Yesterday evening we had another great Junior League opportunity.   A member used her connections and we got a preview class at Pure Barre.  

Here’s a description from their website:

Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective way to change the shape of your body. Using small isometric movements at the ballet barre set to motivating music, Pure Barre lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms and burns fat in record breaking time. Clients see results in just 10 classes, lose inches in weeks and have fun doing it!

I don’t know how fast one sees results, but we definitely got a great workout and had fun doing it. 

Pure Barre technique is:

  • Pure fun.
  • Pure intensity.
  • Pure…ly do-able without learning fancy footwork.
  • Pure…ly adaptable to your fitness level and/or limitations.
  • Pure…ly addictive.  I want to go back!

Our class had women of varying degrees of fitness and flexibility, and the instructor kept an eye on each of us and assured our success.   I have some pretty serious restrictions with my back, but I didn’t even need to modify anything in the particular class we had yesterday, nor did I even make the instructor aware of my plight.   I do understand from my friend who is a new instructor that each instructor teaches a different routine, so once I’ve tried a few more, I’ll be better able to speak to how well it works for those of us with some limitations, but I already know there’s at least one well-suited to my needs.  Given my experience and my candid discussion with my friend before I signed up, I am comfortable saying they are a friendly environment for most any special consideration.

Has anyone else tried the Pure Barre technique?

What’s up for the weekend?



Thorsday Confessions

June 2012 008

My tender heart

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday.  Gretchen has a little post up with some doggy bloggy news for you.   That’s actually a great place to start the heart of my post.  See, Gg is a very sensitive, responsive dog.  You can’t slam down a book, TV remote, etc. with any emotion at all, or she gets upset.  You can’t yell at the TV during a sporting event.  You can’t tell an animated story until she’s safely in my arms, or outside where the ebb and flow of human emotions can’t bother her. 

Her only flaws are that she’s too timid sometimes, and on the flip side of her schizophrenic terrier-tude, she’s a fearless snake hunter.  Yikes.  I’m still trying to get her a new hobby!

Then, we have Sissy-missy, Princess of Joy.  She’s never known trediptation, or even caution.  In short, Sissy is the fur-kid version of the wild child I feared I would have.   What brought on this post was our walk yesterday.  We have another heatwave in the making.  Yesterday offered low humidity, but I don’t walk the dogs when it is over 85 degrees, regardless of the humidity.  So, around 6:45 pm, we headed out.

April 2012 008

The DIVA, deer watching at home

Problem was, the deer don’t have a mama reading the thermometer.  They followed their regular schedule.  And DIVA the Huntress loves her some deer.   Both girls go on high alert and get VERY vocal and otherwise excited when they see deer, even though we live in the woods and they see them up-close and personal EVERY flippin’ day. 

Now… if you don’t know hounds and their vocal range, you might not fully appreciate the rest of this story.  Anyway.  As I reached the turn-around point for our walk, at the bottom of a trail beside the horse field, the nice neighbor who lets us use the paths and keeps them maintained raced up in his SUV. 

Hem.  Seems his sweet wife heard Sissy hollarin’ at the deer and was sure one of us was hurt.  Hem.  Can you say beyond embarrassed in every language you know? 

So thankful… Yes, I’m quite thankful that we have wonderful, kind neighbors who care.   I’m also grateful our woods are not burning, but I’m without words to express my gratitude that there are selfless, brave men and women who are fighting the wildfires in the west.   As a life member of a fire company and a former paid firefighter, I’m here to tell you that it takes a REALLY special person to brave the elements and stare down the wrath of Mother Nature in the form of a wildfire.

Wild Fire Tees has several designs available for pre-order.   Proceeds go to the wildfire victims.

What are you thankful for today?

When in the course of current events…

My dear Mr. Jefferson, pardon the pun.  However, I couldn’t help myself.  I know at least two of you will appreciate my attempt at humor… 

Linked back to source

To my readers, I apologize for falling off the face of the earth.  Current events have indeed weighed me down.  Like almost every other resident of the area I affectionately call Podunk, I have been caught up in “As the Rotunda Turns” as a local radio personality put it.   At one point over the past 10 days or so, I understand we were Tweeting hot topic #2, second to a big world event.  (Which one escapes me at the moment.)

I am not UVA alumni.   I am not UVA employed.  However, I have lived and worked under Mr. Jefferson’s shadow most of my life, and I love his university anyway.   I think he is smiling down on it now, both because passionate students and faculty took action when they saw “tyrants” at work, and because the Board of Visitors took a deep breath and did something that’s very hard for adults to do, and even harder for a board of any sort to do… they not only admitted they made a mistake, but they corrected it, all in a very public forum. 

Life can return to normal in Podunk, where we locals enjoy the restaurants on the Corner that are too crowded during the school year…

JLCS Cookbook – click image to purchase

Which brings me to the heart of my post.  Life is so far from normal for my JL sister-friends in Colorado Springs.   Not only are we part of the same international organization, but because of the League’s beautiful transfer program, one of their former members is now in leadership in our League.  Because she’s just the warmest, brightest woman in any room, I made a new friend just uttering her name when I found myself seated next to my counterpart in their system over a year ago, and the current JLC President Elect and I had the best breakfast in San Fran with their now President and PE.

So now, those home-engulfing wildfires are personal.  Friends of friends have lost so very much, and there’s not really an end in sight.   However, there’s always a silver lining; I don’t believe any of my board members read my blog, but I have to give them shout-outs anyway.  When I emailed first the Executive Committee (everyone with President anywhere in her title) and then the rest of the Board, I not only received unanimous support for a letter of support, but those big hearts, willing hands and sharp minds challenged me to find a way to do more.

So of course, we are.  Our shared gem and I are working with the JLCS leaders to figure out precisely what will be most helpful, but in the meantime, we’re all invited to donate to the Care & Share Food Bank and the Pikes Peak Red Cross.

A note on Junior League Cookbooks…  PLEASE always search for the publishing League’s website and buy directly from the League.  Yes, it’s generally more expensive and you’ll have to pay shipping too, but a larger percentage of the purchase goes directly to the League and its community efforts when you buy directly from them.  Oh, and especially for JLCS right now, obviously it takes longer for them to do the pre-shipping work too, but I hope you’ll think it’s worth the extra funds and the wait to contribute more to their organization.

Of course, if you order from Amazon, a portion of the proceeds still go to that League and you might get free shipping too, but I thought I’d mention that it does make a difference…




No, not THOSE short-shorts.  I’m talking about a novella, I suppose…  The Diary of Darcy J. Rhone.  

Full confessions…  Emily Giffin was one of the speakers back when the JLC did Literary Feast.   Her books are definitely in what I’d call the “beach read” category, which is to say they’re easy to read, heavy on relationship drama.  However, having the advantage of hearing her speak and even to have chatted with her personally,  I will note that even not-heavy reading can deal with heavy issues.  Giffin forever changed the way I refer to my own not-a-mother status; I am not childless, as in something is missing from my life.  I am child-free by choice, which is far more empowering.

More confessions.  Darcy is NOT my favorite character.   In fact, I don’t like her one tiny bit, and that was before I got to see inside her tiny teenage mind.  And boy, is it narrow, small, self-absorbed… you get the point!   So unless you’re a fan of Giffin’s work and/or already familiar with Darcy, I can’t do anything other than steer you away from this little read, even if you did enjoy Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.  in grade school. 

HOWEVER.  If you have read Something Borrowed and you’re familiar with Darcy, it’s a light read that will make you chuckle, roll your eyes, and probably remember your own high school drama – and I’m not talking about the drama department.  

I did read it via i-stuff and the Kindle app.  That’s my favorite way to read, because I can start something on my iPhone while waiting somewhere on someone, pick up where I left off on my iPad, and those smart little devices keep me all synched!

What did you finish weekend?

Next Summer I Might…

Kathy had a cute post yesterday and asked a good question, “What won’t you do this summer?”  There’s a lot I won’t do this summer, but very little of it is anything I’d change.


Sissy running on the beach 2009

We don’t go on summer vacations, and that’s fine with me.  I didn’t grow up going to the beach every summer, and we love the Outer Banks off-season.

I’m very busy this year with Junior League meetings, trainings, socials and such.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It took me a very long time to decide I wanted to be president of the JLC, and it is very rewarding to work with other talented, passionate women committed to making our community – and our organization – a better place.

However, next summer there will be a new president, and I’ll have free time, so it’s fun to ponder what I might do when I don’t have meetings more nights than not, and when I’m not tied to email.

So, next summer I might…

  • Take sewing lessons.
  • Sing in the choir again.
  • Train for a half marathon.  (As a walker, of course.  My back doesn’t run anymore.)
  • Start attending a knit night.
  • Knit more!
  • Read more books, as opposed to emails and League documents.
  • Plan a girlfriends retreat.
  • Cook dinner regularly rather than trying to figure out which of us is closer to our favorite take-out staples.

… but most likely, I’ll just throw myself into another project.

Anything exciting ahead for your weekend?


2 Million Dogs

Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday.  Today we’re rolling it all into one… I’m thankful I stumbled across another great dog cause.

Have you heard of 2 Million Dogs?   Their premise is simple.  Cancer.  Touches.  Everyone.   You can read more about them here, or you and your dog(s) can become part of the 2 million dogs walking to draw attention to cancer.   There isn’t a walk near us, and Gretchen doesn’t do well with strange dogs, but I’m still toying with the idea of starting a walk in our area.   (You know, because I have all this free time when I’m not working, running a non-profit, walking 30+ miles a week with the fur-girls, blogging, reading, being an administrative member of our fire company…)

Some things are THAT important.   Cancer awareness, canine cancer awareness, finding a way to support friends…   Are any of my local pals up for a little walk in a local dog-friendly area for a good cause?  (At midnight, under a blue moon, because I think that’s the only time I’ll be available… hem.)

The fur-girls have a special call for support up today too. 

I’m thankful for Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good campaign on Facebook, because that’s how I learned of 2 Million Dogs.  I’m not naive enough to think that these companies are purely philanthropic; I took marketing in college and am getting a refresher course as the JLC has its first-ever Marketing Vice President now to keep us focused on our brand and message.   I realize what I see as heart-warming charity is really a tax write-off, but I still am impressed with companies that put their money into something other than their top executives’ pockets.

And since I’m composing this at home the night before, I am ridiculously grateful for the 1987 “musical” and that the Knight knows every line and every song by heart…  Dirty Dancing.  (No coincidences… guess why Patrick Swayze left us too soon?)  Music is memories.  I saw this movie on my first college date, in Georgetown, just so you know.

Or as Eric Church puts it, “…funny how a melody sounds like a memory…”  The entire Dirty Dancing Soundtrack – both albums – would have to be in the soundtrack of my life.

What is it about the first summer heatwave that makes me think in song lyrics?

What music and/or movies are you grateful for?

Happy Wear Your Lilly Day!


Attempt at a self-portrait for you

According to The Pink Palm on Facebook and Twitter, it’s National Wear Your Lilly Day.   Works for me, since my part of the country has gotten a little carried away with this first day of summer nonsense.  I’d already planned to wear my very cool and comfy Lilly Kori in the Guiding Light print.   I love a dress for carefree getting dressed time; I slapped my feet into my obnoxious yellow Hush Puppies Rockabilly platforms, added a little Old Navy white cardi, and I’m ready for anything.

Photo courtesy of a Bing search, linked to the original source

I also forgot to tell you that the Knight scored a single box of the 2012 Lilly P animal crackers for me.  I don’t know where he found them, but they were the lone box in the store, just waiting to come to our house.  I love the PANK this year!

Hopefully, it’s more comfortable where you are, and you aren’t in danger of melting and running down a crack when you venture outside.   Today’s dog walk will be insanely short, and Sissy will still wear her cool collar, just in case.

Little Things

Little things have been coming up in conversations lately.  I instinctively think of Saint Therese, saint of the little things.  However, while I’ve petitioned her recently for a seemingly “little thing” in the grand scheme of things, this post is more about the little things we can do to make the world a better place.  Most are free and/or almost effortless.

ARS rain boots

Firstly, do you click?  I get a daily reminder from the Animal Rescue Site, but while I’m there, I click over to their sibling sites and click away.   Every once in a while, I’ll shop there too, for even greater good.  Those “wellies” may have accidentally found their way to my home.  I don’t wear wellies regularly, but about twice a year, I wish I had a pair.  Right now, my trendiest, cutest friends are wearing them with super-stylish dresses, skirts, leggings, and of course, they look fab over skinny jeans!  I figure these will go with everything.

Do you save boxtops?  Boxtops for Education is an easy way to support schools.  No, I am not a teacher and don’t have a student in my home, but I have friends who teach, so MJ and I donate our boxtops to them.  You can also sign up so any “online boxtops” you earn go to the school of your choice as well. 

I’m on a slippery slope, because I can’t mention or link to EVERYONE with a similar program.  However I encourage you to check with your local grocery stores and see if you can sign up so your reward points go to the school of your choice, and before to put that box in the recycling bin, make sure there isn’t a boxtop or some other opportunity to support a charity/your community on there. 

What little things do you do to make a difference?


Daddy Taught Me…

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!  Vera Bradley had a great post earlier this week, and it inspired me and the fur-girls.


My father taught me to give of my time and talents, even to the point of sacrifice.  Like the Knight and my father inlaw, my father was a volunteer fire chief.  Both of my parents were Scout leaders too.

He taught me that dogs are part of the family.

He taught me to not just respect my elders, but to hold them in high esteem.

He taught me that skin color didn’t matter any more than the color of a person’s hair.

He taught me to believe in myself and helped instill in me a sense of self-worth.  Sadly, I am still learning that not everyone had such a strong cheerleader growing up, and many women and girls don’t value themselves or each other as much as they should.

Some of the things he taught me, I learned third-hand.  For instance, my father inlaw shared one of my father’s leadership “tricks” he aspired to follow…  Daddy used to pull a firefighter aside and say, “Let’s go for a ride.”  That’s when the confrontation or teaching moment happened, not in front of the group.   No need to speak softly or carry a stick at all when you treat those you’re leading with compassion and dignity.

While I could write for days, no tribute to what my father taught me would be complete without the line both he and Nana frequently tossed out instead of “Bye”…

Remember who you are and what you represent.


Generic Thorsday Post

June 2012 002

A blooper photo for you

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and whatever else we can celebrate today.

The girls’ blog features a post about a cooling collar that has helped Sissy weather the heat.  However, I’m stretched a little thin today, so that’s about all you get for the dogs part of Thorsday. 

Thankful?  I’m very grateful for below average temperatures.  I like each and every season, but now that long walks are a big part of my time with the fur-girls, the lower temperatures make it less of a hassle and more pleasant.  When it’s above 80 and we’re going more than a couple of miles, I feel like a pack mule. 

What little thing stirs your gratitude today?