Pondering – Favourite things from Summer 2018

As Summer 2018 comes to an end, I wanted to share some things with you that I enjoyed in hopes that you, too, will enjoy them.  Do click on the many links and have a good time exploring.  Have fun!  Share some of your favourites.

keep moving…….

New growth / redwood trees


All the trails have been opened in Annadel State Park.  There is still a lot of fire damage that will take a long time to heal, but new growth is evident. It is sometimes difficult to look at, but I am thankful to be able to hike all these trails again.

Jenner Headlands Preserve just opened and I can’t wait to explore it.  If you have been there, do tell all!


It’s all about the colour yellow this year for me and what a perfect way to accessorize but with nail polish!  This is a great shade from OPI.

Converse shoes have always been a favourite of mine; more so now with  healing the broken patella.  I have added some new colours to my classics (Yes! they have yellow); the website often has good prices, too.


Sweater patterns by knitwear designer, Elizabeth Doherty of Blue Bee Studio.  I have knit three this summer and I am finishing up a fourth.  Knitters, if you haven’t experienced one of her patterns, I highly recommend doing so.  They are thoughtfully written and very easy to follow; she is a great teacher!


Favourite food truck eats: Tacos / Adobos N’ More, Green Tomato BLT / Fig Rig  and Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich / The Bodega.


Y’all know I love to cook and bake so I must share a couple of baking recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  She always has great tips and her recipe blogs are always of interest.  The first is Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies – my version used white chocolate chips in lieu of the nuts and I added some sprinkles for a bit of fun. Secondly, her Very Berry Muffins – I make traditional size muffins using buttermilk  with tons of frozen mixed berries, peaches, cherries and mango (whatever I have in the freezer for green drinks); mix it up!  You can freeze both and always have a quick breakfast or a cooky tea time treat!


For those of you who missed Senator John McCain’s final letter or Nike’s controversial ad.

An interesting article on travel.  Take a minute to read the statistics on Norway’s tourism; just amazing. 

Here’s the Thing, Alec Baldwin’s podcast was recommended to me and I thoroughly enjoyed his interview with Spike Lee.

I typically read library books and did a terrible job of managing my account this summer which meant I had a plethora of books to read. The popular genre seemed to be thrillers (certainly in my queue) and those plots all run together for me after reading a few.  I use Goodreads to organise my selections and I highly recommend my summer favourites: The Air You Breathe  (Peebles),   Varina  (Frazier)An American Marriage  (Jones),  Tangerine  (Mangan), and Warlight  (Ondaatje).

I am enjoying following the artist on Instagram: bymariandrew.  This is a most interesting post.  I find it utterly mind boggling that folks are communicating strictly by emoji and that your colour choice of a heart can make or break your relationship.  so.sad.


A gentle soul and long time friend died this summer of lung cancer.  It is once again a wake up call to take a deep breath and live in the present.  Don’t forget to say, I love you and mean it! 

Remember you aren’t being negative if you don’t agree with someone or if you know your own limitations.  Honor yourself and your beliefs.  Be kind!  #keepmoving #bethebestyoucanbe

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

~Buddha’s Little Instruction Book


Keep Moving: Toss the Training Plan


I keep thinking about my goal of entering a race next year  and the first thing that comes to mind is that I need a training plan.  I am so used to thinking this way with my past running life: goals, weekly mileage increases, hill repeats, speed and distance goals. I have been using step count of late with 10K steps as my daily goal.  No idea why or even why that was a goal, but I immediately thought I needed to increase it yet didn’t even understand the basis of the 10K model.

Well, it seems that the concept of “10k steps a day” originated in Japan prior to the 1964 Olympics as a marketing campaign.  An early prototype of a pedometer was created that was marketed to  health conscious folks in hopes that they would become more active, healthier and thinner. Not a lot of science behind it, but obviously a huge marketing success. 

Decades later, better pedometers, backing by WHO and other international organizations, the 10k steps per day has become a benchmark of daily movement.  It converts to 4.5 – 5 miles dependent on your stride and you burn around 500 calories.

I am not seeing a ton of consistency behind this routine which prompted me to toss the idea of any formal plans for the foreseeable future.  Join me in the ‘keep moving’ mode as I am going to use the 10k steps model as an informal guide.  Do what works for you; 4k-6k steps might be just right.  I am referring to actual steps (walking, hiking, running) for the bulk of daily exercise. Make the majority of them in the aerobic / high intensity category; add some hills.  Mix it up!


You’ve seen lists like this a zillion times, but if you want to add some extra steps every day here are a few suggestions: always take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, walk to get your coffee, always take the scenic route not the shortest distance, get up and move every 15 minutes (your body will thank you) – the list goes on. Want some icing on the cake?  Extra movement counts; there are charts which convert various activities into steps.  You may reach 10K or beyond every day quickly; it will become routine. What do you do daily to keep moving?


You might not need a formal training plan, but you do need commitment and accountability.  I do recommend getting a pedometer; it does keep you accountable and for me that is the majority of the battle. There are so many options from the simplest pedometer to high tech watches. I’ve tried several free apps with varying success and have found the built-in health app on the iPhone works well.  The big picture is what I am aiming for – you know if you’ve walked closer to one mile or five miles. 

A few final thoughts.  Don’t forget to complete your medical data on your phone’s health app (it’s the one with the heart on the IPhone). This program is not a panacea for losing weight; still calories in/ calories out on that front.  If you haven’t done much exercise start slowly and increase gradually.  Always, always seek advise from your medical professionals in regards to your health and what exercise program is best for you. Don’t forget to stretch; touch your toes daily. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Celebrate every step and every victory! You will feel empowered; enjoy the journey.  #bethebestyoucanbe #keepmoving

Celebrating making it to Lake Ilsanjo via the Cobblestone and Rough Go Trails – their
names say it all! #kneerehab #brokenpatella


Quiet Resolve

A strong women will automatically stop trying if she feels unwanted.  She won’t fix it or beg; she’ll just walk away.
~Chocolate Socrates

time Magazine

Since Time Magazine published their recent Person of the Year cover I have been thinking about Silence Breakers and what a strong woman means to me. I have admired many women in my life for their awesome strength and they have become role models.  Some I have known individually and they have personally influenced me and others I have admired from afar.  I find that most of these women are unassuming, confident, display humility, listen to their intuition, have strong beliefs, feel empathy and are extremely compassionate.  They are not loud, boisterous or in-your-face activists nor are they man haters.  They are authentic, possess immense integrity and are not afraid to show their feelings.  They are not to be reckoned with, however!  From my way of thinking these women share several traits.

Humility– Today’s world is full of arrogance; you see it everywhere and it seems to be most rampant in the sports world. It is not the same thing as strength. I’ve always stressed the need for humility in one’s life and cautioned kids at an early age to display it. I believe it is a ticket to success. A strong woman possesses confidence yet is humble and manifests minimal arrogance. She is grounded and knows what she wants. This often takes great courage as she is willing to walk away from a situation that is no longer in her best interest, to stand up for her beliefs as well as face the challenge of being independent. This by no means indicates that she is not involved actively in a healthy romantic relationship.

Keep Moving -I can’t seem to get away from this mantra.  Yes, she is always moving and is very active both mentally and physically.  She makes her own happiness and isn’t dependent on others for it; she possesses a great sense of balance as she juggles all the balls in the air. 

Intuition– She listens to her own voice yet does not act on impulse.  She has a strong belief that her feelings and concerns are valid and follows her own path.

Believe – A strong woman is kind and compassionate and has no need to use ego in a negative way.  She is vulnerable and not afraid of emotions or sharing them.  She is true to her own feelings.  She loves, respects and accepts herself.  She is a believer!!  In herself and in others.  She is the ‘real thing’ – authentic, genuine, generous, kind with unlimited integrity.  She isn’t afraid of voicing her opinions, but then is able to move on.  She isn’t one to wallow in negativity.  She will show you unlimited and unconditional love and support and is extremely loyal and faithful, but will readily walk away if rejected. She continues life’s beautiful journey with quiet resolve.

The Time Magazine article only touched on sexual harassment. But how many of you women reading this have been emotionally abused, harassed or bullied in your everyday life into doing something you really didn’t want to do or weren’t able to do at that time? “No means no” in all aspects of life; one doesn’t need to give a reason nor made to feel guilty for not responding in a positive way. I don’t want dessert, to join you for dinner tonight or have my picture taken today – all of these examples should just be accepted and not judged; tomorrow is a new day.  It is not a reflection of any personal dynamic just how you might feel at any given moment. It gives one pause when dealing with relationships, family, friends or colleagues as you should not have to do anything that is not comfortable for you. Take a minute to think about this and don’t inadvertently put anybody in this position and if you are placed in it think about how you plan on reacting.

I am in total awe and admiration of strong women and only hope that someday I can join their ranks. We all have different life stories and experiences; what are traits you find strong women share?




Beautiful Memories

I have the Christmas music up full volume as I write my Christmas cards with my  favourite fountain pen! The only thing absent is the snow and this is the only time I miss it!!  I love everything about December. The decorations are so very festive, the lights are twinkling and jingle bells are ringing. Oh yes, the Christmas trees! It is also my birthday month which means every day is a joyful celebration.

Sonoma Historic Plaza

Yet as I write these cards I am filled with nostalgia as I remember each person and what they meant to me at various stages in my life. A few years ago, I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  We picked up our conversation right where we had left it so many years ago and the reunion was filled with much laughter.  I thought about all those years of not seeing her and realized I didn’t have regrets. I’ve learned to appreciate the ebb and flow of friendships. As much as I would have liked to remain frozen in a certain phase of my journey, I am so grateful I didn’t.  I am thankful for every person I have met along the way and of their influence in my life.  I admit though that I am surrounded by an emotion of wistfulness thinking of days gone by and my youth!

However, it is important not to get caught up in excessive self reflection, have unrealistic holiday expectations and dwell in the past.  Staying focused and centered and living life to its fullest in the moment is the only way to create memories.  Remember my maxim “Keep Moving” and put it to use.  Sitting in front of a TV or computer for hours at a time probably isn’t the best way to create meaningful memories.  Get out there and engage with the world.  There is something to be said for the Kona beer tagline: “ One life right?  Don’t blow it.”

Keep moving and start creating those beautiful memories right now that you can look back on with fondness. For those of you living in snow territory build a snowman  or better yet live dangerously and make an angel in the snow and think of me!!


Union Square San Francisco

Thanksgiving: Thankful v Grateful

Thanksgiving Walk

I was curious about the origins of Thanksgiving Day and this is what I found. On Oct. 3, 1789, George Washington declared Nov. 26 to be a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer”. Seventy five years later, Abraham Lincoln set the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day and Congress (FDR) made it an official holiday in 1941.

Due to our recent fires, everybody in this area is a bit more focused on being thankful and/or grateful this Thanksgiving. Which is it? Do they mean the same thing? Grateful means that you appreciate what someone has done for you and you want to express your thanks. Thankful means that you are relieved/pleased that what you hoped for has actually happened. Simply put thankful is a feeling where grateful is showing an appreciation of kindness.

Grand dog, Lucy, and I took a walk this morning in our  normal habitat to find that much of it had been destroyed by fire. I knew there were some hot spots in the area, but was devastated to find out how much had burned and how many buildings were gone (even simple horse shelters). I only hope all the animals were saved.  I am definitely feeling thankful!

Burned Tree

In our busy days, I think the challenge is to make gratefulness an integral part of our lives all year long.  I know I need to stay focused and be reminded continually how fortunate I am to live the lifestyle I have in an area I so love and appreciate; it is so easy to get distracted.  I throw the gauntlet down to each of you to keep gratitude as a focal point in your life for the next year.  Tell people how grateful you are for them and be thankful for what you have.  Most importantly, be kind!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone!

Walk 4.1.17

Whatever your fitness goal is for the day – 10K steps or simply to walk the dog – now is the perfect time of year to achieve it!  Trees and flowers are in bloom; the colours are fantastic.  Find your green and don’t forget your camera!


Hike 3.11.17

Enjoy some exercise this weekend!  Keep moving…..

Hike – 2.12.17

I’VE GOT MY MOJO BACK!  It’s been 7 weeks since I’ve had my Brooks trail running shoes on and have been hiking on the trails.  There was a break in the weather and it was absolutely gorgeous outside!  I encourage you all to get outdoors.  If this isn’t part of your normal pattern, add distance slowly.  I promise you won’t regret it and the Vitamin D is good for you!


Walk – 1.29.2017

It’s been 4 1/2 weeks since the hip surgery and I am able to go on walks just over two miles (two days in a row).  I am super excited to share with you my progress with photos of my walking adventures.  Enjoy them and be inspired to “keep moving” and enjoy the sunshine as January comes to an end. It’s time to start exploring; it’s beautiful outside!