Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Well, THAT was fun!

I haven't been back to my hometown in many years. Wilmington, Ohio, is not where I was born, nor where I went to my early grade-school years. I moved there when I was 10, and graduated from high school there in 1969.

Forty-five years ago.

And my, my, how it's changed from the last time I was there.

Six rooms and one bath were all my family of five needed when 
I was growing up. I used to climb the maple tree in the front yard 
with an armload of books in the summer and read all day.
The library and high school are much, much larger, and one elementary school is completely gone, transformed into a park. It had the best sledding hill in town when I was a child, and was within walking distance of the house where I grew up.

Downtown has been spruced up while chain stores and fast-food joints ring the perimeter of the city. Wilmington College's campus is just as lovely as it's always been, an oasis of green grass and stately old trees, right before the commercial sprawl begins.

My classmates gathered on both Friday and Saturday evenings, and I was so happy to see old friends again. The differences in background and social standing fall away as we get older. All those things which separated us decades ago are distilled into one fact: We grew up in Wilmington. We graduated high school in 1969. We made it back to remember, catch up and, hopefully, stay in touch.

I got lots of compliments on how I haven't changed. My friends are so polite! We've all changed, a lot, but I was grateful for their kind words and name tags helped a lot.
Me, 1969 and 2014. BIG difference!
I'm so glad I went. It's a long drive from southern West Virginia to southwest Ohio, but it was so worth the effort. There's talk of planning an annual event from now on, and I'd certainly love to go if that happens. The reunion committee did a wonderful job. I can't thank them enough for creating more great memories.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Forty-five years

So how is it that I've been out of high school for 45 years now? I don't feel that old, believe me.

Well, most of the time anyway. Heh. I hurt my back earlier in the week and, yes, lower back pain does kinda make you feel old … er. [It also keeps you immobile. I managed to get three miles in yesterday and hope to get four in today, but this will be a very light walking week, all in all.]

Wilmington (Ohio) High School, great expanded from when
I graduated in 1969. When I was in school, girls had to wear
dresses and skirts could be no shorter than two inches above
the knees. And, yes, they measured! Sports team members wore
coats and ties on game day. Do athletes still do that nowadays?
Most of the time I think I could pop back into the halls of old WHS and fit right in with my pals. There were six of us who were inseparable back then. We started hanging out together in junior high (now known as middle school, so that tells you how I old I really am), and spent the next six years getting through a young girl's life events together.

And tomorrow I get to see them all again.

Yes, it's high-school reunion time in Wil City.

I've reconnected with a couple classmates through Facebook, and am looking forward to the up-close-and-personal weekend to renew old friendships.

Today is super busy, with both lunch and dinner meetings, so the walk will have to happen this morning and I guess I'll pack my bag this afternoon. No blogging will happen unless I'm really inspired.

Which, I'm sure both of you have noticed, I haven't been lately. But inspiration waxes and wanes and I'm sure my writing mojo back will return one of these days.

Have a good weekend, y'all. I'm sure planning to!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Too busy to blog

When life gets really really busy, the first thing to go is checking my e-mail. I glance at it daily and take care of what needs to be taken care of, but my inbox is back up to 500+ again, after I'd gotten it back to a manageable size a couple weeks ago. It doesn't take long.

And when life gets really really really busy, I don't have time to blog, either. I didn't even take a photos a couple days this week. So NaBloPoMo for July is already a bust.

But I'm back on the horse, at least this week. I leave Friday for my high-school class reunion in Ohio (where have the last 45 years gone!), but will probably have time to post from the hotel. I'll have lots of down time, which will be most welcome.

That's me on the left, my husband is partially
hidden behind me and a member of our county
Democratic Executive committee is sitting
on my left. If your group needs a custom-printed
banner, I can highly recommend the quality,
price and turnaround time from Shindigz.
Down time has been in short supply lately, because our Democratic women's group had a booth at the John Henry Days festival yesterday. All the planning and preparation really paid off, as we had a great time and our parade entry won second place in the political category! Decorating our truck reminded me of homecoming floats during high school – throwback Saturday, maybe?

Now that the event is over, life can get back to a more normal pace. The weather for the next few days is forecast to be lovely – thank you, polar vortex! I'll take temperatures in the low 80s in July any every year! We haven't had much rain, but that's scheduled to change, as well. Hopefully a little moisture will get the blackberries to ripen and encourage more zucchini production. (I know, most people have too much, but mine is just getting started and I. Want. More.)

Lately I've been wanting to eat something other than bacon and eggs for breakfast, so I noodled around the internets and found an oddly satisfying paleo-friendly "pudding." It's filling and satisfying. And also kind of magical.

Click here for the recipe. I've adapted it more to my taste, replacing the citrus zest with cinnamon (which I add before serving) and using whatever fruit I have on hand – lately it's been bananas or strawberries.

The recipe made enough for me to enjoy it for four straight days, so it's economical, as well. The magic comes from the way the chia seeds thicken the almond milk. I was skeptical, but it really does work. And I was able to skip lunch a couple of days – not by choice, but simply because I didn't have time – and not feel hungry at all.

Chia seed pudding for the win!

July 8-11 - Photos

I've Never

The woods from which the full-grown black bear recently came.
I've never been so scared!


Hoping to keep this new plant alive in a spot where astilbe has failed spectacularly.
The deer managed to prune it before I got it in the ground.


Thistle. It's all over the place here. You'd think we were Scotland.


Wild black-eyed susans also are all over the place here. And the cultivated ones
in my front yard perennial bed are spectacular this year!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Surprise, surprise

My 4th of July weekend was off the rails as far as food goes. Completely. Utterly. I'd decided ahead of time to just roll with it, taking into consideration the fact that one evening we would be picnicking and that a birthday party was happening two days later.

I haven't eaten than many carbs in that short a time in more than a year and a half. I'll spare you the food porn. But there was cake.

The good part is my weight, which I haven't checked since sometime last week, stayed the same. I may even be down a pound. I didn't write the number down last week, but I'm definitely in the same ball park.

The other good part is that eating all those carbs made me feel horrible. Why is that good? It's a great reminder that choosing to eat whole, fresh, unprocessed foods WORKS FOR ME. I may not have celiac disease or diabetes, but gluten and sugar make me feel bad. I had a strange-but-short (thankfully!) bout of nausea Sunday morning. I found myself zoning out at times, unable to pay attention to what was going on around me. (This happened twice, both times when I was part of a larger group of people.) I can only attribute those feelings to the change in diet.

I took a couple nice walks while I was gone. The usual North Carolina-in-July heat and humidity postponed its arrival until I left the state. The weekend weather was surprisingly lovely.

Other than feeling bad from eating food I wasn't used to, I had a wonderful time. It's good to get away once in a while.

But it's good to be home, too. My little Hershey dog was beside herself when I got out of the car. I love how dogs are happy to see you with their entire bodies. She doesn't act like that when I come home from a trip to the grocery, but she certainly misses me when I'm gone overnight.

Truth be told: I miss her, too.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6 - View

View through cattails from a lakeside trail in an Apex, NC, public park.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3 - Match

Going for the obvious … matching matches.

My mid-year mileage

I really like the MapMyRun app, and appreciate not having to figure out mileage and time and splits and pace using my questionable mathy skills, which have atrophied over time and which were never my strong suit anyway. I was probably in the art room when I should have been learning long division.

A couple days ago I got a MapMyRun mid-year total.
And when I used my remaining mathy skills, I determined that I've averaged 4.4 miles per workout this year. With 181 days and 829 miles to go in 2014, it's not likely I'll make the 1500-mile goal I recently abandoned. But I could probably do better than last year's 1300.


See how crazy I am? That I would even do the math and try to figure it out and what was I thinking?!?!?

Well, who knew we'd have such a brutal winter and I'd lose a month of walking days because of snow and ice and cold, oh my?

Those numbers make me feel good, but they really don't matter. What matters is I'm still committed to walking as frequently as I can, for as long as I'm able. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2 - Begins with K

These kicks are already beginning to fray. They're not that old, either. Grrr.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1 - Red+White

From my walk ... fits the prompt ... some of these are harder than others.