celebrating two blogging years!

Ladies and gentlemen – it is my two-year blogiversary.

For fun – and because I spend way too much time sitting at my desk at work far into the evening – I made a little infographic for the occasion. I’ve never done this before, and it was such a kick! I got to figure out statistics and play with graphics – whoo hoo!

blogiversary 2

Looking back is quite a trip. Two years ago, things were crazy. The official cause of all my health problems had just been changed from Transverse Myelitis to Multiple Sclerosis. I was scared. I felt like I had to get my life in order… and fast.

I decided to release everything that was holding me down. I spent the first few months of the blog releasing hard stuff and coming to terms with my diagnosis. I analyzed all my addictions: BooksMagazinesPaper. I looked at the reasons behind why I clung to things I didn’t even use, why I wanted so many answers. I tried to get honest with myself.

Slowly but surely, I truly began simplifying my life. We turned our entire main floor into a giant garage sale. We brought so many boxes of things to Goodwill, the guy doing our taxes was thrown for a loop. We purged and purged, but finally got things back into order.

The blog started to morph at this point. I really had gotten rid of most of the physical things that were messing up my life, and I was ready to move forward with other things I wanted to do. We left in March 2012 for a six-month family trip to Europe, one that we’d been saving for forever, and the whole MS thing really lit a fire under us.

We’ve had some fun, too. I’ve dressed up as Ben Franklin (not a very big stretch, mind you), done an entire series on our Christmas traditions, and just enjoyed ourselves.

I’m going to make this third year even better – more posts, more interaction with all of you. Feel free to comment on anything and everything, as comments make my day. Last year, I asked you to tell me a little about yourself. This year, let’s talk FUN: If you could have an adventure anywhere, where would you go? I think I’d go on a cruise and pamper myself. Mmmmm…

99 things – #16 through #20

I found a list of 99 things, and I will be bolding the ones I’ve done and explaining a bit about each. Because I have a tendency to yammer on, I am doing 5 of the 99 at a time. (Again, if anyone reading was involved in any of these, feel free to add facts or correct my memory… and I’ll keep looking for photos.)

#1 through#5 are here.

#6 through #10 are here.

#11 through #15 are here.

16. Had food poisoning – Again, my inner nitpick wants to know how anyone ever really knows if they have food poisoning or if they are vomiting for some other reason, unless they are one of a group of people who all got sick after eating the same thing. That’s never happened to me, so… no.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – I am totally claiming this one, because I would have happily walked to the top of the torch if they had let me. When we visited NYC in 2005, they only let people go as high as the observation deck on the pedestal (I think because of 9/11, actually.) I was very, very sad about that. You could look up and see the stairs and some of the framework of the statue, but of course it was not the same.

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The view of Lori from the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Your results of this view may vary.

18. Grown your own vegetables – I have grown someone else’s vegetables! My grandparents lived in San Francisco when I was growing up, and my grandpa used to “farm” a vacant lot at the end of their street. (It was far too big a production to call it gardening.) Every summer, I would stay with them for weeks, and my grandpa and I would walk down the cul-de-sac to work in the garden. We’d have “races” to see whose seeds would sprout first; I always won. I loved working in his garden, so it’s a wonder that I have never planted a garden of my own. But I have plans for a container garden on my deck this summer!

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France – This question is interesting. Has the Mona Lisa traveled to other places? Because I have only ever seen it in France, when we finally made it to the Louvre this past summer.

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This is what it feels like to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. It’s like trying to get an autograph at a film premiere, I imagine.

20. Slept on an overnight train – Far too many times for comfort! I wish I could say that I have slept in a plush traveling car with real beds, but no… I have slept crowded together like sardines in a compartment, awakened regularly by people checking to see if the compartment is full, conductors coming to check tickets, loud (drunk) people getting on and off along the way. We managed to avoid overnight trains this past trip, but we did sleep on two overnight buses. Pretty much the same thing, but sitting upright in an airplane-style seat. (Not a mode of travel I recommend!)

Score so far: 12 out of 20!

Boston love

I spent the first weekend in May in Boston. I wrote this then, and just realized I had never posted it. I am in Boston. I love it. ????????????? I took public transit from the airport. (It was a piece of cake, and a taxi would have been $45.) Silver Line to the Red Line to the bus to our hotel. Yep. Easy peasy. I lovelovelove subways. I felt like I was in Europe again. We’ve been to Harvard. From now on, if anyone asks if I went to Harvard, I’ll be able to tell them I did. (That is probably the oldest joke in the book, but I cracked myself up nonetheless.) ???????????? We took the T to Boston Common (and I rode the Swan Boats in Boston Garden). ??????????????? We went to Faneuil Hall. ????????????????? We walked through the neighborhood on Beacon Hill. ???????????????? We ate pasta in the North End. ????????????? We went to the Museum of Fine Arts. ??????????????? We watched rowers on the Charles River from our hotel room in the morning (and sailboats in the evening). ????????????????? Best of all, I am with my sister. ????????? I love that girl. We have talked, laughed, eaten, and walked and walked and walked. I am a bit nervous about how I will feel tomorrow! ???????????????? By the way – I bought a Red Sox hat. I figured it was fair; since I don’t actually have a team, I am not betraying anyone. Though even if I did have a team, I’d show Boston some love and respect anyway. ????????????????? I have only traveled to Boston twice. The first time, my sister-in-law and I planned a long weekend in the city… and we bought our tickets on September 10, 2001. (We still made the trip two weeks later.) This time, I bought my ticket just after the Boston Marathon bombing. Both times, I have been impressed with the people we met and their attitudes in the face of tragedy. Boston Strong, indeed.