I want to be.  

A pox on all spammers.  A pox, I say!

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October 22, 2006

The Finery of the Winery.

White SiloWe heard there was a wine trail in Connecticut but didn't entirely believe it.  So Saturday morning, after breakfast and our daily gym excursion, we loaded up into Chris’ car armed with a bottle of water, a full insulin pump, and no map.

“We shouldn’t bring a map.  It will just make us more lost.”

“Agreed.”

Directionally challenged and agreeing that “north” meant “in front of the car” (vs. “west,” which meant “to the left”), we heading up Route 7 towards the White Silo Winery.

It was like a scene out of Sideways.  Tiny little farm off the side of a country road, far from the chaos of New York City, a woman behind a small wooden counter served fruit wines and told us the stories of how the wines were crafted from succulent raspberries and blackberries.   

After the tasting and buying a bottle of rhubarb wine, we poked around the farm a bit.  Found a wheelbarrow hiding behind a fence, casting shadows on the thickets of berries.

Wheelbarrow

Our next stop was the Hopkins Winery up the "trail" a small bit.

Perfect driving weather:  cool, crisp, and hosted by a sunbathed landscape.  We stopped the car every so often to explore the scenery.  We found these train tracks lining the edge of a small river.

Train Tracks.

Towards our second stop, we spied a waterfall near a quaint street of shops.  Chris climbed down into the ravine (and slipped on the slope, dipping his elbow in the dirt) to take a few pictures.

The hard earned photo.

Arriving at Hopkins Winery, we tasted the award-winning wines and toured the fermenting room.  (Which, by name, reminded me of the Inventing Room from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the Gene Wilder version, not the creepy Johnny Depp disaster.)

It's the fizzy-lifting room?

Chris took stock of Hopkins' finest ...

Definitely Hopkins' finest.

And I snapped pictures of the blooming labels.

Sunflower wine

Charmed by the country charm of western Connecticut, we retired to the vineyard gardens and (after I promptly fell in a ditch and Chris tried to eat the contraband grapes that were twining around the silo) enjoyed the sunset.

Pretty flowers.

 

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October 20, 2006

More Nonsense on the World Wide Web.

Nonsense It's a pretty bullet point.1.  My boss, discussing an article with me, looks casually at my bookcase and sees a picture.  "Oh.  Is that The Sausage?"  My stupid cat is an internet celebrity.

Nonsense 2.  I just realized that the Boop Beep Boop sound that my pump makes comes from the very bottom of it.  If I cover the bottom with my hand, the sound is completely muffled.  Two and a half years of insulin pumping and I just found this out?  I'll admit to being fascinated.

Nonsense 3.  Aware of how ridiculous it is, I'm drinking my morning coffee out of a Six Until Me. mug.  I have completely lost it.

Nonsense 4.  Sometimes I forget how scared to death I am of spiders.  I was reminded last night, when Chris and I were leaving to go to the gym and he murmurs, "Would you look at that?"  I looked up and saw the biggest spider I have ever seen IN MY LIFE hanging out on a huge web above the porch.  It was the size of a cell phone and it was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Kerri for Lunch."  I completely freaked out and ran off into the yard.  Chris kept edging closer to The Beast.  "Am I too close, Kerri?  Does this bother you?  Making you nervous?" Yes Chris, it made me nervous.  So nervous that when you fell asleep, I did a once-over on the bed to make sure there wasn't a Spider Beast waiting to kill me. 

(Note to readers:  There wasn't.  I only found S. Sausage.)  

The floor dweller.
Have a good weekend!!
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October 18, 2006

Insulin Pumping, After a Fashion

Fashionable.I wear an insulin pump.  (Gasp from the Faithful Readers.  “She’s a diabetic?!”  I know.) 

The pump itself is not very big – Minimed says it’s a tiny 2.0 x 3.0. x 0.8 inches.  That’s smaller than your average cell phone, true. 

As I was going through my morning “get ready” routine today, I stood in front of my closet and did a quick assessment of my clothes.  I like classic, tailored sorts of outfits and I like for my clothes to look streamlined.  Incorporating this device sometimes proves to be very … challenging.  (Diplomacy won out on that phrase, over my other option of “makes my head spin and I almost launch the pump across the room.")

I don’t like when the pump is exposed.  Not that it’s something I consider to be shameful, and especially since I work at a diabetes-focused media company, but I don’t want tubing and pump bulges as part of my daily look.  I always tuck the tubing away and I keep the pump as tucked away as possible.  Every skirt has either a pocket sewn in or I use that thigh thingy from Minimed.  Every pair of pants has either a pocket to slide the pump into or a waistband wide enough to hide the pump inside.  (And for some fabulous reason, my favorite stores - like Ann Taylor - have been adding these convenient little pockets to their pants, perfect for pump-tucking.  That’s a way to earn my consumer loyalty.)  And for those that don’t, I add a little internal pocket just as swiftly as I hem the pants before I wear them.  (I’m sort of short, so the hemming was just as necessary a skill to learn as pocket creating.) 

I often go to great lengths to conceal my pump.  Sometimes it’s a complete pain in the arse and I can’t find a way to incorporate it into my outfit.  Today’s ensemble includes a pair of tailored corduroy pants (no pockets) and a long sleeved, fitted shirt (not billowy enough to hide the pump bulge).  Out of options, I reluctantly clipped the pump to my pants and it’s been a visible part of me all day long.  No one notices.  No one comments.  And to be honest, no one cares but me.

But sometimes it makes me frustrated to have to interrupt my attempts at dressing like a “normal twenty something girl” with these pump integrations.  Just as it makes me a little batty when I have to interrupt my gym workout for a blood sugar testing session.  Just as it makes me moody when I have to splice some glucose tabs into my afternoon article-writing session. 

Do you, my fellow pumpers, make efforts to hide your pump? 

It can be a pain.  Sometimes in superficial ways that I hate admitting.  But, when I’m looking at my bloodsugars and I’m 85% content with their progression, wearing this machine is worth it. 

It's fashionable to be healthy.

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October 15, 2006

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

The Temple at RW Park

The day dawned bright and crisp.  Roger Williams Park in Rhode Island served as a gorgeous backdrop for Team Six Until Me. to make their second annual JDRF Walk appearance. 

There were over 4,000 walkers this year and among thSandra and Kerri.em were my mother, step-father, Chris, Chris' sister and brother-in-law, his adorable niece, oh, and a Special Guest:

Team SUM had the pleasure of Sandra Miller and her sister joining up for the walk! 

Fresh from the blistering Wisconsin cold and recovering from a surprise party in MA the night before, Sandra made the jaunt to RI to walk with our team.  And yes, as you probably guessed, she is as warm and gentle in person as she is on her blog.  Funny, quick to smile, and fiercely passionate, Sandra and her sister were a much-appreciated addition to Team SUM.  (It was cool watching her and Chris chat about "Uzi" and seeing she and my mother exchange hugs even though they've never exchanged words before.  This internet is an amazing thing.)

We walked.  We chatted.  (Chris served as our photographer.  Thank you, Chris!)

Walk Chats.

We saw Ronald McDonald.  And I had this uncontrollable urge to hug him. 

Ronnie.
Our team crossed the finish archway after a brisk 5 mile walk (yes, that is a just-in-case can of juice in my hand) and I was just so damn proud to have this collection of people in my life. 
The Finish Line. 
Walking in that enormous pack of people, all supporting the same cause and harboring the same hopes, I felt like I was a part of something bigger than just testing and shooting and counting carbs.  All of those people, walking for a cure.  It highlights one of the best parts of the human spirit:  that sense of unity.

We're all in this together, no matter how far apart we seem at times.

Steve.

And, of course, my man Steve was there again.  Here's to you, Steve.
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October 12, 2006

Six Things on a Wednesday.

The Joslin atrium.1.  I had my Joslin appointment on Tuesday afternoon, and it only took me three and a half hours to get there from my apartment in Norwalk.  Joslin always makes me feel hopeful, like no matter what happens, these people will keep me safe.  I saw my endocrinologist, Dr. Florence Brown, and after reviewing my bloodsugars and noticing a few trends, we talked about a continuous blood glucose monitor.  I would love to have one of these for a few days a month, just to get a feel for how my sugars are trending.  I’m exploring the possibility of trying one out – leaning towards Dexcom.  Can anyone make a solid recommendation as to which one I should try? 

2.  The JDRF walk is this Sunday.  My family and loved ones will be walking, along with some potential special guests, which I’m hoping to divulge on Sunday night.  (Here’s hoping everything works out and my Special Guests are able to attend!)  If you are walking with me on Sunday and you still haven’t signed up, or if you’d like to make a donation towards Team Six Until Me., visit HERE.  A big thanks to my team members, who have raised hundreds of dollars on their own fundraising quests.  I am very proud to have you on my team!!

3.  Generation D.” has been updated.  Note:  I had never been called over the intercom of a police cruiser before.  This was a first for me. 

4.  Halloween is a-comin’ and there are big plans here.  Not only is my brother’s house being transformed into a pirate ship (much to the delight of my 6 year old nephew) but the Morrone Family is expecting A New Baby.  My brother’s daughter is due at the end of October and I absolutely cannot wait to meet her.  My sister-in-law confirms that, if the baby is born before Halloween, New Baby will attend as a hotdog.  A hotdog on the pirate ship.  I endorse this idea.

Asleep on my clean clothes.5.  I love doing the laundry.  The smell of a dryer sheet permeating my household makes me so happy.  However, finding a small Sausage sleeping on a pile of toasty warm clothes straight from the dryer made me laugh.  So I snapped a picture.

6.  I laughed.  And laughed and laughed and laughed when I read this post:  The Lifecycle of a Blog.

Mental state at the beginning of reading this post:  “Hmmm… that sounds a lot like me.” 

Mental state at the end of reading this post:  “Whoa.  I could really go for a cheese sandwich right now.”

Blogging.  It’s what’s for dinner.

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October 08, 2006

Gomez at the Bowery

6:30 p.m.:  A fantastic, intimate dinner in a little café in Chelsea.  (No Jude Law, Shannon, though I did look.)  We dined in the garden outside and drank wine and ate lightly, talking and laughing.  We sat and enjoyed our after-dinner cappuccinos, recounting the first few weeks we knew one another and reveling in how far we’ve come since moving from RI.The Band.

9:30 p.m.:  Showtime loomed near so he paid the bill and we strolled out to hail a cab.  (He hailed the cab.  With my luck, we would have ended up on that train from Silver Spoons.) 

10:00 p.m.:  Taking in the opening band at the Bowery Ballroom, drinking Coronas from plastic cups, and watching a drunk punk pick a fight with an older man for rights to lean on the balcony.  A tall British guy drained his beer like he was searching for a prize at the bottom.

10:35 p.m.:  Opening band cashes in, the crowd begins to prepare for Gomez.  Girl next to me to her friend, “I could just about, like, die.  This is going to be the most crucial moment of my life.”  Her friend responds, nodding, “Seriously.”

10:45 p.m.:  (my whisper to Chris)  “I am so excited...”

11:03 p.m.:  The lights go down.  Gomez files on, opens with an old school “Get Miles” and we’re off and running.  Letting loose with songs from almost a decade ago – like “Bring it on” – and performing a gorgeous rendition of “Sweet Virginia” with Tom rolling solo on an acoustic guitar (see video), this show was as solid as they come.  The crowd churned with recognition and belted out every big chorus.  The boys of Gomez are just as fantastic live as they are in the studio – maybe even better.

1:49 a.m.:  Race for the last train leaving Grand Central. 

The cars weren’t crowded, but loud with people already reliving the events of their night:  Two guys pretended to get stuck in the sliding door of the train car.  Ten minutes later, one says to the other, “Remember when we were stuck in the door of the train?”  A drunken high-five between the two. 

This city doesn’t sleep.

Arrived home at 2:50 a.m. and fell asleep with a smile on my face.

 ** (Thanks again, Johnboy, for the heads up on these tickets!!!)

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October 06, 2006

Too busy to blog?

This week has been a little wacky, starting with last weekend and watching the sun rise on Sunday morning after a long night launching the October issue of EXIST.  I've been crummy with updating the blog.The Experiment Two:  Spiders

But, keeping with the theme of exhaustion, I’ll let pictures tell their standard 1,000:

Update on the Stupid Plant:  This thing died.  Died completely.  It was reduced to a compilation of dirt and molding leaves.  So, thanks to a fellow horticulturalist here at dLife, I’m now growing spider plant spawn.  These suckers won’t die, even if you ask them to. 

We made it to a Mets game a few days ago, tickets courtesy of Howard at dLife.  Nice perks – excellent seats!  Chris and I had never Shea Stadiumbeen to Shea Stadium before, so it was cool to check out another ballpark, other than Fenway.  (note:  Fenway is far superior to all other stadiums.  Where’s their Monster?  Where's their Yawkey?  Where are their fans puking on Lansdowne?  Yeah, that’s right.)

And this weekend:  A Gomez show at the Bowery in NYC.  (Thanks for the heads up, Johnboy!)  They were phenomenal when we saw them last March in LA at a Virgin Records in-store.  I’m so excited I’m already having trouble sleeping!  Updates on Sunday. 

Here’s the little face that greets me every morning, staring at me from about six inches from my nose.  Damn this Sausage.  She makes me uncomfortable sometimes.

Sausage in the Morning
Have a good weekend, everyone!

 

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October 03, 2006

Blogging Across Boundaries

Blogging Across Boundaries.“Because the internet should be a tool for bridging gaps as well as building communities.”

This line struck me most about Andrea’s call for entries for Blogging Across Boundaries.  Bridging gaps as well as building communities. 

There are plenty of gaps in the internet communities I find myself a part of.  It’s not so much between the topics we cover when we write, but more about bridging the gaps between the words and the people. 

There’s something about meeting these people in person.  These people whose intimate details you know but whose faces you can barely begin to picture.  I have had the utmost pleasure of meeting several bloggers in the past and it’s always this startling combination of comfort, ease, and laughter.

This past week was no exception.

Early last week, I met a fellow d-blogger who announces herself online as Violet.  (Real name remains under wraps, until she uncloaks at her own discretion.)  It's a strange thing, meeting a fellow blogger for the first time.  I wonder if it will be awkward.  Will we get along as well in person as we do online?  What happens when I finally have a face and a voice for this writer I enjoy so much? I stood in the middle of Grand Central Station, looking every inch the Country Mouse.  I have posted pictures of myself online (why why why do I do that?) so I was recognizable, but what she looked like was a mystery to me.  She said she would meet up with me, so I stood like a kid lost in NY until I heard a voice say, "Kerri?"

"Violet??"  Knowing full well that wasn't her given name, but instead the one she goes by online to protect her anonymity, I leaned in to give this stranger that I knew so well a hug. 

When two people meet for the first time, there is often that awkwardness that needs some time to dissipate.   Strange thing, though, meeting a fellow blogger whose heart and soul you have peered into for the last year and a half.  Who was one of the very first bloggers you ever knew existed, well before the explosion of diabetes blogs.  Stranger still, having a discussion about very deep-seeded fears and knowing exactly what she means when she sits in silence.  And possibly the strangest of The bridge to Pumplandia?all, feeling comfortable – instantly comfortable – with someone you’ve never met before.

Weblog.  We blog.  Some of us blog daily.  Others blog when the inspiration strikes us.  We blog about such a wide array of things, ranging from politics to medicines to emotions to experiences.  We don’t share the same experiences.  We don’t have the same backgrounds or interests or opinions.  Yet we are all able to meet together on the web and offer up glimpses into our lives, embracing as a community despite the fact that we wouldn’t know one another if we passed on the street.  Meeting my fellow bloggers has helped to make them Real, in ways that the internet, despite its constant advances, can’t rival.

There don’t appear to be many boundaries, just a lack of bridges. 

Here’s to bridging the gaps. 

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October 01, 2006

EXIST Magazine - October Edition

The October edition of EXIST Magazine is up and running.  Also, check out the new, official EXIST Magazine blog.  (Collective "Ooooh!" like when gifts are opened at a baby shower.)

EXIST October edition

 

(I'm off to take a nap.)
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