Friday, December 12, 2008

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

I've stumbled on them before - some other very cool chicks in another city making a big impact. I like the colors on their site and their logo. It reminds me that I keep saying it's time to update (but in what spare time?)

Anyway tonight I read their "About Us" page. Here's mine: and theirs:

They've had their site since 2007 - ours 2001. At first I did a "heeeeeey, those are MY words, our mission." Then I realized that we're all moving forward with the same heart and the same missions. So of course it all sounds about the same when you're trying to put it into words. I hope we WERE an inspiration and continue to spread this love and energy all around the world.

Charity Chicks can only do so much with my small budget and our limited hands. But isn't amazing what a BUNCH of people with BIG hearts and talents can do? I also keep my eye (and have chatted with) Charity Chicks Orlando - they also are turning their city upside down.

I could use some more ambitious peoples with business connections and we could do MORE.

Chicks rule.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Truly Thankful and Blessed

It's so easy this time of year to get stressed out with all the shopping and card sending and social activities. We often can get so caught up in what we don't have that we forget to be thankful for all we DO have.

I am so thankful for so many things in my life - my job, my home, my family and my great friends. I feel truly blessed to have such amazing and giving people in my life!

The Charity Chicks Holiday Party was this weekend and I am so amazed at how generous everyone was. Special thanks to Pranksters Too for giving us their newly renovated performance room for the evening and for helping me out with some of the appetizers. They've been very accommodating to the Charity Chicks events and we love em!

We were treated to beautiful performances by Kris Cremain and Socie Saltwater - they were so kind to donate their time and really made the evening special.

Also, Charity Chicks Diane, Natasha, Jenny and Frances came early to help decorate and brought some yummy sugary treats to add to the evening. (Not a Ghiradelli chocolate remained!)

Lastly, to my fabulous friends (even some who couldn't attend and made contributions), it was great to spend the evening with you. We raised over $500 in gift cards and cash - as well as received a bunch of donated items and wrapping paper. I will distribute these to Valley programs to help fill remaining needs for the holidays. We will make a difference in some families and seniors lives in our community.

Being surrounded by such quality people really makes my heart swell. And it goes beyond this event - many friends are doing lots of good things in this world and I'm proud to know y'all. Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas!!

Kris and Socie - so talented!

We had a FUN and silly photo opportunity for party goers!

Not every thought my decorations were great. Some found the snowman a bit creepy. Here the star of the show poses in the display . . .

Monday, December 1, 2008

We Should SO Be Friends

I recently read a book by Dawn Dias called The Non-Runners Marathon Guide For Women. It was perfect for me. Like her, I also started as a complete non-runner training for a marathon and fundraising for the American Stroke Association.

She hilariously chronicled her experiences while sending emails and updates to her friends and family while attempting to squeeze more donations from them for the organization. Everyone so thoroughly enjoyed her journal entires that they suggested she assemble them into a book and VOILA a book - and I loved it. I just loaned it to a co-worker who is training for her first marathon and from her emails - it's touching her spot as well!

Better yet, she became a total Charity Chick in the process! While on book tour, she turned it into a fundraiser ( where she traveled the US encouraging people to get moving AND while fundraising to help rebuild some of New Orleans through Habitat for Humanity. I'm a little behind the curve . . . most of this happened in 2007 . . . but I'm going to keep my eye on her next move. Seriously, we should so be friends. But I think she might be funnier than me (can I take the pressure??!) :-)

I sent her a fan email tonight and then found this clip of her on YouTube:

It's so cool to find so many people in this crazy world of ours - all wanting to make the world a better place. Yea us! I'm inspired again.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Charity Chicks Holiday Party - THIS Weekend

How did a four day weekend whiz by like that? Sheeeeesh - so much left to do and I have to work in the morning! I still have to finish ironing on the logos for the teams in my department before weigh in on Friday. Yup, that's right - we're starting a weight loss competition at work at the beginning of DECEMBER - how crazy is that? But it will all be good.

I do plan to protest the contest rules, though. It is based on total pounds lost per team - not a total percentage of body weight. My team doesn't stand a chance if they stick with total pounds. No one has THAT much to lose. Of course, I would love to be the one carrying my team with ALL my dropping pounds! ;-)

Plans continue for my Charity Chicks Holiday Party this weekend. I finally got a band booked - but now I need to scramble to dig up some sound equipment before Saturday. Decor is covered, entertainment, one more email to go out . . . and now all I have left is to panic all week that no one will come and the band and the venue will be disappointed. That's the "fun" part of the events - all the worry. I'm very good at the worrying part notsomuch the rest.

I usually don't do a holiday event - it's impossible to find a "good" date that works for most. And, traditionally it's a time when people who don't normally contribute feel charitable, so I don't feel that we are "needed" as much. But this year, it's different. We have a lot more needs in our community - and it's scary. I hope we can make a dent.

The party should be fun. Wanna join? Lots more details on my website -!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend of Clean

I *meant* to title this weekend's blog "Whoa Neti!" and tell G and BG that I followed their sage advice and used the Neti Pot to help my recurring sickness and allergy issues. My mom bought me one last year and I keep getting it out but my fear of water/swimming/water-up-the-nose keeps leading me to do OTHER things instead. My goal: I WILL try it this week or this weekend.

Then checkout what I found online!! The Sneezer Beam! Fascinating and frightening at the same time!

So instead of cleaning my schnoz this weekend, I cleaned other things. ANNA helped it along by rolling in something disgusting and smelly in the park. That meant it was bath time - and bath time is FUN. First I entice them both into the bathroom and then close the door, then we take turns in the tub/shower while they sit nose-to-nose (one inside the glass, one outside the glass).

Once the girls are clean - and my legs and the bathtub are covered in wet sticky dog hair and they've managed to shake water, soap and hair all the way up to the ceiling, I release them and they run madly about the house jumping over things, rubbing up on every single wall and piece of furniture. They are crazy. And I love them.

Hot, hairy (dog hair) legs. I'm thinking of posting this on a dating site to see who it attracts - eek!

Mmmm, nice bath water!

Wet floor!

Crazy happy and clean puppies!

After that, it was time for a head-to-toe house clean. Not an exciting weekend . . . but satisfying! And I have fuzzy soft puppies to curl up next to tonight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sick - Oy Vey!

Seriously, what was the point of getting a flu shot a week and a half ago? Now I am sick. :( I think this happened last year too - I don't think I ever got a flu shot in previous years. I'm going back to bring a flu shot naysayer.

It probably would help if I didn't chew on my pens and pencils all day though, huh? Can't help it - it all started with Barbie feet....

But here I have a good cup of Mango Passionfruit tea. That should cure what ails me, eh? It feels good at least on my throat. I know, I'm whining.... What is the official word when working out and sick? I thought if you have a fever or bronchitis you're out - but otherwise sweat it out??

I think tonight is going to be a rest night for me... I was going to try and do my long run tomorrow after work before I hit the road Saturday morning. And... New shoes should arrive tomorrow!!

That's something about running ... Once you find the "right" shoe, you stick with it. And then you're also free to bargain shop for them online. I am way over miles for mine and starting to get shin pain which for me always means its time to switch shoes. I should be like lightening in them, right?

Tea/lunch break over (see the smart for life cookies in the background?). Back to work for me!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Feets - Don't Fail Me Now!

So I've been a regular on the canals again and it feels good!

After my marathon in Greece in fall 2006, I had constant foot and ankle pain. I had probably over trained a bit and ended up with a case of plantar faciitis that would NOT go away. I stopped running and it still hurt daily, so what was the point?

Anyway, as you know I decided to get back out there again and started training for the Nike Women's Marathon. It was slow and hot. I was slow and sweaty. Man, it's hard to "come back"! Then the back injury put me out of commission and I had to cancel my training.

But now . . . I'm BACK (again)! I'm training for the PF Changs Half Marathon in January and my initial goal was just to get moving again and do it. But I'm starting to set some actual goals now and believe that I can achieve them.

I've been training alone this time and I learned that when it's just me and my music out there, I've really been able to push myself. I was averaging a 11-12 minute mile this summer. But I've been running 3-4 miles 3 nights a week for the past couple weeks and each time I shave the time off a little more and a little more . . . and it feels pretty good! Tonight: 4.04 miles - average pace: 9:53. Wahoo - ROCK STAR!! And I'm so sick today - perhaps it was the fever and delirium that pushed me along??

My chiropractor said that when I started running again it might be a good idea to try and run faster (ha!) and that faster would be less impact on my spine then plodding along slowly. I thought it sounded good but didn't really listen until after this weekend. I ran just under 7 miles with a friend and this was a social run - we finished at an 11:30-some pace. And my back hurt the rest of the weekend. Some truth to the theory maybe?

The important thing is that I'm actually enjoying running again. I look forward to getting back out there and moving my feet on the canal each day and it's GREAT. In no way will I achieve any PR's in January - but I'm hoping to match some of my old times - from back in the day when I was younger and when I felt better.

So YEA me - YEA canals - and YEA running.

Feet: hear me and hear me good. This makes me happy - help me keep it up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pat & Sean Make a Porno

Gotcha with that title, now didn't I? ;-)

We ventured off to crazy LAS VEGAS a few weekends ago to celebrate Pat's 40th Birthday! (I'm still having trouble acknowledging that the people I hang out with are THAT old! I mean, I'm still 29 . . . !!?)

**The players & background: Pat is married to my girlfriend Jen - they've been married for 11 years - Jenny and I met 23+ years ago - Sean is one of Pat's oldest friends - Kasia is his new wife of 1 year.**

For a bunch of oldies, we sure did it up GOOD. Sean was AWESOME and brought the best party favor . . . PAT PORN! You know how the guys in Vegas hand you all those fabulous flyers for hot chicks with stars on their parts? Sean made special "Guys Gone Wild" flyers starring a young Pat and we plastered them all around the hotel before meeting up with them. Then we walked around passing flyer after flyer until he finally noticed it. Pretty flipping great.

Some highlights:

Pat Porn - Guys Gone Wild!
Pat Porn (sorry boys, I blurred out the naughty parts so I wouldn't be re-distributing porn!)

Mmmmm. Ice Cream. (This poor woman, I bet she gets this every single day)

GGW - 4
Pour some sugar on Pat

Pat's Night Out
The gang

More cowbell!
I need more cowbell! (at 5 am)

Freddy Mercury!
My new gay boyfriend, Freddy Mercury (I guess he loves me despite my 20 chins . . . )

Did I mention we saw Eric McCormack of Will & Grace fame at the Imperial Palace at 5-something am? I gave him the jazz hand "hi" and he gave it back. Despite having been in liquid Vegas mode, I contained my excitement and gave him his space. :-)

We also learned that if you collect all the porn, you can't really turn it into an effective card game - they are all different chicks! We couldn't find enough similar girls to make up any suits - good effort though. And the porn hander-outer-guys are really taken aback when you hold out your bag to request their cards while yelling TRICK OR TREAT!

HA! Good times, good times! :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sticker Tuesday

Whatever your views were yesterday, you have to agree it was a life-changing and history-making day.

Yea America for getting off your butts and exercising your right to vote!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Golf Tournie Rewind

This is a delayed post. I feel like I spent half my time these days starting emails with "I'm sorry for the delay . . . "

Anyway - we had our annual Charity Chicks Golf Tournament on Saturday Sept 6 at the Continental Golf Course in Scottsdale. It was our FIRST Golf and GLOW tournament and it was definitely FUN. I think everyone had a great time and we raised some very important $$s for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Congratulations to our winning team: Jackie Fisher, Ralph Noriega, Frank Lucero and Steve Gallant! Thanks to all the teams who participated!!

Special thanks to all the sponsors and donors who helped make this event happen. Thank you to event sponsor who presented each member of our winning team with $100 DineSmart Dollars and helped us advertise the tournament. Thanks also to Continental Golf Course for donating rounds of golf and buckets of range balls for our first and last place teams!

MORE thanks to the fabulous Charity Chick volunteers who helped make the night such a SMOOTH and energetic event: Allison Tengan, Bridget Bond, Krista Hudgins, Marina Renneke & Natasha Apocada! (Seriously girls, from my heart - it was awesome to have you there!)

Congrats to our Door Prize winners:

  • $50 Side Door Italian Restaurant - Kevin Sonoda

  • AZ Wine Company Gift Basket ($100) - Sarah McKnight

  • $25 Picazzo's Pizza Restaurant - Kim Schumann

  • $25 Picazzo's Pizza Restaurant - Kevin Sonoda

  • $25 Picazzo's Pizza Restaurant - Paul Olive

  • $30 Chili's Restaurant - Gina Cassagrande

  • California Pizza Kitchen - 2 entrees/drinks - Paul Olive

  • Sunchain Tanning Gift Basket ($100) - Jackie Fisher

  • Original painting by Ali Spagnola - William Dettmers

  • Burt's Bees Product Basket ($150) - Steve Gallant

  • Verve Vitamin Energy Drink Gift Basket - Jim Fieberg

  • Autographed, framed Phil Michelson photo - David Bagesse

  • Margarita Man Machine Rental (over $100) - Barbara Lee

  • Keith Pitts Photography - FREE photo session (valued at over $200) - Rob Morden

  • Bombshell Nails/Melissa Celaya-Lawlor - Manicure/Pedicure - Kim Schumann

  • Bombshell Nails/Melissa Celaya-Lawlor - Manicure/Pedicure - Jim Bordenave

We will probably bring our annual tournament back to Shalimar next year, just because they are so generous and we're able to contribute MORE money to our charitable causes. But I'll work on negotiating another Golf & Glow in the future!

I also sent my FIRST email out through a tool and not from my Cox Outlook account. It costs me about $8 per send, but I think it will help me manage my lists and the sends easier. My list was getting TOO BIG (this is a good thing) and each time I'd have to break it up into about 10-12 different groups in an attempt to not look like I'm sending bulk email through Cox. This send was SO MUCH EASIER. Can't wait to watch the stats tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The end is near....

I *might* have hypochondria tendencies. So the weather in Phoenix is awesome right now. We went from sweating our <insert body part of choice> off to a sudden cool down and it's FALL! How long it will last one can't be sure - has us back to the mid-90s by end of week. But I will take it!

In honor of the fabulous weather I opened up all the doors and windows and the girls and I just basked in it all weekend. Love it!

The unfortunate thing is I also apparently sent an engraved invite to every mosquito in town to come in. Two mornings in a row I have been woken up by the lovely sound of a high-pitch buzzing in my ear. And I am covered with about 15 - 20 welt-like bites AND I've had a headache since Thursday. Do you think I have west nile disease? Just in case, it's been a good life...thanks for tuning in!!

On a serious note, my dad spent over 9 hours with a surgeon digging out skin cancer yesterday. He has to see a plastic surgeon next. We all spend a lot of time outside - DO NOT FORGET your sunscreen EVERYDAY! (and pray they got it all yesterday!)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, September 29, 2008

It was a GREAT weekend. And once again, OUCH

I seriously should live in a bubble I'm so accident prone!

The weekend was GREAT - I had a great run on Saturday - 4.69 miles at an average 11:12 minute/mile. For some - that's a BAD day - for me and my healing and returning process - FABulous. I'm happy. I've been averaging a 13-minute-mile this year so I feel like I could get back to my 10-minute mile sometime soon!!

Then the weekend of crazy girls - do you know they post safety rules at the waterslide? We didn't heed. My feet slipped and I CRASHED on my tailbone. Ouch. I'm hurting . . . again. BUT running doesn't involve sitting so it's all good, right?

Another snake shot for you:

Drinks with umbrellas - that's what makes the world go round!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sangria, slides, sun and .... Snakes??

Okay so we have arrived for another girls weekend at Wildhorse Pass and the drinks have begun. It was meant to be a weekend of silliness and water slides but I have been introduced to something... Does anyone else remember snakes from their childhood? I never have - but Natasha who brought them was very excited - then Frances got all excited ... Diane and I have never seen them. So we went to the balcony and lit it up and .... Well .... It looked like the balcony was pooping! The two most familiar were yelling SNAKE! And Diane and I said POOP!! So for your enjoyment...

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh, running world - you disappoint me!

One of the things I love about the world of fitness is the people. I love when you pick a regular time to: run the canal, walk the dogs, hike a mountain, etc. and you start to notice familiar faces and it becomes a community. I LOVE hitting the canal or the trail on Thanksgiving mornings - people are usually SO warm. These are the people who had other choices - and chose to enjoy movement and sunshine and fitness. Lots of smiles - lots of greetings. I love it.

There are moments when I DON'T love runners. Often on Expo + race packet pickup day. People can be crabby - and rude. But I attribute that to pre-race jitters because the same group of people can be so FUN the next morning when we start the race! (wierd)

I DON'T love runners when that same group of 4 executive men run in the mornings and refuse to break up from their line of 4 and pratically push me into the canal after my partner and I form a single line to make room. (arg!)

And well, this morning - NOT a fan of the Phoenix running/biking/walking community.

Today our Team in Training group did 20 miles in preparation for the Nike Women's Marathon. This is the hardest day of their whole experience: they have been fundraising in their "off hours" for a long time, they have spent countless hours on the hot, dusty canals and this is the longest distance many of them have ever run or walked before. The mentors and the coaches - it's OUR JOB to be out there supporting them, cheering them on and making sure they have everything they need. The most important need: hydration.

We set up all our water and sport drink stations along the route and put LOTS of signs of support for Team in Training on each station - there was NO mistaking who the supplies belonged to. And yet, runner after runner after walker after biker had no problem walking up and helping themselves. I didn't want to be rude, but I went ahead and wrote a sign for the front the water jug at my station that read: "We are running 20 miles today to fight cancer. Please save the drinks for our team." You HAD to read it while using the spiget to pour a drink - so it wasn't missed.

I then went out for a mere 3 mile run with a friend and came back to find my 5 gallon jug of sports drink almost GONE. And they took the race GU (like liquid nutrition - you buy them at the store for several $$ each) - and threw the wrappers away in the bag with the clean cups. I guess I can happy they didn't throw them on the ground. So I went to the store and bought more (my $) sports drink, ice and supplies. And they continued to take it - while their eyes visibly read the sign. This happened all along our route, all day. I went to the store and spent $$ 3 times today to refill our supplies. It's FREAKING ridiculous.

I followed the last runner/walkers as they completed each station and would bring the supplies to the next station so we could combine remaining fluids and keep them hydrated to the end. It was about 100 degrees today - MUCH better than it has been throughout training. But still - HOT!

Maybe it's just a misconception? Perhaps people just assume that the charity is this big entity with loads of $ buying these supplies and should share with everyone. I mean, isn't charity about sharing? But the signs were pretty clear - people were out there for 20 miles counting on these supplies. I'm so disappointed in people.

Maybe I should have been more aggressive with them - but they read the message - they knew what they were doing and I don't want to "represent" the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a total bitch. We are a charity dedicated to helping people.

Seriously? I AM so writing our local Fitness publication AND Runner's World and seeing if they will post it in their "Letters to the Editor" sections. I'm curious what the public thinks when they are just helping themselves. So much for community.

Before the vultures swooped on my station


Now back to me: I did run a total of about 5 miles today - my initial three and then in between stations. My lower back hurts. Ugh. I tried the lean forward technique my chiropractor wanted me to. We shall see. The first 3 were GREAT. I could just be tired. I started loading up supplies at 4:30 am - and left the park at 12:30 pm. 8 hours. I didn't do 20 miles today - but I sure feel like I worked a long, sweaty, dirty day. We'll see how I feel tomorrow!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yup, Anna agrees!

She does the creepy eye thing when she sleeps!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

I think someone is ready for bed!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lunch today anyone? Cocktails tonight?

Just in case I have any local readers hankering for a FABulous lunch or dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen Tempe Marketplace today, please print and take this flyer with you and 20% of your bill will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I didn't think to post it here sooner, so sorry!

I will be there myself tonight around 6:45 - 7.

Are you concerned about my diet? I have pre-scoped the menu and plan to go with the Grilled Vegetable Salad -"Grilled asparagus, Japanese eggplant, zucchini, green onions and roasted corn, served warm over a bed of chilled Romaine lettuce, fresh avocado and sun-dried tomatoes in a Dijon balsamic vinaigrette. Tossed upon request. Also available with grilled rosemary chicken breast, sautéed salmon or grilled shrimp."

I will go with the addition of the rosemary chicken breast and request it without the dressing. Perhaps a side of balsamic vinegar . . .  AND I will stick with iced tea. (I really should opt out of the avocado - but I'm only one woman - if you cut me, do I not bleed??)

SEE, pre-planning prior to sitting in front of a menu with a grumbling tummy helps. Let's see how I do.

(Let me know if the link to the flyer doesn't work - I've never tried to post a blog with attachment via email before. I know how to do image with blog from phone, but haven't attempted this yet.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hello, Old Friends!

So I'm upright again, losing a few pounds and am ready to recapture my world. Thanks for your comments and support - I have NOT completely fallen off the cookie wagon, although after the cake slip I also managed to drink a few days worth of calories Saturday night. But heck at my age, when I can do it up like a rock star once in a while, it's worth the effort! (It just takes a chunk out of a productive Sunday . . . )

Now that I've missed out on the Nike Marathon, I'm pondering what's next. I'm thinking of aiming a little smaller and going back to half marathons and working on actually creating WIND when I run. Get a little faster. Soooooo, The PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon is right around the corner and I've decided "what the heck" I can do the half again. I think I've run the Rock and Roll half marathon 3 times? And the last time, I said "never again". Only this year I don't want to be in charge, I don't want to have to deal with picking up, driving, road closures, parking, getting on the shuttle, finding my car and getting out again later. Too many people. I want to be dropped off at the start line and scooped up like all those fabulous runners with fabulous mates get to do!

But alas, what did I do instead? I somehow volunteered to be the coordinator to put together a team to REPRESENT my fine city. What's wrong with me?? And yes, I've already come up with a few fun designs just in case we want to make team shirts!

So if I want to get this larger-than-the-last-time-I-ran booty across the finish line in any kind of decent time, I'd better get cozy with these old friends again. Hello canal - hello 5 am!

Friday, September 12, 2008

SO not on the cookie diet!

Today was mission impossible for my diet efforts. First, there was a going away lunch to attend at Buco di Beppo for a co-worker. I managed to pass through the family style order for everyone else and got a small spinach and tomato salad. I kept myself busy with that and the ice tea and passed the breads and pastas without partaking... Then there was the giant chocolate sheet cake for her when we got back to the office. I brought down my diet coke and stood around socially while everyone talked about how GREAT the cake was. Still good - the perfect picture of willpower.

Then I went back to my desk and got the email. The last straw. Another co-worker brought in cake. Not just cake: THE CAKE. Its some vodka infused Baileys cake - its moist and so so SO yummy. I caved.

*sigh* now I am full and guilty. Did I mention it was yummy? And why is it when you eat something naughty no matter how full you are, you want MORE. I wish I still smoked. (not really)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It was a BIG Weekend

Originally uploaded by aimswa
In fact, I'm still going. And I'm tired. But I am PROUD. It was all good. First - the Charity Chicks Golf & GLOW Tournament happened on Saturday. I think it came together FABulously, my volunteers all showed up and were wonderful and it was a great event for everyone.

The next day I loaned out the Charity Chick poker tables and supplies for an event my mentee was hosting - a Poker Tournament. It's crazy to admit this, but even though I've hosted many a charity poker tournament . . . . I don't know how to play!! So I got a quick lesson and played. I managed to make it to a table merge, but it was NOT through my mad skills! And poker face - HA! Does anyone think I could pull THAT off? I THINK the boys appreciated my Elvis glasses or at least they humored me.

And there were other events taking place throughout our happy state over the weekend - as a result thousands of dollars were raised to help fight cancer this weekend. Wouldn't it be GREAT if someday "cancer" was only mentioned in the history and science books??

I've loaded some pictures from the golf tournament, but need to get the other images from my friend Marina before I can post a full synopsis on the event!

It is now 11:30, I have to get up and start the day all over again in the morning . . . where does the time GO???

(P.S. I *DID* break the diet with a few beers at all the events - BUT managed to drop another 3 pounds - so YEA me! 20 more to go . . . )

Monday, September 1, 2008

The dogs ate my homework . . .

THIS is what I came home from my pool party last night to find. Anna must have got up on the coffee table, pulled down "Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea" and together they went to TOWN. Seriously, the whole family needs to go to AA.

And then in guilt, they tried to tuck it under the hope chest so maybe I wouldn't notice? Little you-know-whats . . . The good news: I finished the book earlier that day. The bad news: it wasn't mine. I guess I will be buying a new one to return to my gracious lender, Jo Anna. Sheeeesh.

Speaking of eating - I am on day 14 of the "cookie diet" and am quite proud of myself. I DO have willpower after all! Couple big moments - I had a PIZZA lunch to attend at work - and managed to attend, have some lettuce, socialize and avoid the pizza (if you know me and pizza - that is HUGE). My friend Diane came by to drop off some Charity Chicks supplies and I offered her a beer and was "okay" with my water. I DID have to not attend an intimate pasta and wine party at my friend Nancy's. That just would have been impossible. But then again I did attend a BBQ/pool party yesterday and managed to avoid the chips/salsa bowl - ate my healthy kabob - and had a nice cup of coffee while they dove into HOMEMADE carrot cake (drool). As of last Tuesday, I was down 3 pounds. I sure hope it's another 3 this week. But whatever. At least I'm winning my own battles.

This week I can start working out again they say. WHEW! I am not one to sit around patiently . . . more to come.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Wouldn't you want to come in and hop on that treadmill?Who knew? I mean, I've clearly been hiding it most of my life. But apparently I've GOT it!

What is going on, you wonder? Well - since I can't work out until my back gets a little bit better and the doc gives me the thumbs up, I COULD sit around and eat ice cream. OR I could try something crazier than a marathon. So I did it. I started the Smart For Life COOKIE DIET on Tuesday. Today was Day 6 and I can totally do it, I think. :-) I figured like all difficult things, you just need to get through the first week.

Basically, I can have 6 "cookies" all day. The cookie: each 3x3 square is about 80 calories and contains a bunch o fiber and some protein and other stuff. I get 6 of them during the day (basically 1 every 2 hours with 8 ounces of water) - and at night 6 ounces of lean protein and 2 servings of vegetables.

When you get the spiel, they tell you how GREAT the cookies are and how FULL you will be that some people even claim to have trouble eating all the cookies throughout the day - but you're supposed to eat all 6. I have to say during the first couple days I was thinking: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The cookies are NOT fabulous and I was STARVING. Hungry like: Have to go to bed early to try and sleep through the hunger hungry . . .

I tell you though when I pull out those veggies and grill up that solitary chicken breast at night - it is the BEST tasting thing you can imagine! It really makes you appreciate making healthy choices and eating GOOD things.

And my body is adjusting. I really think I can do this.

Although, this is what Polly looks like to me right now:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're off to the races

Laura is on her way and we're headin off to beautiful San Diego! I have not made the drive to San Diego in YEARS (maybe 10?), so this will be fun! I'm only doing the 5k and Laura will do the half. I guess I'll stand there holding her beer when she finishes!

where are you going, now?

The girls know what the suitcase means and they are NOT happy. But they LOVE our neighbor Walter and he will come stay with them. They'll be fine - and yet I always feel so guilty!

Seriously, that suitcase/backpack is full. And it's for 2.5 days. How did I live out of it for 2.5 weeks before? I'm am the world's worst packer!

We will try out the new iPod gadget thing I bought last night. Gone are the days of packing the whole CD collection!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yep - another vet bill, Anna!

Seriously, it feels like we LIVE at the doctors these days. Polly's ears and tummy. Polly's feet. Then Anna's torn toenail. Now Anna has a green gooky nose (sounds attractive, yes?). Everything looks good - she doesn't have a fever, nothing else is showing a sign of infection so it could be: just an irritant, a foreign object stuck in there that needs to be extracted OR some crazy immune disease that wouldn't be good at all.

For now, we're starting with a round of antibiotics - they took tests for Valley Fever AND Tick Fever and we shall see. $300+ later . . .

Me. I'm at the chiropractor 3 times a week and just got fitted for my NEW orthotics. (Oh, that feels so old). I have a combo set - one for my running shoes and boots and a second smaller set that supposedly I can fit into dressier work shoes. I'm supposed to wear them almost all the time and hopefully all my back pains, plantar faciitis and knee/calve pains are behind me? We shall see.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Good news: I exceeded the goal for my Diabetes Association collection in my neighborhood today and I anticipate at least ONE more donation . . . . Yea!!

What's that you ask? Well, rather than send general donation letters from the association, they discovered it is more effective to recruit a neighbor representative to sign, stuff, stamp and collect donations from a particular neighborhood. Somehow I made the list of people to recruit for this task - imagine that!

Anyway - this one's for YOU, Billy! My nephew Billy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last year and we can thank the good work and research of the American Diabetes Association for helping him fight and learn to live with this disease.

And I'm going to be starting on some new goals myself soon. My city (and employer) is embarking on a new Fit City/Wellness program. I got a health assessment last week and I saw some numbers I didn't like. Time for some changes!!! I'm excited about the journey, but I'm really going to miss my comfort carbs and glasses o wine. Expect a bit of whining about the process to come . . . .

I'm a Quitter :-(

Well, yesterday I officially decided to drop out of the San Francisco marathon. It really bites. I mean, I got in by LOTTERY drawing. No Tiffany necklace at the finish line for me. :-( I'm very bummed, but I know it was a smart decision.

I'm not superstitious per se, but I do try to listen to things that I feel are "signs" I'm meant to do something . . . I thought getting my name drawn out of thousands was a sign I was meant to do this race.

But perhaps it was just a nudge to take on a new goal with Team in Training and help make some strides against cancer. Perhaps the back injury was my second "sign" that I did my work and now it's time to rest.

And a woman had contacted me a while back wanting to buy my bib. She read in our Facebook Nike Women's Marathon Group that I had been drawn AND was fundraising for Team in Training. I held onto her email just in case I decided to go beyond mentor and fundraise to travel with the group. And now I can offer this up to her and she is tickled pink. So it's all good.

I'm sure her time will be MUCH better than what MY time would have been if I tried to push it. And I'll ask her for a donation in place of the bib fee, so the circle of GOOD will continue.

Even though I know it was the right choice, I still kind of feel like a quitter. This will pass. I am going to try and run tomorrow and see how it goes . . . .

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Okay, so maybe it wasn't the LAST garage sale I will ever have. Let's just say the last time I ever have an August garage sale. What was I thinking? My alarm went off at 4 am and I began the process of unloading the garage and setting up the sale at 4:30 am. In my experience, people cruise by early and if I'm not set up and ready, it is difficult to handle customers - because they arrive in bunches. I also got smart this time and used a clothing rack with a blanket as a wall to block my garage. It never ceases to amaze me what people will do. I've had them walk into the garage before and start poking around on shelves - seriously?

Anyway - it was a hot a muggy morning and set up took forever! Jo Anna showed up around 6 with more stuff and Amy saved the day by arriving with STRONG iced coffee, string cheese and granola bars at 7.

We did okay. But not as well as I have done in the past. I mean, who in their right mind is garage sale shopping in this weather? We didn't get any of the "pros" but we did attract a lot of really nice families who were looking for home necessities. All in all, we made $150 yesterday. Not bad!

Since traffic was slow and I was solo on Sunday, we determined to hold off on the sale Sunday and wait until the end of September to try again. SO, if you missed the window of time to drop off YOUR junk, there still is time!

After we cleaned it all up and re-loaded and stacked all the boxes in my garage, I made my way to Mesa to drop off an outdoor firepit to Jo Anna. I've learned one thing about hosting all these garage sales, if you don't end up writing a check at your own event, you're just not looking!! I have yet to have an event where we don't walk away with something someone else donated.

Then I went to my friend Diane's house who was hosting a FABulous BBQ and Pool Party with her newly refurbished pool. It was VERY blue, lots of toys and shady umbrellas. Fun, fun, fun!! I *might* have drank a little too much koolaid because I feel today like I didn't actually TALK to anyone, I think I might have shouted a lot. I'm sure I was very wise and witty albeit hyper and shouty.

And now today - I'm attempting to tackle the house tasks. And my golf tournament stuff. And logging into all of my social media tools to wish my friend Brian a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. And I am tired. Am I too old for all this stuff?

I'm supposed to be able to start running again this week - will I be able to make up the time and run a decent marathon in October? I have some serious thinking to do tonight. I need to recommit by tomorrow if I am still going to go to San Francisco. Decisions are hard :(

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lucky Eight - on Eight Oh Seven (Yea, me!)

We've all probably gotten an email about how LUCKY tomorrow should be. 08-08-08. You haven't? Well, Read a little. And more.

But MY luck started today! I WON a $250 gift certificate to a VERY COOL athletic-inspired online clothing store called Athleta. I get their catalogs and really love their stuff. I've been working on getting back on track and loving my physical self again - so I'm think I should use this to buy a very cute GOAL OUTFIT. This wonderful surprise came from a online blog/website/tool that I just joined called - their tagline: "Healthy, happy you" - and I'm totally happy :)

I also received an email from my new friend Ali Spagnola. You may remember that I received a very cool Charity Chick inspired painting from her earlier this year. Well, she has made me ANOTHER painting, this time as a raffle prize for my Charity Chicks Golf & Glow Tournament! Thanks, Ali!

OTHER exciting news. So I have that golf tournament coming up for Charity Chicks and Team in Training. I've invested a good deal of time planning it. I've written a deposit check. I have prizes, flyers, registration goodies and volunteers. And not one team signed up yet. I am expecting some signups, but still - no official paper-to-pen, check-in-hand teams. Today we secured a SPONSOR. has kindly offered us an ad - valued at $750 - that will go out to 80,000 LunchClub email subscribers on 8/21. If THAT doesn't drum up some attention for the ol' Charity Chicks and hopefully a TEAM or two, I don't know WHAT will.

And yet MORE good news (this came yesterday - Happy Hump Day!) - the doctor said that I am progressing AHEAD OF SCHEDULE and I can start running again next week (with some modifications to form). I'm still worried about catching up the miles, but I am going to do all that I can.

AND - we had one HECK of a storm tonight and I LOVES me some rain and thunder and lightening. My mood is GREAT!

my flower box, all glisteny and rained on

Polly is NOT so happy :-( Thunder is scary - she's wedged against the wall next to my computer right now. She wants ME to take the lightening blow for her. Why not, that's what moms are for!! (Fake human-to-dog moms)

save me!

Happy 08-08-08 to you!!!

Weekend of JUNK

I can't believe I'm having another garage sale. I'm pretty sure I said the last one was "the last one" - BUT, it's a darn good fundraiser and the people in my life collect a LOT of stuff!

This is my 4th or 5th Charity Chick garage sale. You would think my friends' and family's houses would be empty by now!

So I've posted the ads, gathered the stuff, begun the preparations and now I will spend the weekend in a lawn chair in the AZ heat. Must buy cold beer. I also just looked at the weather - isolated storms Saturday and Sunday. What were the chances??

It's not hard labor but for some reason, I always break a nail, get dirt under them and am exhausted at the end of the day. Is it all the germs and the money going back and forth? It's not like I'm digging in the garden . . .

Wish me luck!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Here's a little conversation that happened in the world o work last week - and it's not a first-time occurrence. Names and situation have been fabricated to protect the . . . well, to protect.


Me: Okay, well then we're ready to get started painting this room. I like your overall plan, but remember, I don't want the ceiling to be orange.

Other Person (OP): Sure no problem. I'll get going.

Me: Remember, don't paint the ceiling orange.

OP: Yup.

Me, on way out door: Hey, what are these cans of yellow and red paint?

OP: Oh, well we're going to mix them for the paint.

Me: Where is that going to go?

OP: On the space between the crown molding.

Me: You mean, the ceiling?

OP: Yeah, the upper space above the crown molding.

Me: And so, you plan to mix these colors together and paint the ceiling?

OP: Yeah.

Me: But won't that make the ceiling orange?

OP: What, you don't want orange on the ceiling? I didn't know that.


Seriously, I can't wait to start my week. If I'm lucky I'll have a bunch of emailed requests waiting from all the other people that are as descriptive as:
Can you post this thing? (what thing, where, what will it say?)
Oh, and today is my deadline, so can you drop everything and do it right now?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Catching Up

Sometimes I feel like my entire life is just one big game of catch up. I spent the weekend recovering from my back injury and I go to the chiropractor one more time today - then hopefully I'm good to run and I can try to catch up with the miles I've missed in training.

Since I was home, I spent the weekend catching up on paperwork and finally cleared off that card table in my office full of junk mail, bills and other "to dos". While I was cleaning and filing, I found three different lists of email addresses from Charity Chick events I have yet to add to my email database (which is still a silly excel spreadsheet).

Last night, I spent 2+ hours finally going through my Outlook folder entitled "email list cleanup" where I've thrown all bounce notifications from Charity Chick mailings and all emails where someone sent me updated contact information or requested to be added to my emails. I STILL need to go through and add those three email lists tonight.

Also, while I was doing paperwork, I created another big box of "to be shredded" stuff that is now in the middle of my living room (that was a smart thing I did - bought a stainless steel shredder and put it right in the living room so I can shred and watch evening TV).

And I still have a small stack of stuff sitting next to my desk TO DO and to be caught up. OY VEY.

Off to work now, I have some serious catching up to do there as well!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This morning's trip to the vet took a turn for the bad this am. As I bent down to lift dog #2 into the car, I felt a *pop* and a whiz of pain and swear I heard my mom's voice saying "bend at your knees!!" OY VEY. I'm in pain.

A day of pain and never finding a comfortable position, I had to leave the cocoon and drive to 7th Ave and Thomas to get into a doctor of any sort today. I went to a chiropractor who identified the "stuck" vertebrae and worked it back into place. According to her though, I will be in pain for a bit, but I'll be back to normal soon and my half-marathon in August in San Diego she says will be fine. As far as me actually preparing for it and participating in a training run this weekend - THAT she's not so sure of.

AND...A N D! I'm supposed to chase Polly around and get her to dip and hold each of her four feet into this solution I will make - for TEN MINUTES - twice a day. And after she fully hates me, chase her around again and shove cold medicine down her ears. And I'm having trouble making it to the bathroom to PEE right now.

Wah, wah, wah. Whine fest over. It did prompt me to throw together THIS attractive number - the worst PhotoShop butchery ever. (It's supposed to be me lifting Anna into the car.) My Day in Images. Enjoy:

More about the girls . . . !

Well, we're off to the vet again. Polly needs to get her last shot for the WORMS she got (was it me letting them dip in the park lake? or Polly's affinity to find bird carcasses and wolf them down before I can intervene?).

She also had a bad foot and after x-rays we discovered the bones were not broken but two nails were slightly torn - when they went to cut them back they discovered they were hollow and infected. SO a couple weeks of antibiotics and the CONE and only going out to pee - and they are still oozy :-(

So since I had the camera out, I thought I would try to capture the happy pups for a picture. Polly is like my sister - very photogenic. That smile radiates out of the image. Poor Anna is like me. A *good* picture only happens every so often. They both have beautiful happy puppy smiles! And here are the attempts to capture that this morning - this cracks me up. Poor Anna!! :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

First EVER Charity Chicks Comedy Night . . . . a SUCCESS!

Last night we had our first ever Charity Chicks Comedy night and it was a BLAST! We had a great turnout, the comics were F-U-N and we made over $1200 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Wahoo!!!

Lots of people made this evening happen: The fabulous comedians who donated their time and talents (Tim Bateman, Howard Hughes, Stu Baker, Cade Becher, Greg Freiler, and Keith Ellis); Pranksters Too for letting us use their newly remodeled venue, AZ Wine Company and The Side Door for the wonderful prizes, to Team in Training teammate Barbara Lee who helped promote and sell tickets! I'm tickled pink!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Here's an interesting new eatery...

I'm curious and slightly frightened. And I might just have to see how good a Gyro you can get at an Italian & Mexican Cuisine establishment! Could be the next Chino Banditos OR the result of an extremely indecisive business owner! More to come...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Looks kinda like a cafeteria lunch, huh?

My first stab at a post via BlackBerry! Maybe I won't be such a bad blogger afterall!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's Grosser Than Gross?

OH *pause* EM *pause* GEE.

I have now witnessed quite possibly the WORST picture of me to date. And it's posted on Karen's Facebook. Just in case you needed something to jump start YOUR diet - here you go:

Did you know Jabba The Hut had a sister??

**update** Karen graciously took the picture off Facebook, but since I already blogged, you still get a peek.**

Monday, June 2, 2008

Who's a bad bloggger? Bad, Bad Blogger!

Gosh, I guess that's me. I've got some catching up to do . . . and a lot going on, too! My Team in Training group has had two group training runs thus far - I forgot about running in the heat. eeesh, it will be a long summer!

My locals - if you want to do any spring cleaning, I will TAKE your castaways - it's Garage Sale time!! More events and details to come . . . .

I think we've got over 60 people training for either the Maui or the Nike Women's marathon. We have 4 honored teammates - four women who have all survived some sort of blood cancer and are now training to run marathons! It's truly amazing. I have no room to complain about any blisters or heat or sweat . . . (but I still do a little!!)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bringing Elizabethan Sexy Back!

The girls had to have their teeth cleaned last week. It was very dramatic. They have to put dogs them under to do the full cleaning and I knew Polly had a bad or cracked tooth. I hate having them go under anesthesia when they are perfectly healthy; it really made me nervous.

So Thursday night I had to take the water away at midnight. Then Friday I took them to the Vet. They were SO excited to go on an adventure until they separated them into kennels. It was so sad and sweet the two seconds I could see them while the door shut. They put them next to each other, but there's a big cement wall separating the stalls. But they stuck their noses out as far as possible so they could still touch . . . . awwwww. While I filled out the paperwork I could hear them crying and it breaks my heart!!

I couldn't pick them up until 4pm, but the doctor was very nice to call me during surgery to talk to me about Polly's cracked tooth. We had it extracted. Then the nurses called to tell me when they both were awake after surgery. When I got there a little after 4, you should have HEARD the dramatic crying. I guess Anna cried all afternoon when she woke up. And then when I got them home, she cried ALL NIGHT. Oy vey. Polly was the one with the pain meds and she barely let you know it.

So this morning we went for our check up. Polly is fine and healing perfectly. Anna however has an infection where her IV line was. So now I have medicine for her leg and she gets to wear THE CONE for the next 10 days. She's actually handling it quite well. I think she knows it means attention.

Anna getting fitted at the Vet.
She's not very happy yet.
That's Polly behind her checking it out.

NOW we're happy -
the McDonald's Drive-Thru!!
This might be okay after all!

When she's not in here laying at my feet, I hear her walking around the house scraping that collar on EVERYthing. This is going to be a long day. I'm teleworking and have a TON to get done. Maybe if I put my IPod on . . . .

Monday, April 28, 2008


Okay, no. Not THAT. But I did go out and buy me one of them fancy BlackBerry Pearls this weekend . . . aka the "Crackberry"

It's pretty cool. I need to spend some time getting to know it a bit, but I do have to say I've answered some emails already on it and the typing part - not so bad. I could get good at it!

It's another attempt to get myself organized. I'm on the go a lot and often have a few different balls in the air at once, so being able to take care of business when away from my home computer will be good. I have some recruitment meetings this week for my Team in Training group and soon will have a whole new crew of mentees to coach along! I'm thinking Facebook would be a nice way to keep the group together - I can post important dates - motivational messages - get the group to collaborate on fundraising. I hope I can convince them to use technology!

Back to my new crack habit - it has a camera with a FLASH (my Razr did not). Here's a picture I took of the beautiful white roses my wonderful friend - and running partner - gave me Friday for my birthday:
Thanks, Laura!!!

awwwwww - aren't they gorgeous?

Oh - and my new toy - it's PINK. As was my Razr. I was NEVER a pink kind of girl! I abhorred it. Avoided it like the plague! And now I'm buying major appliances in pink! (Is a phone an appliance?)

I'm not sure about this new girl-y phase . . . maybe now that I feel my girlhood slipping away, I'm trying to hold onto it with girl-y things?! Maybe. Or maybe I just have less to prove!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My brain is full.

I'm back home from a trip to Alexandria and DC. MAN, do I miss my puppies when I'm gone!!

I'll post more with some photos - but I have to unpack and get ready for BOOT CAMP tomorrow morning - which is at 5:30 tomorrow (or 2:30 am in DC time) - EEEEK.

  • Fabulous weather
  • Things in bloom
  • Smart people, great ideas at convention
  • New friends, fun nights out
  • Totally cool treating myself to a night out alone

  • Brain full - kind of hurts
  • Mean beeotch at airport who didn't want me to touch her doggie
  • Cool things I learned - I still don't think I have the staff/time to implement

Some preview pics I took from my cell phone:
My free afternoon in Old Town Alexandria

The Starburst restaurant - what MY restaurant would be like if I had one!

Who knew you could get so darn close to the White House? I always thought the fence was way far away from the actual house and driveway.

La Lucia meal - I think it's the first time I've ever eaten ALONE at a fancy restaurant!