Monthly Archives: February 2017

Embrace Volunteerism

Embrace Volunteerism


Looking over my 2017 weekends, I have discovered it  is my year to embrace volunteerism. I am volunteering six months this year!

Forget the PR 50K Loudonville Ohio April 17-Covered Bridge Aid Station Captain

Massanutten Trail Run May 6  Massanutten  Mountains, Virginia

Laurel Highlands 50K & 70 Mile June 10 Laurel Highlands, Ohiopyle, PA-working the Mile 12 Aid Station

Canal Corridor 100 Mile Race  July 8  Akron Ohio-Working the Lock 3 Aid Station

Camp Tuscazoar Adventure Race August 16

Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic  Sept 16-Captain of the Start/Finish Line Aid Station

Whew! I think that it is for now. I don’t know my specific duties for Massanutten or the Adventure Race yet. The other races I will be working an aid station. We can always use more help at each of these events!  Give me a shout out if you have a few hours to volunteer. It is always fun to be on the other side of the table to help the runners out!

Volunteering this year at a running event? 


Embrace The Bike: My BHAG 2017


Embrace the Bike

BHAG is Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I need to have something BIG to do, something new, something fun, something outside. Since I’m not supposed to run with my arthritic knee, I’m turning to biking. Since I’ve never been fast but have endurance, I’ve become interested in long distance biking. I first set the goal of a century ride (100 miles) in 2017, but as that idea percolated, more ideas came to mind.

Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is 150 mile trail from Pittsburgh PA to Cumberland Maryland. I thought this would be a good goal. There are no motorized vehicles on it, and this would fulfill my goal of a century ride-plus some!

Great Allegheny Passage AND the C&O Trail

Where the GAP Trail ends in Cumberland, Maryland, the C&O Towpath Trail takes over. The C&O Trail goes from Cumberland to Washington DC. You can ride your bike from Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC. This is 335 miles. As I thought about this, it seemed like riding just “half” the trail would only be half complete. I’m sure I would want to complete the whole trail-so why not do that from the start? We’ve planned to stay in one of the vacation rentals washington dc after completing the trail to really celebrate in style!

Amtrak is the key

Getting to one end of the trail could be tricky except there is Amtrak! It is a single train ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. They now have a new service where you just wheel your bike onboard for a small fee of twenty bucks-easy peasy!

Training Trails

I have a close bike trail to train on. It is the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Full length is 73 miles, which would give me great opportunities for long mileage off roads.

So here’s to my BHAG for 2017, embrace the bike!

Back from New Zealand!

We have returned from New Zealand! We left on February 2 and returned on February 16. A very good vacation. This is just a few pictures of our experience on the North Island:

tarawera course

Great places to run through the woods

clevedon coast oystersOysters fresh off the boat

Haku FallsClear blue water such clear water in the rivers!gardensBeautiful gardens

Lake TaupoOutstanding viewscoffeeExcellent coffee EVERYWHERE

Sky Tower AucklandLandmarks

Kennedy Point WineryWine. Lots of really good wineMission WineryFriends! We have a great time with our Kiwi Friends Robert and Lynda! Some much more detailed posts to follow in a few days!

Valentine’s Day

Hurray! It’s Valentine’s Day, a day to think about your loved ones and promote red silly hearts.

Valentine's Day

Things I love 2017 edition:

My Kindle Fire-the books are not very heavy to carry via the Kindle!

Smashbooks My new hobby of smash book-smash book is kind of off the reseveration scrapbooking.  Smash BookThere are no rules, you can do whatever you want. I created a smash book for Project 50. I also had a smashbook for some free form smashing. I would open a book, stab a word with my finger, and then create a page about that word. That was really fun and maybe I will repeat that in March.

My Pups

My pups

The hubs

Stags Leap Wine Cellar

My parents

Me and the Parents


My health-I’m lucky to be in very good health. Some body parts don’t work like they used to, but I’m happy to still have the ability to use them in the general practiced way!

Have a wonderful love filled day!

Fitness over Fifty

Fitness Over Fifty

Just because you’ve celebrated the Big FIVE OH doesn’t doom you to a sedentary life, increasing waist line and diminishing muscle mass.

You do need to work on your fitness. Nature is working against you, sad to say.

Muscle Mass Loss

Inactive people can lose 3 to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age thirty. Muscle loss also speeds up after age 70! Joe Couch Potato, at age sixty, could potentially have lost 15% of his muscle mass. That’s a bit scary! The remedy to this? Weight Bearing Exercise.

Weight Bearing Exercise

The definition of weight bearing exercise is forcing you to work against gravity, such as running, brisk walking, hiking. Other activities of weight bearing exercise is yoga, tennis, golf, dancing. All of these forms of exercise are fun, but also aren’t too strenuous for older people. My mom is 79 years old and line dances at least once a week, whilst my friend’s mom enjoys playing tennis every weekend. Perhaps I’ll have a look into tennis, however watching these videos first might be necessary before stepping onto the court!

If I were to take up tennis as a form of exercise, I think I would need all the help that I could get. Now I’m not expecting to become professional, especially at this stage in my life, but it would be nice if I could be fairly good at it. I think my friend’s mom even completed a tennis assessment to find out what her rating was so she could find people to play with that had a similar skill level to push each other to get better. This would surely help with the amount of exercise that you do. I’m not sure though, but at least I have an option in case I can’t find anything else to do.

As you age you may notice you can start aching more, and muscles become even sorer even if you keep your exercise routine consistent, for those that may suffer from increased soreness after working out, trying something like bcaa optimum nutrition could enhance recovery time and decrease muscle soreness. Allowing you to keep up your exercise routines.

Video Games

Okay, you might be laughing and smirking now. But using video games, such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit system-can get you a workout, even sitting. My 79 year old mom plays in “Wii Bowling Leagues” at several senior citizen centers. I’ve played against her, and she kicks my butt. I’ve also woke up the next morning wondering why my arm is sore-too much tennis/bowling!

Strength training and weight training are weight bearing exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym to do this. A set of ten pound (or five) barbells is less than twenty dollars. If you want to train like an athlete, you can find Olympic Barbells online. There are hundreds of weight training tutorials on the web, or buy a book! I have an older book that I like to use. Smart Girls Do Dumbells

Non-Weight Bearing Exercise

Non weight bearing exercise would be when you don’t work against gravity-swimming and biking.These activities don’t help with the loss of muscle mass but they are GREAT especially if you have any sort of joint issues. I have taken up pool swimming and exercise-I have been doing most of my knee exercises in the pool when I am already there!

Pool-you don’t have to be Michael Phelps to get a workout in. Get yourself a swim cap and goggles and go to it.

Biking-if you have access to a gym, there should be plenty of bikes. Ease into biking, your rear end will thank you for it. Go slow and build time. If you start riding outside, wear a helmet!

Don’t allow time and nature to erase your physical fitness. You are heading into wonderful years, so take care of your body!

Happy Birthday William Henry Harrison

I don’t think a musical will be written about you.

William Henry Harrison was our shortest term in office president.  During the two hour inaugural address, the new President wore no coat or hat. When he followed the address with a round of receptions in his wet clothing, it resulted in pneumonia. He spent 31 days in office and died.


Biographical Facts

Harrison was born in Virginia, well educated, but instead of becoming a doctor he became a soldier, fighting the native Americans in the Ohio and Indiana territories. This is where he got his nickname “Old Tip” at the Battle of Tippecanoe against Tecumseh. After serving as a soldier, he served in both the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate.  He was very opposed to General Andrew Jackson.

 The New Party of the Whigs

Opponents of Andrew Jackson formed a new party called the “Whigs”.  Whigs was the name of the British party opposed to the monarchy.  The Whigs ran four candidates in the 1836 election against Martin Van Buren, trying to deny a majority of votes in the electoral collage, which would throw the presidential election into the House of Representatives (just like Thomas Jefferson election of 1800.)    Van Buren still won.

Election Tactics

The Whig Party changed tactics for the 1840 campaign. Van Buren was seen as a dandy aristrocrat.

The Whigs wanted to contrast to this.  Even though Harrison was well educated and a son of the planter aristocracy of the south, he was advertised as “man of the west”, a common man. The Whig handlers simply portrayed him differently.  Harrison’s handlers made a common man out of Virginia aristocracy.

This was the first of the political campaigns.  It was a race filled with songs, advertising, slogans, and organized rallies. In the election campaign of 1840, the Whigs handed out free hard cider in little bottles shaped like log cabins at barbecues and bonfires—and they used the slogan “Old Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too” to promote Harrison’s candidacy.



More people voted in the presidential election than ever before, 80 percent. His legacy does not lie in his brief tenure in the White House, but rather how the party organizers learned how to craft a candidate for public display.

“One bitter pro-Van Buren paper lamented after his defeat, “We have been sung down, lied down and drunk down.” In one sentence, this described the new American political process.”   Which continues to this day!


Project 50: Spot a Bald Eagle

Spot a Bald Eagle

This did not happen in my fiftieth year, but it did occur twenty days into my 51st year! I did spot a bald eagle, there are two of them!

Project 50

I’ve always wanted to see a bald eagle in Ohio. Growing up, eagles were an endangered species.  I don’t recall even seeing the birds in a zoo. They were finally removed from the Endangered Species List in 2007.

How I Found Them

I found the nest entirely by random. I was driving to my dental appointment, down “River Road”-which runs along the Tuscarawas River. I knew there was a nest along the road, but River Road is about ten or fifteen miles long, and I had no clue where the nest was.  I saw a bunch of people standing beside the road, I assumed they were hunters. Then I saw the tripods and cameras with big telescopic lens-they  must be the birders!

Patience is a Virtue

The nest is about five miles from my house. I stopped by several times when I was driving in the area. I did not see the eagles until  my third trip. The birders-two men-were really helpful. The eagles were perched in trees, and didn’t return to the nest while I watched-about one hour in the cold.

My husband and I were out and about, and I had brought my camera with me on a subsequent outing. There he/she was! On the nest!!

Eagle Nest

There should be eggs in the springtime and I plan on returning and hopefully getting some good pics of the eagles.

Close up of Eagle in Nest

The second eagle was just to the right of the nest. I did not get a very good picture of the pair together.

both eagles

Have you seen eagles in the wild?