"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, 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.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 17 Ode to Molly

Today's walk was 59 minutes and change and 5,617 steps.  Molly accompanied me.  She was as enthusiastic as ever.  I started off at a run and she kept looking at me as if wondering, could this be true?  Are we running?  This is so fun!  I slowed down pretty quickly but she was still as happy as could be.  She never complains and looks at me like "another walk?  are you kidding?"  That is one of the many glorious things about dog ownership.  I have had two other very special dogs in my life.  And all three of these dogs have given their unconditional love and enthusiasm no matter what the circumstance.

There is a very sad poem I love called Good Boy which I think captures the essence of dog ownership.  Remember it's a sad one so get out a hanky.  I have no idea who wrote it. 

Small companion,
Sometimes I think I see you stir

From your pallet on the floor
and in the moment before the mind

rights itself, I call your name
the way I said it to myself the night

I lifted you from the street
knowing everything would be different.

Blame is as useful as a broken chain,
as the decision I made day after day

to let you run free.  Free, you lay
on the rain-stricken street

silver-eyed, without breath,
black curls tight against your perfect chest.

The vet said it was quick, your unmarred body
dying on the inside, all the organs crying together.

Dog of the many days, of the city, of the desert,
I hear the jangle of your collar in my dreams.

I see you standing on the stairs
or racing down the hill, explaining in your best way

that you want to come too.  That you'll be a good boy.
That you remember everything I ever taught you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Me and Mr. Buble

Today is day 16.  It started out cold and dreary this morning, but when I started my walk at 4:30 the sun was out and it was a nice brisk temperature.  I walked for 58 minutes and 5 seconds, 4,905 steps.  The soundtrack was Michael Buble.  He is one of my guilty pleasures.  His voice makes me swoon and I heart all the old standards.  My husband approves of my Michael love.  I have a lot of guilty pleasures.  Tuna noodle casserole with potato chips on top, The Nancy Grace show.  This one in particular I will only indulge in if my husband is not in the same room as the TV and the kids are in bed.  Munchos...oh that salty goodness.  Jennifer Aniston movies.  The list goes on.  How ya like me now?   What are your guilty pleasures?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 15

What a difference a day makes.  My man is home safe and sound.  And nobody has yet to give me the finger.  Score two for me!  I had a delightful walk with my eldest today.  We discovered an open fire hydrant and some lovely pansies along the way.  4,559 steps and 61 minutes

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today sucked enormous donkey penis.  That's right, you heard me.  I know you don't want to hear my long list of whiney complaints.  Suffice it to say that my day is summed up by the woman at Beacon and Beechwood who gave *me* the finger when SHE ran the stop sign.  Classy!  I am solo parenting right now so I ended up doing a 45 minute on demand "Walk and Sculpt" exercise show and a 15 minute yoga routine.  That's all I could give today. 

Today I am grateful for coffee and the kindest and coolest of all baristas, Jamie, at Make Your Mark.  That was one of my day's better moments. 


Monday, March 21, 2011

Lucky 13

Today's weather is glorious.  It is warm and balmy with a bit of a breeze.  The mud is squishy and the trees are in full bud.  I had a brown bag lunch with my friend in Upper Frick Park.  Then she joined me for my walk.  I did run out of the house without my ipod but I took a few pics with my phone.  This one is of a budding forsythia.  There were two little bugs on there making babies but I didn't have a good enough lens to capture the R rated action.

Today I am so very grateful for the women in my life.  Beautiful friends who are tolerant, hilarious, warm and wonderful make my life so much better.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Garbage Day 12

Today I wanted my walk to be a bit more useful.  The girls and I walked up and down Stanley Street and picked up garbage and recyclables.  The most unusual thing we found was an entire unopened bottle of white vinegar.  After emptying that, Emma was pretty much a lost cause.  Vinegar is one of her least favorite smells.  They were troopers for the most part but I lost their help at 40 minutes. 

I am here to say that fast food is not only ruining the health of our country's citizens, it makes up abot 75% of the litter on Stanley Street. That and cigarette butts.  Ewwww.

57 minutes
1,338 steps


Another day, another hill.  5,190 steps the soundtrack nature.  I was lucky enough after this walk to go to a friend's house and enjoy an amazing meal of homemade fettucini with vodka sauce.  You cannot beat that.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Today's walk was a morning one.  The weather is gorgeous again.  The soundtrack was a bit of a throwback, Ani Difranco's self titled first album.  It was a revelation to me when I was 19 and still is. http://www.righteousbabe.com/store/asx/anidifranco/TalkToMeNow.asx  I was lucky enough to see Ani at The Artery in 1993 (?) after procuring a fake ID.  She opened with Both Hands and I was totally blown away.  That album is part of the soundtrack to my growing up and taking my first stabs at independence.

1 hour and 2 minutes, 5,756 steps.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


What can I say?  60 degrees and sunny.  A walk with friends and dogs.  Some steep hills.  Twas a good one.  1 hour and 4 minutes, 3,559 steps.  It's funny to compare the steps of a hilly walk to a flat walk.  On Sunday I hope to convince my kids to come with me and we can pick up trash and recyclables along the way.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 8

Today was gray and there was a chill in the air.  I chose to listen to Edith Piaf on my ipod and pretend I was walking the streets of Paris. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFRuLFR91e4  If I squinted my eyes tightly and...just kidding.  No one would mistake the streets of Greenfield for the streets of Paris. 

I found out about this book called "The Cocktails of the Ritz Paris" written by the very well regarded bartender there.  http://www.amazon.com/Cocktails-Paris-Colin-Peter-Field/dp/0743247523  One such divine concoction is called Serendipity which contains champagne, calvados, apple juice and fresh mint.  Give it to me please!  See photos here http://grantourismotravels.com/2010/05/02/serendipity-a-paris-cocktail-from-the-world%E2%80%99s-greatest-bartender/

Speaking of bars, there are several in my neighborhood.  Too many one might say.  The most mysterious one is the Win Green.  It has no windows and many signs advising that NOBODY under 18 will be permitted to enter.  It even has a curtain covering that little window in the door, how welcoming!  I took a photo of the door handle, which I actually love and puts me in mind of days gone by, it has that Art Deco feel.  Or something, art historian I am not.  I imagine illicit gambling and many burly men inside smoking cigars.  Surely they do not serve the Serendipity, more likely just Iron City on tap.

58 minutes
5,522 steps

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 7

One week down!  Yay me!  Thanks go to my friend Amy for keeping me company today.  We had a lovely, chatty walk in Schenly Park.  I feel so lucky to have this gorgeous green open space just minutes from my door.  Molly was off leash and running around like crazy.  A few times she went down over a ledge and I was worried but she always tromped back up with a smile on her face.  1 hour and 7 minutes today 7,173 steps.  And the rain held out.  I am definitely in a better state of mind today.  This evening I have a date with my oldest daughter.  I am so grateful that she wants to spend time with me.  I will enjoy that while it lasts.  She is approaching those tween years at light speed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 6

Today was hard.  I was too helpless in the face of all the horrible news.  I was not centered and had too few laughs.  I came home from work around 730 and still had to put the kids to bed and figure out what to eat.  blah blah blah.  But the walk still needed to happen.  In all honesty I didn't make it the full hour.  43 minutes 3,693 steps. 

This poem helps me so I thought I 'd share it
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 5

Today I had to squeeze my walk in after working and putting the kids to bed.  I did not want to go.  But go I did and it was a great walk!  It was cool enough to be invigorating but not cold.  Molly my faithful companion was as enthusiastic as ever and Greenfield has some great views of a twinkly downtown Pittsburgh.

58 minutes 5,356 steps this evening. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 4

What a difference a day makes.  Today was all sunshine and tweeting birds.  I unfortunately had to add a pit stop into my walk to pick up antibiotics for Maeve.  She came down with strep throat over the past two days.  Good to know that yesterday she was at The Carnegie Museum sharing her germs with the whole city.  Due to this stop I did not take my dog along on the walk.  It turns out that it is she who has been propelling me up all these hills.  It was a much more challenging walk without her. 59 minutes 6,370 steps. 

On the soundtrack

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 3

This morning I was woken up with a phone call from my mother in law letting me know that her town in Oregon was being evacuated because of a tsunami warning.  Her home is thankfully on high ground but she had to gather up her elderly mother in law and stock some supplies.  Her husband had to evacuate the hotels he manages.  This was all happening at 3 am their time.  I am praying for her and for all the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Here in Pittsburgh it was a snowy walk this morning.  And I was grateful for the peacefulness of it.  I walked 5,809 steps in 58 minutes time.  The soundtrack included this fabulous song http://bcove.me/7858q2lm and it felt very appropriate.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 2

Day two is another rainy day.  I wanted to complain about that but decided to be grateful instead.  When I was living in Tucson, Arizona in the mid to late nineties I longed for rainy days.  I wanted a day exactly like today where I could curl up under a blanket, read a book, feel introspective, and  cook something long and simmering in the kitchen.  The sun shines pretty much every day in the desert.  And mostly that's a good thing.  But there was always part of me that wanted to be back in Pittsburgh brooding through a rainy day.
Today I took a short video of the mural the sproutfund put on Greenfield Avenue.  I love it. It really does improve the look of our main drag.   And I also took a video of the view of Downtown from Bigelow Street. 

I walked for 55 minutes (!) and 5,271 steps.  I was definitely dragging today.  Lately it feels as if I am being pulled in a thousand directions.  I am hoping things will slow down soon for me.  The weather forecast is calling for a possibility of 4 to 6 inches of snow this evening.  Maybe that will force us all to take a breather tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day One

Today's walk happened first thing in the morning. Thanks go to my husband for getting the girls off to school. I walked in Greenfield from 7:22 to8:23 and took 6, 072 steps according to the pedometer on my Ipod. Here are some scenes from my rainy sojourn. That first one is Lydia Street a very steep hill. That's why Greenfielders have sexy legs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Walk For The Border

Tomorrow is the first day of many that I will be walking one hour per day to raise money for the children of Nogales, Mexico. I was inspired by a friend of a friend to participate in this fundraising. Here's a link to all the info www.swimfortheborder.com I decided to use this blog as the place where I will share all of my efforts with my sponsors. My goal is to take a picture each walk and give general information about either the route, distance, steps etc of my daily walk. Thank you all for your donations and for suporting the deserving children of Nogales.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Driving Home

Yesterday when driving home from school, we had to drive by the house my father grew up in. It is a tiny little thing in the middle of a set of row houses, number 4307 and 1/2. Sadly a couple of years ago the house had a fire and it's been unoccupied since. The windows are boarded up and the mailbox with its Steeler sticker remains empty. That doesn't stop my 5 year old from asking if we can drive by though. She wants to see the house her Grandfather grew up in and she wants to see it often. Yesterday she said "Wouldn't it be great if Dzadi (that's what we call him. I believe it means "old man" in Polish but I have no proof of that) still lived there. That way we could stop by and see him all the time. Sadly he smoked." She even said that word, "Sadly". It was funny and touching all at the same time. My daughter's name is Maeve and she is here in large part because of Dzadi. She never had the chance to meet him, he died before she was born. At the time my oldest, Emma, was 18 months old and I just never saw myself having another child. But as I struggled through that year my dad had lung cancer I came to rely on my brother in ways I never expected. And I was so grateful to have him to share the experience with. What a gift he is. And I thought that my child deserved to have a sibling. someone to understand her in a way no one else ever will. I hope they will treasure each other. And I know that this may take time.