#Resist March/LA! Pride – what an event

Sunday June 11, I participated in the #Resist March with my South Bay Cares group. We took a bus from Manhattan Beach to Hollywood and Highland. We arrived at eight and started walking at ten in the morning, ending up in West Hollywood at Melrose and San Vincente. Although the march website said we would walk a little over three miles, my Fitbit said I walked over five. And I must say it was a great people watching and sign watching event. A highlight of the day was meeting and taking a group photo with  Ted Lieu, who is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 33rd congressional district since 2015 (our district). And that's me with the pink hat standing right next to him. Also note our new South Bay Cares banner and logo and our great event T-shirts. Here are some of the photos I took.   … [Read more...]

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A week in New York City

We walk amidst the crowds, some barreling into us on our side of the sidewalk as we tally 43 miles for the week. We push into the subway cars, careful not to get stuck in the sliding doors as we crush into others standing in the aisles. Sweat pours down our faces and soaks our backs. We wait in long lines for museum tickets to see the first masterpiece Rembrandt ever painted at age twenty-three, Manus X Machina fashions, Diane Arbus photography, Degas charcoal and pastel drawings, Pergamon Greek and Roman artifacts, Turner’s whaling landscapes, and the constructionist Bauhaus artist and writer, Maholy-Nagy. Culture abounds even at night. How can a New York experience not include theater? One play is terrific: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. The other, The Humans, not so much. And we eat and eat and eat – one place better than the other: Chazz Palminteri’s Ristorante Italiano, Locanda Verde on Greenwich Street, Lusardi’s with dear friends, MOMA’s T … [Read more...]

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One more bucket list item ready to be checked off

When I started this blog way back in November 2007, it was all about checking off things on my bucket list. And in the years since, I've kept at it pretty well - except for the elusive hike down the Grand Canyon, which was the very first thing on my list at that time. That is until today. We finally got reservations at Phantom Ranch - the place at the bottom of the canyon where we'll stay the night in between the hike down and the next day's hike back up. There is no way we could do the hike down and up in the same day. Unfortunately it's not until next November - November 16 - coincidentally one day plus nine years since I wrote that blog post. Well, I'm just as excited as if I were going to go on that hike tomorrow. Just think - I have a year to train. And yes, okay. I'll be realistic. Anything can happen in a year. But having the reservation - not an easy thing to come by - makes it seem very real even now. … [Read more...]

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A walk for suicide prevention

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know how obsessive I am about writing. My life is about the actual writing or thinking about writing when I'm not at my computer. I also am obsessive about exercise. I workout in some way every day - either at the gym or taking long walks in my beautiful beach neighborhood. Working out and writing were instrumental in saving my life after my son Paul died by suicide in 1999. Since my son's death I've also become obsessive about working toward erasing the stigma of mental illness and helping to prevent suicide. I've volunteered and participated with others whose mission aligns with mine. I've also written much about mental illness and suicide here and in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. This coming June 27-28, I'll take an amazing journey in Boston - another way to memorialize my son and show what I stand for.   The Out of the Darkness Overnight Experience is a 16-18 mile walk over the course of one nigh … [Read more...]

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Sunday gloom

I took my usual Sunday big long walk this morning, and it drizzled throughout. Though it was a light drizzle it was enough to wet my jacket and pony tail, but not enough to soak me through and through. I liked it. I prefer walking when the weather is gray. Another gray day (photo by Keith Alan Hamilton)   However I had to watch my step. The sidewalks and Strand walkway were slippery. As a matter of fact, as I was walking downhill toward the beach I thought about the possibility of falling. With my husband and son both out of town I pondered whom I would call for help if I fell and broke something. Just then I walked over a sewer cover and slipped, fortunately catching myself before I fell. But getting into balance was enough to reactivate the nagging soreness I’ve had in my left calf for the last two weeks. I thought I was over it until I attempted a Spinning class yesterday. I was okay peddling sitting down, but after a few minutes of peddling while s … [Read more...]

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Time heals

In less than two weeks my husband fired me as his driver. He had had just about enough of being tied down to my schedule. He didn't want to wait until I had the time to take him where he needed to go. Well, one would think a person post op from partial knee replacement surgery would not have a lot of places to go. Well, my guy defied the odds. One week after his surgery he declared he was ready to go to work and thus began our little routine: get him there by 8:45 am, pick him up sometime in the noon hour so he could go home to ice and rest, take him back to work after that, etc. And so it went Monday through Thursday -- many trips back and forth while I was trying to complete the professional responsibilities of my own job as well. When I dropped him off at his office on Friday without the credential that allowed him to get in the building where he worked and without his regular glasses -- he had left them in the car -- and he couldn't reach me to come back to help him for over … [Read more...]

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Two days post op

Well, it hasn't been as easy as the doctor said. The surgery went perfectly on my husband's right knee but the recovery is going much slower and with more complications (swelling, loss of appetite and nausea, and drowsiness) than we were led to believe. Thank goodness for the ice and compression machine, the pain medication, the walker, and his calm and caring wife -- without us all where would he be? After this is over I'm going to need a good long girls only vacation. Any suggestions!?! … [Read more...]

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Sunday morning

I took my usual long Sunday walk this morning and it was blustery and cool -- but oh, so beautiful. The clouds hinted at rain, but before my walk was finished it was hot and sunny again. And, here's some show of more house progress. This past week all the trim got painted. Next week, the fence, deck, and atrium will be stained, and the garage door and railings will be painted. Could I even hope that this project will be completed by Friday? Probably too much to ask? … [Read more...]

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Speaking of choices

A friend sent me the following via email. It is worth the read and definitely worth passing on. Two Choices What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice? At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: 'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?' The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued.. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to … [Read more...]

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I need sleep

This has been a hard week. I think mainly because I’ve been so tired. In fact, I’m looking forward to sleeping late both Saturday and Sunday - something I hardly ever do. Luckily, I have no plans for each day this weekend – in fact we don’t even have any evening plans until we see Ben and Marissa on Sunday evening, so I can be at will about when I take my weekend walk or go to the gym. You read it here. I'm not getting up at 6:30 tomorrow to go to my usual Satuday morning Spinning class. I'm sleeping in. I need the sleep. I need to get caught from my stay at Esalen where I never had one good night’s sleep, and this week's usual workout and work schedule. I'll let you know how it all turns out. … [Read more...]

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Walking the walk

I’ve been a walking fool lately. I said I wouldn’t enter any more Health Miles challenges and of course I did the first chance I got. What is it with me? I get my usual 12,000 steps a day whether I’m in a challenge or not what with my usual morning workouts and normal walking throughout the day, so why do I enter and try to rack up more steps on my pedometer? And I know full well that I’ll never get enough steps in a day to even get close to winning. The winners – and there are many of them – all do the maximum allowed which is 30,000 steps a day for 30 days. And since there is more than one winner they are entered in a drawing to see who winds up winning the big bucks. So what’s in it for me? I won’t win. I’ll end up with about 400,000 steps for the 30 days – worth three entries in the loser’s drawing. And the chance of winning that drawing is slim to none. Well, for sure, I’ll get a t-shirt. But, you guessed it, I won’t even wear that. It will go straight into my giveaway bag. I al … [Read more...]

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Ranting about Manhattan Beach — is that a no-no?

Okay it’s time to rant about walking in Manhattan Beach. Every time I take a walk from my house to the beach I always feel this way. It’s about time to write it down and be done with it. And depending how this turns out I’ll put the contents in a letter to City Hall and the Beach Reporter. Now first off, I should have absolutely nothing to complain about. I live in Manhattan Beach – there is nothing to complain about that. And I live within blocks to the beach. I’m out my door and within minutes I can see the Pacific Ocean from the rise – all blue and beautiful with the sun gleaming down on it, and then I walk down that little hill and I’m on the Strand just off the sand and I can see Santa Monica and Malibu to the north and Palos Verdes to the south and sometimes even Catalina is out. This morning there was full sun, it was warm but not too warm for a vigorous walk, and a little bit of haze over the ocean. Almost paradise, but not quite. The haze took just a little bit of the paradi … [Read more...]

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March morning

No Grudge Intended No work today and I begin with a walk just before the sun peeks over the roof tops. The spring ranunculus and clivia burst with open-mouth smiles, the old lady with the cane says a hearty hello, and the brawny guy on the round metal stilts struts at the end of the pier. I stop for a tea sip as I walk home and hope the bully at the gym who yelled and pointed his finger at me will get to enjoy this day. … [Read more...]

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My obsession with steps

My gym, the Spectrum Club, introduced a program called Health Miles a little over a year ago. I joined last January and have been wearing a pedometer at almost every waking hour ever since. Right now, at 4:30 in the afternoon, my pedometer says that I’ve done 16,192 steps today since I got up at 4:50 am. This is a little more than usual. Most days I amass between 12,000 and 15,000 steps – that’s enough already! But today I walked over to my company’s cafeteria for lunch, and a round trip there from my office is another 4,000. The point of the program is to get in shape while earning money and other benefits, and if one earns the maximum miles (steps and bio measurements and fitness assessments and activity logging all get transferred into miles) – 36,000 within a year -- he/she can earn $250.00 worth of gift cards, various t-shirts, a gym bag and water bottle, and 12 hours worth of private training sessions – over $1,400 worth of stuff. And, you guessed it, I’ve earned all that and a … [Read more...]

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No, I don’t feel guilty about working out!

This morning I felt completely vindicated about my workout program when I saw a short, slim gray-haired woman, maybe about 10 years older than me, walk into the gym with her weight training gloves on and sit down at one of the machines and begin her workout. That made me feel better about working out so hard. That woman looks good, she walked in briskly with a purpose, and went to work. So, why should I feel guilty about working out and about how much I work out? I’m doing it to stay healthy and trim, and it's working! Besides it's a good jump start for my day. … [Read more...]

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