This Week’s Good Stuff

Ali Mardi Gras class

1.Mardi Gras Party – for the eighth year in a row, we hosted our Mardi Gras party this weekend. It is one of those things that we look forward to, and when it happens, it is as good or better than we hoped it would be. Even though we kind of have it down to a science – Dan makes the red beans, I make the muffaletta, he brews the beer, I decorate – it takes some effort to get things ready for almost 100 people to descend upon your not huge house. But it works. The people who come from the various parts of our lives arrive and mingle with old friends and new friends. Each year we have a New Orleans focused project that people have an opportunity to chip in a few bucks to. This year, we came up with $500 that will buy books for Ali’s first graders – each will have books they can take home for their very own

2. Why Facebook can be such a good thing – Several months ago, we went to Templeton, Iowa to tour the Templeton Rye distillery. With our friends, we drove up Friday night and then got to the distillery at for the 10:00 tour on Saturday morning. The tour was neat and interesting and we had the prescribed taste of delicious rye after the tour. We thought that was where it was going to end, but it did not. We ended up leaving Iowa at about 4:00 that day after having gotten to know the Templeton group much better, and gotten some lunch and bowling in at the local lanes, We spent the day with new friends, Michael and Molly who made the trip to Templeton from their home in Des Moines. All of us connected on this wonderful day, and we promised that we would reconnect. This weekend we did. Michael and Molly came into town for the Mardi Gras party. We got to have dinner with them Friday and lunch with them today too. I am guessing that without Facebook and the ease it provides to keep connected, we wouldn’t have had this wonderful chance encounter continue.

3. People who know how to repair boilers – We have steam heat – radiators; the whole business. When it is good, it is very good. When it is bad, it is … so loud! Last weekend, something happened and our house was filled with the most amazing clanks, bangs and kabooms! At times, it seemed like something consequential was really going to happen, but it would eventually settle until it would happen again. This was really difficult for the sleeping. Luckily, there are people that will come into your house, diagnose what is the matter with your poor boiler, and make it better.

4. Opportunities – This weekend  got to go to Silver Springs, Maryland where some very smart and dedicated people met with FDA personnel. It was a great opportunity to sit in on something so outside of my norm and see how it works. I felt very lucky.

5. Research – Another work thing. For a couple years now, I have been working with some great people as they create and carry through new projects with the intent of making improvements in the area of childhood cancer. This week, all of those people got the opportunity to tell their stories. It was amazing! Each of them spoke their project in language that anyone could understand. I felt so proud to have been a part of it, and it I am so excited to see what is next!

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