Because I Can

Well, despite all of my moaning and groaning post-race last year, tomorrow morning, I will do my second Charlottesville Women’s 4-Miler.   Myself and I really had a firm debate just before the sign-ups went live.  (I’m not sure where Me was; she didn’t engage.) 

I asked Myself, “Are you signing up just because it’s the thing to do?”

Myself answered, “Um… maybe?  But we walk 20+ miles a week, and do at least two walks over 4 miles every single week, so … why wouldn’t we sign up?”

So… we did.  I made a stab at rounding up a JLC team, but …  the start of a busy League year isn’t the time for the President to play team captain for a non-League event.  The fab Newsletter Editor is coordinating a group photo, so maybe I’ll remember to hand someone my phone too, or I’ll steal a photo from our members-only Facebook page.

I am not excited about the race.  Despite doing Cross Country and Track in my teens, I don’t love races.  I thoroughly enjoy wogging – walking, running, whatever – with the fur-girls, but dogs aren’t welcome at this event.  I’ve had a long week, haven’t eaten, hydrated or trained the way I would if I took racing seriously, but I’m showing up tomorrow anyway, because I can.

Just about everyone I know has someone close to them fighting a battle.  So many people I know have health care cost concerns, above and beyond any medical issues.  I’m healthy and can cover 4 miles at some respectable enough speed (even if I just walk), and my entry – and presence – will make a difference to a local breast care program.  So tomorrow, I’ll be there, and I’m counting on the dynamic, energetic, delightful women of the JLC who are also showing up in the morning to get me started on the right foot.

And then, I’ll stop and get an egg, ham and cheddar on a raisin bagel for breakfast.  If it’s not too hot when I get home, the girls and I will do another cool-down “lap” and if it is, I’ll let them drag me back out again near dusk.

What’s on your weekend agenda?

(Sorry… the old work computer and WordPress aren’t playing well together today, so no photos.)



The Big O-Five



Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday, but most of all, a very happy fifth birthday to Lady Gretchen Greer!

I thought I’d just share a photo from each year of her life.  She still likes to hang out on my desk when she’s at work, but this photo doesn’t do justice to how tiny she was when we brought her home.  She was only 4 pounds!


This is from her first birthday.  It was so hot that year…  I really didn’t get any great solo shots of the birthday girl, but she’s always happy to share space with the DIVA.

July 2010 014

And while there are CUTER photos from 2010, this one ear (or both!) flipped back is vintage Gg.  It makes the Knight crazy, and he has taught her to recognize “fix your ear.”  She will generally come to me to have the ear(s) flipped forward again, but sometimes, she just stares him down, seemingly pleased that it bothers him!


Yeah, Sissy gets all the DIVA press, but Sis-ma (her benevolent alter ego) is very tolerant of the Brat, Gg’s own alter ego.  This photo from fall 2011 is a great depiction of what we call the “my sister is furniture” pose, which is seen almost daily.  The inner Jack Russell presumptiveness is alive and well within the generally sweet and timid wee one.

photo.JPGJust to bring everything full circle, you can compare this photo from last December with the puppy photo at the top of the post.   She takes up a little more real estate, but she’s still a tiny little girl who likes to be close to her pack. 

Thankful?  Duh?!  We’re all so very thankful Gretchen came to us.   She’s a bit of a challenge, with her highly (reactive) sensitive nature, but she’s so smart and so sweet and totally worth the extra effort it takes to make her world closer to stable.   Happy birthday Gretchen Greer!  I’m looking forward to a not-rainy walk this afternoon, since I know the last two have not been to your satisfaction.

Are you celebrating anything today?

Not So Much

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tried to compose a post for today.  Lots on my mind, and virtually none of it fit to blog.  Much of what is on my mind is not my story to tell.

Anyone else have clusters on the calendar that are busy and emotionally charged?


Gold Toast

The regular readers out there won’t be shocked; I all but forgot to take photos last night, despite toting my phone around the whole time.  So, while there are no photos of me or any other people, I did remember to snap a couple of shots of the theater itself, from the balcony.


Beautiful, eh?  It was a special treat to get a tour of the facilities, including the not-public-access halls to the dressing rooms, green room, etc., which were filled with the signatures from the artists who have performed there. 

UntitledHere’s a slightly different angle from the same spot in the balcony.  I actually took this photo first, then realized a perspective that included the stage might be nice.  The ceiling really might be my favorite part of the grand, golden room.

Our event was held in a room just off the main lobby, and then we watched the “sorting” into advisor groups right there IN the lobby.  It was great fun, and I’m quite excited about this year’s newest members. 

Many thanks to The Paramount for hosting us, and to the fabulous Provisional Committee for planning such a fun, festive kickoff event!

Women’s Equality Day 2013

Happy Women’s Equality Day!   As the old cigarette commercial used to say, “We’ve come a long way baby.”  There’s still plenty of room for improvement, starting with the very Congress that created this day in 1971, but it is nice to know that there is a day to honor the accomplishments and remind us to keep working for TRUE equality.

streetViewIt’s also fun that it falls on one of my favorite events in the League calendar.  The Champagne Toast is only about four years old in our League, but it’s the evening when we toast our newest members and formally welcome them into our organization.   This year, I’m even more excited because the event is being held in our glorious, historic Paramount Theater.   It happened to open about a decade after women were given the right to vote, which also happened on this day in 1920.

I cannot imagine my life without some semblance of equality.   For those who aren’t long-time, regular readers, I was active in politics in college, was a professional firefighter for 12 years, and have spent the past 12 years in the male-dominated water-well industry.   I confess that until I became familiar with Occoquan (the town… its prison and history), I took my right to vote and the equality that comes with it for granted. 

I’m of two minds on that taking for granted.  As a lover of history, I am ashamed that I went to college just a few miles from said prison and yet it was never mentioned in history or political science that little Occoquan housed some of the suffragettes.  However, albeit unknowingly at the time, I was a trail blazer for women in the fire service, and I’m actually delighted that we came so far so fast that few people think anything of seeing women firefighters, police officers, etc. these days.  

Any thoughts on the state of women’s equality?

One down, one to go

32121335_6483My fall wardrobe is almost complete.  Talbots is having a great sale, and I found the green cardi I was looking for.  Now, I think I want a leopard print cardigan, and I’ll call it done.  I am intrigued by leather dresses, but I’m pretty sure I won’t find one at a price I’m willing to pay, so I’m not actively searching.  Plus… wouldn’t a leather dress be hot and bulky?  I’m recalling a THICK ponte knit Lilly P dress I loved a couple of years ago, but after trying it on and feeling bulky and warm in the store, I knew it wouldn’t do.

There.  I do believe I’ve talked myself out of a leather dress.

And yes, I *DO* wear 3/4 length sleeves all year.  I love bracelets and generally have at least one on, so I am constantly pushing my sleeves up anyway.

This has been a weird summer.  The weather folks keep insisting we’re not far off the norms, but it has been wet and cool.  Normally in August, it’s pushing triple digits with humidity levels to match, but no rain, save afternoon storms.  We’ve had the humidity – and then some – but I’m not sure we’ve hit triple digits at all this summer.  I’m not complaining.  While I love sandals and summer dresses, I’m not a fan of high heat or bugs. 

What’s on your weekend agenda?  I have a busy few days ahead, but you’ll just have to come back later to find out more.

Senior Dogs

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday! 

Courtesy of BlogPaws

Courtesy of BlogPaws

You’ll note today’s topic is addressed exclusively on this blog.  Not only is the DIVA in denial about her age, but she’s in a MOOD and is asserting herself all over the place.  

The fact is, I’ve been trying to come to grips with the DIVA’s aging process for about a year.  Her red is fading out, and she’s not leaping to high heights as often anymore.  We still log 20+ miles a week, and she’s generally the one who pushes for a run when we do run, but none of us is growing younger.


Fred, showing off his largeness

When a dog becomes a senior is as open for debate as the classification is for humans.  It’s even muddier for a basset, because some sources classify them as a large breed, and sometimes, large breeds are considered seniors around 5-6 years of age.  Most sources though classify bassets as a medium breed, so Sis, who will be 6 in October, isn’t a senior yet.  I’m selfishly going with that interpretation in part because our vets have laughed about Sis greying prematurely, and because while she’s not the tiny, petite basset I said I wanted,  she lacks Fred’s extra-dense frame. 

Senior dogs have the same potential challenges senior humans face.   They have more aches and pains, making routine activities annoying rather than fun some days.  Their metabolisms slow.  They can develop arthritis and even senility.  Hearing and vision sometimes fade, as do their coats.  The best approach is to talk to your vet about any changes in your dog’s appearance or habits.  Poor Fred required better living through pharmacology, beginning when he was about 6, but Sissy has made her own subtle adjustments, and I think that as long as she remains trim and active, she isn’t likely to need even joint supplements for a good while.

There are even vets who specialize in senior pets.  The vet we saw immediately after Wondervet moved away has a special interest in senior pet care, but she was also fabulous for timid Gg.  

I’m thankful that I live in an age when our pets are family, where limited, quality ingredient treats and pet foods are becoming the norm, where we have access to highly trained specialists for our pets.   And I’m always grateful for our blogging community.   Many of you have become treasured friends!

What are you thankful for today?



Fawning over spots

UntitledWe have twin fawns in the woods.  I don’t know where Mom and Twin were, but one fawn was feeling rather brazen yesterday evening, as the dogs and I were getting ready to head out for our walk. 

(Pardon the debris in the background.  It’s been a wet, sticks on the ground kind of summer.)

The deer are rather tame.  Sissy’s screaming – er, incessant barking – doesn’t faze them.   This one posed for me for probably close to a minute before retreating to the safety of the woods.

UntitledThey won’t have spots much longer, but I do love their spots.  Even though we see these deer daily, we – the humans – don’t tire of admiring them. 

On the other hand, Sissy yells her fool head off every time she sees them.  They aren’t welcome in her yard, she says.  I’m not sure why… they don’t really hurt anything, but they make her crazy.  Gretchen takes spells, but sometimes if there are no squirrels to bark at, she’ll bark at the deer too.

Of course, I do like spots and dots in fashion too, but that’s another story. 

What are you delighting in today?

Pledge to eat healthier

If you’ve been here more than once, you’ve likely read something about the Junior League.  Yes, I’m a two-term President here in podunk, but I’m also very proud of what we do as an international association. 

KITKcolorLogoOne of our most visible partners at the Association (AJLI) level is Kashi.  This is not an advertisement for their products, although I do like some quite well.  Please don’t leave comments about their brand or products; this post is just about Kashi’s latest effort to support AJLI’s Kids in the Kitchen programs. 

For every pledge to eat healthier, Kashi will donate $2 to Kids in the Kitchen.  Will you consider taking the pledge?  Each of the three options is easy enough to do.  I believe the funds donated go directly to the AJLI Kashi Awards, given to individual leagues doing great things with their Kids in the Kitchen programs.  I am hopeful the JLC will be recognized… but we have to apply first!

Two New (to me) Series

Courtesy of Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

After talking about weaving last week, imagine my surprise when the first book in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, Last Wool and Testament, turned out to feature weaving. 

It was an easy read and the characters are entertaining, but unfortunately, I had correctly guessed whodunnit very early into things.  However, there were still plenty of twists and turns, so I was still a little surprised at the end.

I will note that if snakes make you squirm… well, it’s not exactly a spoiler, but consider yourself warned.   There’s one scene/chapter that caused me to put my feet up, and pet Gretchen lots.  I was relieved that I did NOT end up having bad dreams about snakes that night, but the Knight says it’s because Gretchen kept them away.  (Remember?  I’ve suggested the girl needs to take up knitting and quit snake hunting.)

Next up was the start of the Creative Women series, also done by Annie’s Attic, following the same, multi-author format as the Annie’s Attic series.   The parallels between the two series would be highly annoying if the characters weren’t so well-done and likeable.  Both main characters are young widows.  There are fraternal, male-female, twin “children” in both series, in Annie’s, they are her grands, and in CW, they are Shannon’s children.  Both Annie and Shannon inherit big ol’ houses from their grandmothers, and obviously, both series are all but set in a craft shop.

I’m just into book #3 in the CW series, but so far, I like it better than AA.  Basically Bloggless Susan says it’s because the CW mysteries are a little more developed, but I’m not sure…  I think maybe I just like Shannon better than Annie.  Both women are roughly the same age, but Shannon is more relatable for me.

My reading goal for 2013 was 100 books, and unless I cheat and add some low-page-count children’s books (The Jack Russell Detective books maybe?), I think I’m going to fall short.  Right now, it appears I’ll finish up around the 75 (give or take) that I read last year.   This is why I don’t do resolutions and goals!  I don’t want to read just for the sake of reading.

Have you discovered any new series or authors lately?