Monthly Archives: February 2011

UCB and U of Florida Seeking Crohn’s Patients for Survey

 I just received an email blasted out from pharma company UCB. I believe I’ve written about this study before, but it’s clear they still need people’s input. So, if you have Crohn’s please check it out.

You can link to the survey here: And the text from their email is below.
At UCB, we realize those who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease frequently want to participate in or seek information about various research opportunities that might help advance the available treatments for Crohn’s. Recently, we were approached by a physician at the University of Florida who asked us to extend an invitation to our community of Crohn’s patients.

Researchers at the University of Florida are interested in evaluating the use of preventive services for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. As part of this investigation, they are looking for individuals, 18 years or older, with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) to complete a 10-minute survey. It includes questions about your health, what medications you’re taking, and what kind of preventive care you’re receiving from your doctors. No personal information that can identify you is being collected, and all responses will remain anonymous. If you prefer, you can complete only the questions you feel comfortable answering.

The survey and its content are not sponsored or endorsed by UCB. If you wish to participate, select the link below. Please fill out the survey only once.

The University of Florida thanks you for your participation, as your answers can provide information that may help improve preventive care in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. They encourage you to share this opportunity with others who have inflammatory bowel disease.


3 Steps to Happiness

I’m still reading Zen and the Art of Knitting, and really like the most recent chapter I read. She says a researcher at Harvard has identified 3 steps to happiness:

1. Work on something creative that you’re really invested and interested in

2. That creative project must have a tangible result, such as a cooked meal, a painting or a scarf

3. The item must have a benefit to someone else, such as sharing that meal, or the painting/scarf making someone smile

I’ll add another to the list – 1 Step to a Toddler’s Happiness: jump in puddles. The munchkin was VERY happy on our way out the door Friday morning.

Look how muddy her pants got!

She nearly ruined her cute shoes. So I went shopping online for rain boots.


Source: Amazon

Source: Piperlime


Source: Target


And last but certainly not least, check out this amazing rain coat. As my husband said, “Oh MAN!”

Source: Piperlime

A Much-Needed Hug

They say time heals all wounds. But it’s been more than a year since my grandpa died, and it still hurts just as much as the day it happened. But, thinking about him makes me happy, and I had a very happy moment this weekend at my parents’ house – they’re cleaning out some old things and I found a pile of mail that had been sent to me when I was a freshman at college. In that pile were several letters from my grandpa. They’re the only ones I have – I thought they were gone forever.

The letters are a like big box of handmade chocolates, waiting for me to eat them – I know that they’ll each be so wonderful and I just want to hold off on devouring the whole thing at once.

I put one of the letters in my purse on my way out the door this morning, and just finished reading it. It’s just a typical letter, about what they did that week and a vacation they were planning. It’s short, on plain lined paper, blue ink. His handwriting reminds me of my mom’s. It makes me think of him sitting there at his big wooden desk, full of life, full of love, him thinking about me. I miss him. I miss him so bad.

He signs the letter “Kisses and Hugs and Love, Grandpa.” And then, “PS – Never send money (cash) through the mail. Here is 10 bucks from Grandma.”

Picture Day

Did I mention that yesterday I shoveled snow for 20 minutes? Perhaps I was just trying to forget. But my body won’t let me forget today. I am SO achy.

Today is already a supermom day, and when I say supermom I’m being completely sarcastic. It’s picture day at the munchkin’s daycare, and I was feeling very driven to do everything I could to deliver the munchkin to school 1 – on time, 2 – not covered in food or drool, 3 – wearing photo-suitable clothing. None of this was nearly as easy as it sounds.

We ended up getting there a little later than I’d hoped, but still on time, she was covered in food and drool but I was able to comb most of the cheese out of her hair, and I had brought a spare outfit, which (by an absolute miracle) she let me put on her without screaming.
Okay, I’ve had coffee and Tylenol and I’m ready for the rest of the day.

WSJ Article: How to Fight a Bogus (Medical) Bill

I had the day off work yesterday, and I just love when that happens. A 3-day weekend, followed by a 4-day work week. Love. I spent the day getting through my to-do list, including cooking meals for the week, a doctor’s appointment, cleaning up the house to get it ready for sale, and mountains of laundry. I took the munchkin to daycare, but only for a few hours – she and I got to spend some extra time together in the morning and afternoon.

But the biggest time suck is my finances. Between tax time and medical bills, I have an ever-growing pile of paper that I have to – but don’t want to – deal with. And this includes a few bills from doctors that were much higher than they should be. An article in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal shows I’m not alone. It says that 14 million Americans have medical bill errors on their credit reports.

Personally, even though I don’t have a lot of free time, I always look over my bills before paying them, and if it’s a little fishy or anytime it’s over $100, I always call them to make sure the bill is correct. Just yesterday I had the doctor’s office double-check my copay and found out not only did they have it wrong, but that they mistakenly had that I owed them money. Ended up being a $60 mistake in all.