"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." TS Eliot

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Moolah

As of this week Swim For The Border has raised $6500 for enriched after school care for  500 youngsters in Nogales, Mexico.  This is a great accomplishment and I want to say thank you to all who have been involved.

I am struggling to come up with another project and a focus for this bloog.  I plan on an epiphany very soon.  That's how epiphanies happen right, after you plan for one?  Please stick with me and check back occasionally.  Suggestions are welcome.

Much love...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Last Day

My last walk took place with the whole tribe at Raccoon Creek State Park  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon_Creek_State_Park  We walked the wildflower preserve trail.  Emma and I took a lot of pictures.  It was  misty and lightly raining for most of the walk and a lovely and fitting way to end SFTB. I struggled a lot with the weather on my walks.  It has been a very wet spring.  But what I learned is that what is happening externally, be it with the weather, my family, my obligations, the time that I need for myself does exist, so long as I create it.  That hour is always there for the taking.  And I hope that I can always be grateful for that.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 45

53 minutes
4,425 steps
190 calories spent

This morning the girls joined me on my walk.  It was lovely.  The weather was breezy and overcast this morning.  Maeve tried to quit after 20 minutes but a little redirection worked magic.  They found a fallen birds' nest.
Tomorrow is the finale!  That seemed to fly by.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 44

Yesterday my husband was out of town and I kept the kids home from school.  They had a half day, which in my experience is usually a throw away day.  I decided that on this day I would give my kids my undivided attention.  As many of you know this is not always easy.  This world is oh so distracting.  And recently we have had a string of house guests and Chad's work has had him traveling on three separate occasions in as many weeks.  There were a million other things I could have been doing.  But I chose not to.  I did this as a way to honor my close friend whose children were killed two years ago in a car accident.  Thursday was supposed to be her son's 7th birthday. 

We woke up and shortly thereafter died Easter Eggs.  We then went to Highland Park super playground  with some friends to play in the sunshine for two and a half hours.  Afterwards, I took my kids out for dinner and ice cream sundaes at The Red Robin.  We stopped at the redbox and rented a delightful kids' movie (read animated piece of crap) and wound the night up under the covers on the couch.

Today the sunshine has proved elusive and Emma woke up to a diagnosis of strep.

 I continue to be humbled by how fast my children grow up and all that they have taught me along the way.

My walk was a  comcast walk/exercise video after the kids went to bed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Today I decided to walk in a different neighborhood than Greenfield.  I chose Point Breeze.  It is close to the kids' school and very pretty.  It was the quickest solo walk I've done yet.  Quickest meaning the time seemed to fly and the walk was easier than most that I've done.  The streets are tree lined, manicured and most of all, flat.  I found myself becoming a bit envious.  No trash lined the streets.  No house appeared as though a dump truck of lawn ornaments crashed into it.  According to Pittsburgh Magazine, the median income is $93, 000 a year.  That explains a lot.  I sound petty here, of this I am well aware.  I live a life of immense privelage.  Americans on the whole are living pretty well.  But sometimes I just like to wallow in it.  Wallow then purge.  Above is one house I in particular coveted.

Otherwise, I just admired the more varied choices in landscaping.  I used to work at a greenhouse and do miss those days.
 5,428 steps, 59 minutes, 233 calories.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Days 40, 41 and 42

I was able to enjoy a nice long walk with my company.  My step mother and her husband came to visit me.  We walked the neighborhood and reminisced a bit about my dad.  (more on that later) It was fantastic.  I missed my walk yesterday (day 41).  But today I assisted my daughter's 3rd grade class on their field trip to the Fern Hollow Nature Center. http://fhnc.org/ We did this in the pouring rain.  The Environmental Charter School kids are tough like that.   We were able to explore the outside areas including Little Sewickly Stream.  The kids found crayfish, salamanders, may flies, and aquatic insects of all sorts.  That was more than an hour's worth of walking for sure.  And tonight I will do a one hour walk video after the kids go to bed. badabing badaboom

Saturday, April 16, 2011


The light outside this evening was gorgeous.  And the clouds were gorgeous.  The moon appeared almost full but my camera phone isn't good enough to get a good shot of it.
 Lovely little hill side civered in grape hyacinth.  I wish I could upload the smell.
5,584 steps 58 minutes
I Tunes picked out another winning mix for me, the highlight was this Van Morrison song which I think of as my Dad's theme song.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Another gorgeous day.  The end of SFTB is growing closer.  Just in time for the weather to be reliably good. hmph

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Crystal clear blue skies today.  Absolute perfection. 5,505 steps and 58 minutes.  I let Itunes choose the mix.  Those genius mixes sure are clever.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 36

So somewhere in that time when I wasn't posting I lost count of the days.  Today is actually day 36.  Phew, don't we all feel better now.  I was dragging around this morning bemoaning the weather and my list of chores.  My walk today was totally invigorating and helped change my perspective quite a bit.  Exercise has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of mild depression.  I am a believer.

This sign was posted on a pole at a bus stop.  This homeowner is clearly miffed at the treatment his property is receiving at the hands of the bus riders.  I thought it was kind of funny.  There was a pile of cigarrette butts right next to it.  These kinds of signs never work.  They just make you look crazy.  How about putting a little garbage can near by?  That's probably more helpful and would get you your desired result.  Also, at least people are eating fruit!

Day 34

It rained like crazytown out there on day 34.  I took my walk indoors in front of the tube.  I look like a dork, but it gets the job done.  I am procrastinating right now.  I have chores to do in preparation for company.  I have to clean the kids' play room.  Hold me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Is it day 33?

I am behind in my posting.  Today I walked first thing in the morning and Molly was overheated before we began! oy.  I walked for 58 minutes and 5,028 steps. 

This Brandi Carlile song was on a mix a friend gave me, and I was very moved.  This friend lost her children in a car accident two years ago.  Her blog, Calapitter, is listed on the right.  If you haven't read there (I know my three followers have!) go have a visit.  And today maybe think of her and her kids.

She and I are going to a concert tonight.  One of the many blessings she has brought into my life is going to see live music.  It has been ages since that was part of my routine and with her presence in my life, live music is back.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'ma little behind

on my posting.  I will get back on track soon.  My brother in law and his girlfriend are visiting us amid their world travels.  That, coupled with my job as mom and the job that pays the bills, has delayed my blog updating.  Stay with me!

Day 29 and 30

 Another twofer a gorgeous walk in Schenley Park.  Molly finally tuckered out on this two hour soujourn.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 28

Today's walk was COLD!  I took a walk in Frick Park before picking the girls up from school.  I walked the Tranquil and Biddle trails.  Molly came with me and was a running, splashing, muddy fool.  I walked for 57 minutes 5,072 steps.

The vet called and Charlotte is in kidney failure.  This most likely will mean subcutaneous fluids will need to be given daily to prolong her life.  I'm bummed.  She is such a wonderful cat.  I have her since 1996.  I
went to the local no kill cat shelter in Tucson, Arizona.  I picked out a very outgoing cat who I ended up naming Baby.  The shelter called and told me that Baby had a best friend and that I could have her for a two for one deal.  That kitty was Charlotte.  And thank goodness I agreed.  It turns out Baby is the high needs loud mouth type and Charlotte is the nurturing motherly type.  Without Charlotte, Baby might have been less than enjoyable.  I really wonder how Charlotte's illness and eventual death will affect Baby.  I know that Chad, the kids and I will be very sad.  But Baby?  She will be losing her bff.  That's not something I care to contemplate.  A girl needs her best friend.                                                     

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 27

Walk: 6,183 steps
1 hour and 8 minutes

 Today we are having a 70 degree day.  I went out on the early side to take full advantage of the goodness.  It is blustery and change is in the air, but I am grateful I had the opportunity to take advantage of the warmth.

^^See the chicken!  I was very happy to see that chicken and her friend.  Although their coop leaves something to be desired aesthetically, I enjoy seeing people take charge of their food supply. 

Today I thought about perfection and outward appearances while walking.  There is this commercial on TV, perhaps you've seen it.  It is for an automatic room freshener spray.  In it a stay at home mom is seen sort of fast motion gliding through her day.  Beautiful house, her look totally put together and gorgeous first thing in the morning, she spins and sends the smiling kids out the door with their backpacks.  Another spin and she is welcoming her buxom stay at home mom friends over for a delightful ladies lunch and coffee klatch.  The evening... well it's another spin and movie time with popcorn, dad, and the kids.  Sigh, isn't it heavenly?  And it smells great too!  I was imagining what an actual real day in my house might look like within that commercial.  See me struggling with my kindergartner to get her dressed for school.  Watch me spin as I dig through the hamper for her beloved "tight" pants that are the only pants she will wear to school, regardless of their cleanliness.  See me spin as I float through the house cleaning up cat vomit!  And voila yet another struggle over tooth brushing at bedtime to spin through.   I am not complaining about my little first world problems here. I am in fact so grateful for all the stuff I just listed. I just find the disconnect between what we want to portray and what we actually are kind of funny.

Recently on this blog I admitted to watching the Nancy Grace show as a guilty pleasure.  A friend thought I was brave (read crazy) for sharing that with the public.  But I feel like it's that stuff, our embarrassing moments, our imperfections, our love of loud abrasive southern attorneys who despise exploitation, that gives me the greatest joy in sharing.  The biggest belly laughs usually ensue.  That is truly the good stuff.

PS: That top most picture on the left are two of my kitties, Baby and Charlotte.  Charlotte is the calico.  She has not been  feeling well and today she went to the vet for a big old workup of tests and pokes and prods.  We are waiting on some results to determine what is the matter.  She is nearly 16 and I imagine whatever is ailing her is not good.  Keep her in your thoughts.  She is a very special animal who has taken good care of her buddy Baby for nearly 15 years and brought me a lot of comfort and joy in that time as well.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's a twofer 25 and 26

Today was Emma's ninth birthday.  We started the day out at home opening presents and having a light breakfast.  We then had a breakfast date at a friend's house with more yummies and candles and presents.  After this I squeezed in my first walk.  I walked the neighborhood and somehow managed to soak up a few moments of sun in what has otherwise been a grim weather week.

Yesterday just got away from me and the walk never happened so this evening, along with my kids, I did a 20 minute walk a mile work out followed by a 40 minute walk and sculpt.  Thank you comcast on demand.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Today's weather was nasty.  So my friend and I walked the steps in the cathedral of learning on Pitt's campus.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Learning Apparently we took our lives in our hands walking up and down those steps.  We were able to walk up 36 floors, the rest are not accessible.  Though we did try.  A tweedy professorial type set us straight and told us where to obtain the best views.

A pretty window in one of the international rooms. Twas a lovely walk finished off with lunch at Ali Baba.  One of my all time favorite places to eat in the burgh.
That's a foggy view of Schenley Park.
I do believe I am halfway through my SWFB commitement.  Fancy that.


I thought this was a great idea to share with you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today was grey and kinda cold and dreary.  I accompanied ECS' third grade to the science center for a field trip.  We saw the Omnimax film Hubble.  There were some beautiful images in there.  I was particularly moved by the image of a dying star that looks like a butterfly.  

4,736 steps (A man with a recently deceased grey hound stopped to love up on Molly and have a chat with me)
58 minutes

I have a picture from today but hell if I can get it onto facebook where I then save it to my computer.  Oh the technology, it does baffle me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 22

Wussed out and used the treadmill at the JCC, it's just too damned cold!  60 minutes about 3 miles and 300 calories. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 21

1 hour and 16 seconds
5,448 steps
The Ipod tells me I burned 215 calories.  Someone forgot to tell it about the hills

                                                           Soundtrack Sarah Bareillis

Days 19 and 20

OK people, here's the part where I disappoint you.  Or perhaps you will receive perverse pleasure from this.  ::shrug::  I did not walk yesterday or the day before.  So glad that I got that off my chest.  Busy working mother of two fails to stick to exercise regime, BIG NEWS!  Today I am jumping back on the horse.  And we will gallop along those hills of Greenfield to the finish.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Smooches.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Evening 18

Holy freezing cold batman!  While the sun is fantastic I could use a few more degrees of warmth.  Saturday after a long day at work, Chad and I took the girls to their respective sleepovers and joined a friend for his 44th birthday celebration.  It was a lovely night and we squeezed in a late night walk afterwards with Molly.  Before we had children we could often be found walking Lady at night.  As a chow chow living in the desert, 6 months out of the year required after sun down walks.  The poor thing, it was way too hot!  But now that the babes are lights out by 8 pm those evening walks don't happen as often.

This picture is a bit trippy.  My camera phone does not appreciate a nght time photo. 56 minutes 5,498 steps.