One Week From….. Two Weeks From….

One week from today it will be October 30th.

Two weeks from today it will be November 6th.

For those of you who do not know, and even for those of you who do, October 30, 1985 was the date of my last open-heart surgery.  On that date (which shall live in infamy) an adult-sized artificial St. Jude mitral valve was placed inside my small just 8-year old chest.  To this day, I am ticking like a Timex.  Some days faster than others, some days not in much of a sinus rhythm, but ticking nonetheless.  So, we are coming up on twenty-seven years since my last open-heart surgery.  27 years.  Really?  It seems like yesterday!

Lauren’s Artificial Mitral Valve

To celebrate, commemorate, and recognize the day, I am asking my friends, family and fellow blog readers to sponsor me once again in the Adult Congenital Heart Association’s Congenital Heart Walk, this time in New York City!  Yep – I’m headed back to the big apple to do a CHW!  How can I resist?  We all know how much I love NYC, and the cause, so why not!?

As you may remember, I was hospitalized (not for cardiac reasons) on Saturday, May 5, 2012, when the ACHA hosted the Congenital Heart Walk at George Mason University much closer to home!  I was the biggest fundraiser and feel I missed out by not being able to walk, so since I didn’t get to walk there, I’m headed to NYC!  Help sponsor me by clicking here:

Thank you in advance for your support!

Two Weeks from tonight (at the time of this publishing) the polls will be closed and the voters will have decided.  Friends:  a lot is at stake.  All I ask is that you please vote on Tuesday, November 6th, or sooner in-person or absentee if possible.  Bottom line:  BRING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION and don’t be late!  Every Vote Counts!  

Thank you for voting!


10 Things Occurring in October That I Think Are Just Great…..

10 Things Occurring in October That I Think Are Just Great…in no particular order, so you just have to read the whole thing! Click a few links while you’re at it, too!

1)  Kate Van Hooser is getting married to Brian Head.  This will make her:
Kate Van Hooser Head.  And that just makes me laugh a little, OK, a lot!  Out loud!  Love you, Sister!  Congratulations, I can’t wait for this afternoon & evening!

2)  Back-to-back dog-sitting gigs AND I get to play puppy chauffeur to Kate’s pups.  It is my job to “get them to the church on time” and into the official wedding photos.  What fun!

3) Week one of October and I have scored two new clients, or should I say, two new clients have scored in Simplifying with Do More with LES!  Cannot begin to thank my referrals enough, ever!

4) THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS ARE IN THE PLAY-OFFS!  Cheers and many thanks to Mike @ JK Moving & Storage for getting me to the suite the night that the Nationals became National League East Champions!  Wayyyy cool!!!!

5) If I may borrow from Kristin’s blog, The Dundons’ Nest:  “Race time is approaching!  It is time to rally our troops and dedicated members of  “Jack’s Pack” for the annual Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation’s Superheroes 5K is on Sunday, October 14th, at Meadowbrook Park, in Chevy Chase, MD.

Of all the 5K’s we participate in, this is the one race that is dearest to us.  The Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation was started by Jackson’s much-loved neurologist, Dr. Roger Packer.  Dr. Packer is greatly credited for Jackson’s survival.  He was the co-pilot in our fight, the aggressor, who refused to back down against Jack’s tumor.  Dr. Packer pushed for only the best and most effectively known treatment, never letting his faith or hope for Jackson falter.  His foundation is dedicated solely to research in finding a cure for all pediatric brain tumors.  What’s not to support?!?!”

Please consider joining my mother and I for this by making a much appreciated donation to the CBTF!  Here is the link to our race page:

It’s a fun event and we look forward to it every year!  (Anything to support Children’s!)

6) Fall.  The leaves are changing.  They fall and we crunch them.  We pile them and jump in.  We wear layers.  We sip cider.  Life is crisper & all good!

7) Granny’s Girls Weekend trumps Elon Homecoming.  Sorry Elon.  I just cannot believe it’s been a dozen years since I walked cross that stage in front of my home sweet home, the West Dormitory.  Family trumps reminiscing my college years any day, but especially October 19-21 when I will instead be south of Roanoke at the beautiful Bent Mountain Lodge Bed & Breakfast.  Always a good time with the ladies of the Briscoe-Trollinger-Smith clan.  I can’t wait!  (Why?  See 6.)

8) Getting Out The Vote happens most in October!  I am the Queen of:  “Do you need an absentee ballot?”  “Did you know you can vote early AND still do it in person?”  “Hey, did you know you can vote on a Saturday morning if that’s easier than a Tuesday?”  & “Thank you for voting!” I should work for Rock the Vote every “R-October”!  Note it is October 6.  Election Day is ONE MONTH from today!!!  WOO HOO!  I already voted!

9) Art On The Avenue, The Breast Cancer Awareness Walk & The Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade all happening in October!  

TODAY is the 17th Annual Art on the Avenue!  NOW, in fact!  til 6 pm.  Get out onto the Avenue, Mt. Vernon Avenue, that is, in the heart of Del Ray in Alexandria, VA.  Calling all you locals.  Off the couch.  GO! 

Alexandria’s Own – The 19th Annual – THE WALK – Walk to Fight Breast Cancer.  Please either donate or go walk on my behalf.  I will be in Roanoke with the fam.  Lots doin’ in October!  Kicks off at the AMC Theaters at Hoffman Center at 8 a.m. Always a good time, indefinitely a great cause!

Always cute, always clever costumes, and guaranteed a lot of fun, it’s the 16th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade down The Avenue.  2 p.m. October 28th, always the Sunday before Halloween – Don’t miss it!

10)  Lastly – one thing that I always love about October is the 30th.  Nope, not the 31st’s tricks & treats, but the anniversary that is October 30, 1985 gets me right in my heartstrings!  It was 10-30-85 that I had my last open heart surgery at Children’s National Medical Center under the watchful eye and careful steady hands of Dr. Seymour Hepner & Dr. Frank Midgley.  Waking up on 3-Green to the ICU nurse’s Halloween Parade and my crazy Aunt Peg dressed as a dirty clothes hamper, complete with undies on her head I will never forget!  While my ticker has been treated to some fine tuning since, I still look forward to and will celebrate 27 years on the 30th.  (Now if I could just stay OUT of this flutter between now and then….)

Lots to do, big long month, Happy Fall!