Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief


It has been record-breaking hot in Colorado and we have been plagued with horrible fires.

Today hubby and I woke up to heat, haze and the smell of burning wood in the air. Our lovely mountains, just five miles away could not be seen.


We decided we would spend the day inside- the movies, Men in Black III. We go to about one movie a year so it sounded nice and I was happy to get out of our (Gasp!) non-air conditioned home!

It turns out the movie was very funny. Hubby and I spilt some popcorn and a smuggled coke. We held hands, it was almost a date!

There was an alien in the movie who could see the future but all different versions depending on what the person did next. He talked about miracles…

“A miracle,” he said, “is something that seems impossible but happens anyway.”

This hit a cord in me. I thought of our Courage Classic Team and that we are half-way to our $50,000 goal. I thought this would never be possible. $50,000 is a lot of money! A lot of money! And we just might make it.

And in my mind, that would be the impossible that happened anyway…..a miracle.

And so I cried, in the middle of Men of Black. And hubby squeezed my hand. He is used to seeing me cry in movies.

Tonight our books Living Well with Mitochondrial Disease are in and will be distributed to families in the Mitochondrial clinic…..not impossible but still very, very cool.

And it rained. If only for a brief time, fat rain drops plunked on the ground and were eaten up by the earth. It’s a little cooler and the air smells fresh.

Impossible? I hope not but still very, very cool.

Wanna donate to our miracle? You can right here

To the impossible.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Sweden and the V-word

I think perhaps we have become a bit silly.

And I don’t care if you are a democrat or republican, tea party or liberal. I would like to think that we are all educated Americans; concerned with the world around us…..

Okay….maybe not even concerned, maybe not even educated. But enough to know the world around us.

Enough to know that if you go on National television, your facts are straight. Enough to know that Sweden was not part of the communist block- that they are not evil,  And that really, if you look at how every country has fared during a world wide recession- Sweden has done pretty well.

PS- Our Miracles for Mito president is Swedish and I find her quite fabulous. So I am trying to tout us all as wonderful, Swedish loving people;

Which we are until you read:


PSS…Maria, don’t read this!!!!

PSSS….Also know many people who grew up in Eastern Europe and find them quite wonderful.

And you can say to me, “Heather, you are full of crap! I don’t want to be Swedish because they are a Socialist country and I don’t want my government to have that much control!”

And I will pour you a glass of wine and say “thank you dear reader to know that Sweden is Socialist and not Communist. In fact, let’s look at the lovely Swedish Royal Family while we eat some Swedish fish. They are quite tasty and do not have an alternate agenda at all….they are just fish. Well not really fish but candy…okay maybe they do have an agenda.”

Have we really waged a political war on Sweden?

This week we also waged a war on my private parts….which makes me just tired- between my private parts waging a war on me and the government waging a war on my parts.

Should Lisa Brown been silenced? No….should the Vagina Monologues been touted on the Michigan State Capitol?  Hmmmmm….I think the more we tout our division, the more we are divided. 

How can we understand our world?  How can we understand Syria? The crisis in Greece? Or the issues in our own country if we can not agree on the appropriate word?

Ahhh…the appropriate private part word. I have several words but I know my dad reads this blog so I will refrain.

🙂 You’re welcome dad!

We are so much better than this. We have better fights than this.

I am now going to eat some Communist Swedish Fish…..

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Other Stories of Courage

Dear Readers……

Uh Huh…..I told you I would be boring for a month or two.

Here is a letter to our 52 RIDERS of the Courage Classic!!!! And a reminder (not from me!) why this is important….

Hello Team!

I hope you all have not melted! It is hot, hot, hot! I rode the Denver Century yesterday and I feel slightly pan-fried.
Kudos to my dad, Rick and Stepdad, Jim for riding with me. it was a good Father’s Day.

This weekend was really amazing. We attended a fundraising bbq hosted by a team member and his family. Kudos to his son, at 7 he is the youngest member of our team!

Once again, we will ride on Thursday evening from the entrance of Left Hand Canyon to Ward. Let me know if you will be joining us.
For those new to us, let me introduce you to my blog. You can find me at I started posting when Samantha first got sick and have ever since. I will be posting stories about the ride here.
I tend to be a bit long-winded and you all know why this is important to ME. But I have realized through this journey that we all have our stories. There is a reason why we are riding. So, if you feel up to it, let the team know why you are here. I can post on the blog or just share it with the team.

Tonight, another team member has shared his story. He rides with our team but also pulls a tandem for Team Courage:

One of the Team Courage kids went to see the Doctor today. The Doctor believes that he is ready for an ARC brace with a carbon fiber wrap. I have no idea what that is other than he needed to gain strength in his ankles before he could qualify for one. It will be fit into to both his new track shoes and his new bike shoes this week. We will test it on the bike Saturday morning during the Team Courage ride.

His mother thinks that running and biking (with Team Courage) have given him the strength for the new brace. She views this as great news. It comes up the front of his shin and velcros with two straps. He can now flex his ankle without the bulky, articulated, hot, plastic AFOs he has had his whole life. I am very excited for him.

I can’t take credit for this milestone but I hope I have helped in some small way. I wish I could have done something for Samantha. I like to believe Samantha is proud of getting me involved with kids that need help like Team Courage. What I wouldn’t give to have her and her smiling face on the back of my tandem during the Courage Classic

PHHHFFFFFFF…..well not only is it hot but I am crying. Consider me a nice steamed dish…..and consider me somewhat humbled by everyone’s efforts.

Keep pedaling! I am quite proud of all of you!


and……if you would like to donate….you can do it here…..

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief


What will I put in motion?

Now is the time of year that I get slightly boring and somewhat introverted. We come upon June and July…a time of year when I was quite pregnant with both my babies and lost both my babies.

Ironically, this is the same time of year that we have our biggest fundraisers and our Courage Classic bike ride….motion…forward….Perhaps I cannot stay stuck in what June and July meant but what it could mean.

So now grief is measured on how many miles I log on the bike and how many grease marks I have on my legs. This motion forward has gained attention- we now have 52 members on our Courage Classic team; Summits for Samantha and we are working towards our goal of $50,000.

My motion: My annual grief has been overwhelmed by gratitude.

Today we also had our Epsilon Walk for Miles for Mito; attended by 120 people and raising over $4,000. Our walk…motion…forward.

Perhaps I can no longer be stuck in what June/July meant.

And who can be stuck when there is ice cream?

Gratitude is a funny thing. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it, it allows you to live the moment and leave the grief behind.

It was either that or the ice cream.

Thank you for keeping me moving forward. And thank you for the ice cream.

**If you would like to donate to our ‘movement’  forward, our Courage Classic ride to reach $50,000, you can do so here:
Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief


Yes, another month has passed with no posting. It has been a busy eventful month with many blogging opportunities but with busy comes lack of blogging.

I will try to catch up.

Tonight I am also supposed to post on Miracles for Mito.

But I am not feeling very mitochondrialy.

There is a fire in my backyard. Well okay, not really from my backyard, about 20 miles from my backyard but it enough to fill the air with an acrid smell. The sky is hazy. And there is a large plume belching grayish-orange smoke into the air.

This is what a fire does to you. It allows you to use words like acrid, plume and belching.

I do not like it.

And although I am minimally impacted, I have many friends to the Northwest who are closer. We have been asked to volunteer our truck if needed. I have an Eggplant Parmesan on hand and a spare bedroom.

Other than that we watch this very hungry fire.

Today we went golfing and looked up at the horizon. The winds were about 30 mph and the direction of the smoke-cloud would change with the direction of the wind. I thought that this must be a horrible fire to fight….note to self…is there a good fire to fight?  Beyond the canyon, I could see two areas where the fire seemed to be fueling.

“What do you think is going on back there?” I asked our friend.

“Chaos” he said.

Yes, chaos.

Tonight driving home, I could see the bright red flames on the mountain. They were not visible yesterday but they have spread. Chaos.

My very wise friend Stephanie posted something on facebook that I will steal for the moment:

There is something endlessly fascinating and horrifying about such destruction. The reminder that we are guests here.

To being a guest….as we observe and live these moments. If we are a guest of Mother Nature, I am asking her to change the sheets once I leave….and please, a big stinkin’ glass of water would be very helpful.

And to my friends further northwest, I make a mean eggplant parmesan and we do have a truck 🙂 …stay safe.

And to our firefighters….well you’re just really cool