Posted by Tegan on Nov 30, 2011 in brave things
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I walked the Seattle Half Marathon on Sunday. The weather was miserable, but at least the driving rain pushed me to go pretty fast.
I started a little late so had to catch up with the other walkers, but I was rewarded with a stunning view of a crowd of pedestrians filling a light-lined 5th Avenue downtown…
I also really enjoyed taking over the on-ramp to I-90. Just outside the frame of the shot below is a wonderful walker nicknamed “Rhode Hazard”– a member of the Half Fanatics (the little sibling of the Marathon Maniacs). She has already walked 45 half marathons since April, and is going for 52 in 52 weeks. She had completed three Thanksgiving week already, trying to make up for some races she missed due to Hurricane Irene and the east coast’s Halloween snowstorm. She’s from RI, too, hence her nickname. She said that after she finished, she was hoping that baggage handlers could help scoop her on and off her flight back east, but I saw her finish strong in under 4 hours. (Walking is great because I have time to meet people and enough breath to make conversation. )
I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take a photo of my favorite signs along the route, which I saw downhill on the way to the Arboretum (after the looooong hill). One said, “GO, RANDOM STRANGER, GO!” and the woman holding it gave enthusiastic high-fives to this random stranger. The other, at the same location, was, “DO ONE THING A DAY THAT SCARES YOU: CHECK.” I thought to myself, “Darn, I wish I had our book business card right now! They need to know about ONE BRAVE THING A DAY!”
It was an honor to share the course with so many walkers and runners. Ralph B. of Seattle, an older gentleman wearing a shirt that said, “Ralph B., Taking it One Day at a Time,” inspired me with his perseverance and warm handshake. A Team in Training coach and walker I encountered in the park made me cry; the walker, wearing a shirt in memory of “Dad,” told his coach, “This is the hardest part for me,” and his coach replied with heartwarming empathy, “You’ve already made it through the hardest part.” The coach may have been saying that the biggest elevation gain was done, but I have a feeling he was referring to the walker’s loss of his father. I started bawling. In the rain, walking by myself, I had a good cry.
The weather wasn’t ideal, but I’m still glad I did the Seattle Half Marathon. Thank you to everyone who walked it with me and to everyone who cheered us on! Extra-special thanks to Colleen, who did the 5k with me on Saturday, Nadim who ran the half but still waited at the finish line, and Jordan, who ran the full but managed to spot me in the crowd and encourage me in the I-90 tunnel as he zipped past.
Did anyone else do a post-Thanksgiving race?
Posted by Tegan on Nov 29, 2011 in brave things
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“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
– Mohandas Gandhi
How do you want to gently shake the world today?
Posted by Linda on Nov 28, 2011 in behind the scenes
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Over the river and through the woods in our case to my sister’s farm we went. Actually over a beautiful mountain pass too. Always the big concern is: Will it be a tough travel year with too much snow, will we need to stay home or what? So we watched the weather reports and webcams.
Thanksgiving morning despite weather reports that bad weather was coming…we decided to hit the road anyway. The weather was not as bad as they had warned, and our visit with family this year was very special.
I love this drive when there is fresh snow and some sun. This photo was taken on our drive home, Friday. The view made me long for the cross-country ski season that is right around the corner. I hope to recruit as many people as possible to ski this year; it is absolutely my favorite sport. I go visit peace and beauty for a ½ a day on skis and get back to the car and notice the inside of my clothes are all sweaty, and I wonder when did that happen? While I was entrenched in beauty and peace and lost in thought, I got a beautiful glide-y (new word) workout in. Kinda perfect in my world.
The hardest part is scheduling it in, actually getting out of town. Justifying the time and expenses of everything, I need to have my car full-ish. Which means more coordination with more peoples’ schedules– you get the idea. But for me it is worth it. I have already found a new person ready to try it this year.
What is your favorite winter activity and why?
Posted by Tegan on Nov 24, 2011 in mash-up
From us and ours to you and yours,
Turkey Day is fast approaching, time to appreciate traditions. This year will be my second time hosting Thanksgiving for friends. When we have Thanksgiving, we honor traditions from our families’ Thanksgivings from our childhood. Here are two from my side that we’ll be sharing with friends:
1. Aunt Toni’s ice cream balls. Every year my aunt Toni brought enough ice cream balls to feed the whole extended clan (and the bounty even allowed some of us kiddos to try a vanilla anda coffee one, if bold enough). To make Toni’s special treat for your gathering, bake a chocolate layer cake. You don’t have to worry about keeping it moist because it works even better if it’s a little stale or dry. The best step: crumble the cake with your fingers! I absolutely love this part because it’s like chewing a whole cake with my fingertips. Then roll single scoops of ice cream in the cookie crumbles, wrap loosely in wax paper, and put ‘em in the freezer until it’s time for dessert. (I’ve never had the willpower to see if they last a long time in the freezer, but they should.) Serve with hot fudge from the turkey-spattered stovetop for the most authentic experience.
cake crumbles, ready for some ice cream
2. A theme! Back in the day, my extended family gathered for a Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Then, as families moved and got busier, we usually could only make Thanksgiving and Christmas. But we missed the creativity and costumes of our Halloween themes. So we started doing themed Thanksgivings, complete with outdoor activities and costumes. We’ve had Viking Thanksgiving, Pirate Thanksgiving, Caveman Thanksgiving… We all get along anyway, but fighting over drumsticks can be even more fun if loin cloths and clubs are involved, right?
- no cavemen were harmed for this photo
Do you have any unusual Thanksgiving traditions you don’t want to go without?
Posted by Tegan on Nov 22, 2011 in brave things
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Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
-Mary Tyler Moore
How do you practice being brave?
Posted by Linda on Nov 21, 2011 in community
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Last Friday was a rock solid magical night that will go down in history, the night Jessica Ketola and Kelly Carpenter had their CD release party together. There was so much love and support in the room that it was palpable, plus friends brought friends who had never even heard of the musicians before the event. One word: delightful.
Kelly played several cuts off his CD, Passage, and a piece that was a tribute to his Jazz hero, Dave Grusin, that left the crowd dizzy. It was an exciting piece that made me want to follow Kelly’s career for the rest of my days. Their back-up musicians were over-the-top in quality and depth.
Jessica took the stage, and as she would say, “birthed her CD Sea of Tears,” a bluesy vocal set about some of the hard places in life. Jess has a way with words and many of us resonate with her offerings. I have always been her fan. She and Kelly blew it out with their final song by Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground. (Both the above photos are by Laurie Eickhoff Ascanio.)
Rhys, Dasia, Kaia, Toni, Heather, me and Colin
What made the evening special for us was that plans were made for Heather to be there. Several days before, when Colin and I were planning on being there early to help set up and using Toni to care for Heather as we often do for a date night, Toni said, “Let’s all go together.” So, I checked in with Jess, since that would mean all of us, the Keeney tribe and the Noll tribe, would be there for some part of the evening. Colin and I went early, and Toni and her husband and small people would just come for an hour. This is the first of many “adventures” Toni has planned for Heather now that Heather’s done with school. Live Music Concert: check.
This is new for us. Heather is in a very healthy state these days, and that has not always been true. So, we are starting to plan adventures. Stay tuned! I hear a visit to a chocolate factory is in the works, and since Heather is over 21, a casino is even on the table.
What adventures would you like to see Heather go on this year?
Posted by Linda on Nov 18, 2011 in family
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Don’t you just love deadlines? I do. Otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done. Well, yesterday while Toni and Heather were at the Zoo for their normal ambassador shift a deadline they were working on got moved up.
Toni and Heather are making desserts for the Zoo Fundraiser tonight, and they found out yesterday that everything had to be there today about 4 hours earlier than Toni had planned. What? 10:00? She’d been thinking 2:00 in the afternoon or so. So, Toni went into high gear. Time to shop and bake , right away…in hopes of frosting them in the early morning, and delivering them close to on time.
Heather and Toni making cupcakes
These photos are hot off the press from delivering them to the Zoo. These Owl candies and Polar Bear cupcakes are Toni originals, and a few were left at home for little mouths to eat. As we make our way into being involved at Woodland Park Zoo, it’s these small moments that mean a lot to this family.
What small moments can we celebrate with your family as we head into the week-end?
Posted by Linda on Nov 17, 2011 in healthy tips & tweaks
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To eat healthier, one of the first things Colin and I needed to face off with was this little white sauce called Mayonnaise. I wonder who invented it and why. I know, I know if I am that curious, there is Google. I think I would rather not know. No matter it’s history, we liked its texture and rich taste, or used to. For 2 tablespoons it’s 100 calories. Or in my Weight Watchers world of PointsPlus, it’s 5. (Yes, I had to go to respective stores to grab these photos.)
About 11 years ago I was at Trader Joes and someone reached across me to grab this white container called Tzatziki Sauce. I read the label and did the math. 2 tablespoons=30 calories, and in my world of PointsPlus it’s 1. Yeah, I know!!! It was worth a try. We were hooked. It is fresher than mayo, made with yogurt and cucumbers, dill, garlic, and lemon. A Greek delight.
The downside of Tzatziki sauce is you have to learn how to spell it so your friends can find it at the store. And it does have a shelf life of about 2 weeks.
Did I tell you it’s a great tartar sauce replacement, too?
So, if you are looking for creamy white stuff on sandwiches, may I recommend Tzatziki Sauce for a lighter, fresher idea.
The rain is coming down in Seattle. On days like today when it’s gloomy, the germs are out in full force, and the stress of work and life picks up, I have a little trick up my sleeve: color.
Nature provides some for us in the autumn leaves, but there’s a reason so many cultures celebrate festivals of light as the natural light fades. Candles, Christmas lights, sequins, even fireworks give us hope when our bodies and souls need it.
Yesterday I wore bright red shoes and replaced all the burned-out lightbulbs in my house. Today I added another string of multicolored lights in my window and plan on wearing my colorful rain boots when I go out.
Do you have a brightening trick?