Thanks and Giving

UntitledHappy Thorsday, Thankful Thursday, Thanksgiving and …  You’ll note it’s not little friday.  I’m most grateful for a very long weekend.  My new employer gave us two days off, and Sissy is determined that we are going to make up for the two days of walking lost to foul weather.   I think the fur-girls are also a little confused about the “gobble” part of the holiday.

For us, this is a quiet holiday, a time to contemplate and collect my thoughts before we launch into a busy holiday season.  The Knight and my sister also have birthdays in early December, so I try not to rush into the Christmas decorating and such.  I have done a lot of my shopping, but the right cards still elude me.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

Parading Literacy

UntitledSaturday was one of my favorite moments in the JLC year, the Downtown Holiday Parade.  It was a little early this year, but that’s okay.  We had fun!

Sorry there’s no photo of me in my pajamas in public.  Seriously…  I waited 24+ hours to compose this post so that I could share one of our group photos with you.  The theme was The Polar Express.   It took a little education on my part.  First, a co-worker had to correct me and let me know it is The POLAR EXPRESS, not the polar bear express as I inaccurately called it.  Then, another co-worker took pity on me and asked me if I knew about the Coors Light train.  Yeah…  Well, that’s how the Polar Express works, only with little kids from bed to the North Pole.


Got it!  I even swallowed my pride and wore pajamas in public while handing out candy canes.  Other Leaguers were handing out cute little scrolls that were a Polar Express reading challenge, tied with ribbon, a bow and the rather popular little quote about bells and believing.

I’m amazed yet again by the talent and vision our members possess.   They turned a golf cart into a train engine in just a few hours,  and still other members showed up with their own children (and sadly, no photos of the pair of BEAUTIFUL Goldens, representing the 4-footed kid crowd) and spouses and more to represent the JLC.

UntitledAnd while I loved the theme this year and the connection to our new literacy focus, it was a dream come true to have BROOD – Basset Rescue of the Old Dominion – following us in the parade!  Have you ever seen a cuter Mrs. Claus!?

(Oh look!  There’s one of “our” Goldens in the far, far back right…  I think it’s Bonnie.  Brody is a BIG “yearling” who is already 95 lbs. and I’m quite sure that if he fills out to match his head and feet, he’ll weigh about 11o or better.)

Are you in the holiday spirit yet?

Clearly I’m not quite there yet, despite an order to decorate at work (the interior is done) and the festive parade.  I’m still undecided on the card problem.  There are no perfect photos, and I’ve yet to find the right charitable card either…


Whose Walk?

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and more.  Gretchen is soliciting advice, so feel free to weigh in.   I actually want to share a new find with you.  Our walks are sacred.  Unless it’s really raining hard or I simply cannot get home before it’s truly dark, we walk, wog or run every day.  Thankfully, we live in an age when reflective, moisture-wicking attire is fairly easy to find, so I’m not going to get into that part today.  The dogs each have reflective jackets and bandanas, and when we go out with any chance of dusk falling before we get home, we’re all wearing something reflective.

mainproredBut KT Tape is new to me, and I’m a fan already.  When my back was troubling me, I used a lot of the over the counter patches, and over the years, I shudder to think how many elastic bandages and ankle supports I’ve purchased and used.  I also appreciate all the videos and printable instructions for application KTT offers.  I consider myself a bit of a wrapping expert, but because this tape does more than support and/or immobilize, do yourself a favor and watch and read before you slap some tape to skin.

It isn’t cheap, but sometimes you have to pay for technology – and results.  And my workout partners are relentless, so I can’t “lay out” much, especially with a relatively minor injury.

montrail-mountain-masochist-outdry-trail-running-shoes-waterproof-mid-cut-for-women-in-stainless-reef~p~6088g_01~1500.2I also bought a pair of running … boots.  Sierra Trading Post and/or Montrail call them mid-cut shoes, but on me, they come up well above my ankle bone, so I’m calling them boots.  The full product name is a bit much – Montrail Mountain Mascochist Out-Dry Trail Running Shoes – but don’t let that slow you down.  They are stiffer than my favorite trail running shoes (Brooks Cascadia), but they aren’t TOO stiff.  Likewise, I was very concerned about the high top, especially for running, but I’ve worn them twice now without any problems.

But then again, I wear boots to work and have off and on for most of my adult life.  I know to lace them about as snuggly as I can tolerate it, so they won’t scoot around and rub blisters.  They are requiring some break-in, so thus far, I’ve only done two, two-mile walk-wog-runs in them.  They are FAR more functional that the high-top sneakers of my youth, which I wore for basketball and rifle corps, and I just remember them being annoying and distracting.

I am QUITE certain these wouldn’t be at all comfortable over about 50 degrees, but then… they’re waterproof, so …  I don’t expect them to be cool like mesh shoes.  And it doesn’t appear that it will be much over 50 degrees here in the near future, so…  I’ll keep breaking them in and Sissy and Gretchen will continue to log the miles that they have come to expect   demand on a daily basis…

The Knight added to my cool weather workout attire recently, and announced that they were the dogs’ Christmas presents.  I thought he meant FROM the dogs to me, but he clarified that no, it’s THEIR walks I go on, so therefore, the attire I require to conduct said walks is … for the dogs.  He’s a smart man, and I’m a lucky woman.

What are you thankful for today?

Mistletoe Me!

Sunday was the 10th annual Mistletoe Market.  I have a really awful tradition of shopping for myself more than others, but this year it was early enough and the planets aligned, and …  I bought several gifts.  You can’t see those, because some of them are for some of you, but I will show you the fails  the stuff I bought for myself.

I bought coconut pound cake and cranberry pumpkin bread from Apron Strings, but unless you live near Portsmouth, Virginia, you’re out of luck.  And you don’t even get photos because the Knight and the vultures at work devoured it all.  I did get a bite of the coconut and a whole slice of the pumpkin, so  I can assure you it was fabulous.

UntitledI also snagged this PANK leather and silver bracelet from a vendor who didn’t give me her card, didn’t have her logo on her gift box…  Pity.  It’s a pretty thang, and I bought another gift – you know… for someone else? – from her too.  She had a lot of pretty sterling jewelry, in both traditional and more contemporary styles.

It was a great mix of vendors.  Lots of jewelry, some food and cooking items, some custom art, some shoes, children’s clothes, personalized items and more were represented.  And again… I can’t share everything because I did buy some gifts!  Yeah, I’m proud of myself.  We won’t talk about the cards I need to figure out and get in the mail in the next few weeks.  (I’m sure someone has some great charitable cards that would make it all okay that I’m not doing photo cards this year, right?  Feel free to share ideas!)

UntitledLast but hardly least was another gift for me from Erin McDermott Jewelry.  Yes, it’s part of a pair, but if you knew how much trouble I’m having taking photos and blogging, you’d cut me some slack.  My shoddy photo doesn’t do Erin’s craftsmanship justice.  I have other earrings from her, and I always have a hard time choosing what to purchase.  There are several other things on her website I’d like, so I think I will put them on my Christmas list.

And yes, if you think you see a black piece of Italian glass in the middle there, you sure do.  I wore them today, and I’m trying to figure out what I can wear them with again.

But tomorrow, I want to wear the PANK bracelet…

Wine and …

I’m settling into a new routine, but evidently, it doesn’t include much blogging, keeping up with emails or much of anything other than work, dog walks and the musts in my datebook.  One of those included a Wine and Design mini-fundraiser for the League, even though I kept trying to tell everyone I can’t even draw a stick figure.

Before I share precisely how untalented I am, I do suggest you check out Wine and Design if there’s a location near you.  It was a lot of fun, and while I’m still arguing with the co-worker whose wife and mother had done it before, who assured me I couldn’t fail, I highly recommend it.  Before I show off my un-art, I will say it turned out better than I expected, and it was great fun, especially with other Leaguers and a guest or two.  (Turns out the local W&D owner went to school with a new JLC member AND said member’s sister inlaw, who was there to paint too.  I keep telling everyone… we’re all so very connected here.)

And I’d love to go back for the paint your pet session.  Wonder if the Knight would go with me so both girls could be immortalized badly  ?


Well, there you go.   I don’t love it, but in all fairness, I don’t like yellow much, and the art just isn’t my style.  I should have taken a photo of the sample, but I didn’t, so … just imagine what it might look like if someone who knew what she was doing had painted it.  

Did I mention that Wine & Design handed me a check for the JLC before the session started?  So it was more than worth it, even if I have no idea what we’ll do with this canvas.  I had joked that I was going to give it to my mother inlaw for her birthday, but I really do love her and it won’t work anywhere in her house either.

Have you tried a new craft lately?

Rescue Rover

Red rover, red rover send… Rescue Rover right over.  I’ll get back to Rescue Rover in a moment.   First, I want to wish you a happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday.  It’s a super-hectic time in the Woods, and we’re all pouting a little because we only had one day of fall and we nearly missed it.   I did get one photo and it’s up on the fur-girls’ blog.

34465-1So, back to Rescue Rover.  PetFlow has a special on the pet alert decals and we wanted to share it with you.   I love it when my passions collide, and when the fire service and my pets meet in a safe place, it’s all good.  I do suggest that you check with your local fire department before you just slap the sticker up somewhere though.  I have seen the stickers melted, taken out during initial ventilation efforts, etc., so you want to be sure that your good intentions are actually useful in a very  real emergency.

And hold on to your hats… I’m thankful for the interaction the fur-girls had with Chloe, the young adult JRT up the road.  On our walk Wednesday evening, Chloe charged down her driveway and followed us up the road a bit.  When I realized she and Gg were all bark and no bite and Chloe wasn’t heeding her owner’s commands to come back to him, we turned around and walked her to her mailbox, where she further demonstrated the well-known Jack Russell “You’re not the boss of me!” refusal to obey.  Thankfully, she followed my girls up the embankment when I announced “Car’s coming; out of the road!” and it was a non-incident.  It also gave Chloe’s owner the opportunity he needed to get his hands on one distracted, loose, wild JRT gal.  Sissy had a ball yelling at both little dogs, and at some point, Gg stopped being traumatized and resorted to being just plain mouthy with the other two dogs.  Hooray!

What are you thankful for today?

Who are you when no one’s looking?

February 2011 001

Sissy DIVA 2-11; ALWAYS true to herself

Feel free to hum Blake Shelton’s tune, but the concept goes back to at least the 20th century and John Wooden’s “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”   Or we could push it back another half century or so to C. S. Lewis and “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”

The concept is actually age-old, but I’ll quit playing connect the quote/philosophy dots.  I’m still shaking my head, wondering if the Lululemon founder was raised in an all-male orphanage and as such, has no mother, daughter, wife, niece…   I just cannot imagine any other reason an otherwise seemingly functional adult would say something so very, very stupid.

Some of you have been asking about my new job.  I like it very much.  I work in a very small service center, where mostly fire engines, but sometimes ambulances or wreckers are also in for repair.  I am the only woman in our little “burg” so on most work days, the only other woman  I see is the parts delivery person for one of our vendors.  The four men I work with span roughly three decades worth of ages, and they’re all good guys.    Two have daughters, two have sons,  and all of us have “young people” in our lives we care about, so we all are role models, whether we like it or not.

I try to be authentic, always.

Who are you when no one is looking?

Branding and Budgets

Do you vote with your wallet?  I’m starting to be much more mindful of what my purchases condone, if not legitimately support.  I’m sorry Lilly P and Vineyard Vines don’t offer a full range of women’s sizes, but their charitable efforts both locally and in general allow me to be okay with their limited size offerings.  However, Lululemon’s founder has gone too far, and I will be unsubscribing from the LLL ambassador blogs I follow and won’t be supporting their brand (beyond using the products I already own) in the future.

Less than nine months after Lululemon came under fire for the “sheerness” of its yoga pants, the company’s founder says that woman’s bodies may be to blame for problems with the luxury workout attire.

“Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work [for the yoga pants],” Chip Wilson said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart” program. “It’s more really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”

SS Redemption Capri

SS Redemption Capri

If you love(d) LLL, consider Yogasmoga.  Their material isn’t sheer and feels a lot like the yummy, original Luon.  They also seem to understand that women wear their products to WORK OUT and thus, thighs might rub.  I own more Skirt Sports than any other line of workout apparel, but I confess, while their bottoms of all styles are rugged and do the job, I’ve never slipped them on for street wear as I have the Yogasmogas.  They feel more like … any other wicking lycra-like pants than the soft, comfy Luon that (in my opinion) made LLL worth the big bucks.

Are you a conscientious consumer?

Chewy and Instinct

Natures_Variety_Instinct_Grain_Free_Biscuits_with_Rabbit_Meal_Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday.  We’re all quite thankful for the boxes of goodness that magically arrive from!   Every so often, they ask if we’d be willing to review a product, and more and more often, the list includes something Sissy – allergic to corn, chicken and virtually all land animals except rabbits – can have.

This time, we went with the rabbit and apple “cookies” from Instinct.   I know we have a hit on our hands when Gg grabs my knee and Sis puts her nose in the air and starts to drool while I’m opening the package.  Yup.  That’s what happened here.  It’s not too often they get a commercial treat that isn’t cheese, peanut butter or fish-based, so this was exciting!  Sorry…  I have my hands full dispensing the goodness, so just use your imagination and know that the fur-girls give these treats their seal of approval.

Not everyone can be a Chewy’s reviewer, but anyone can enter their monthly give-aways; click a Rafflecopter giveaway for more information. We hope you win!

If you missed Sissy’s latest diagnosis on Facebook, click on over to the girls’ blog for more information.

What’s your favorite treat at the moment?   (Me?  Pumpkin almost anything!!)

Change It


The Girl Scouts posted this on Facebook.  I love everything about this quote from the colors and fonts to the thought – and action – behind it.  Marian Wright Edelman walks the walk.

Ironically, I saw this just before I left for the JLC’s strategic planning retreat.  I’m so honored to lead with the talented, dedicated women who are changing our community and making our League a healthier, more functional non-profit!

What are you changing today?