Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Marathon Man in the Twin Cities, MN

Do any of you have a super hero in your family? I do. My older brother. And I have the evidence to prove it. He’s older than I am, has a pacemaker and runs. Not just in any races. In marathons!

Earlier this year I nominated him for a spot on the Medtronic Global Heroes marathon team. The members are chosen from individuals around the world who are living longer, fuller lives thanks to medical devices manufactured by Medtronic. The team takes part in the annual Twin Cities Marathon held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. We were ecstatic when he got word he had been chosen! See? Told you I had proof!

(Now kick back. Settle in. This is a bit of a long post but so much happened on this journey that there's a lot to cover and I don't want to leave out anything. Read on and enjoy!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Welcome back to Rhode Island, Anthony Gomes!

Saw this mighty guitar virtuoso last night at local jazz/blues club/restaurant Chan's. Two of my sisters and a brother-in-law joined me. First we enjoyed a tasty dinner of chinese food and then prepared ourselves for the magic!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Batten Down the Hatches!

Unless you've been living under a rock these last few days, I'm sure you've heard about Hurricane Sandy. The Perfect Storm!! Storm of the Century!! A storm for the generations!! The headlines are blaring, warning us all on the upper east coast to be prepared. The weather channel is in its glory and having a field day with this one.

So are you ready? Have you stocked up on all the essentials: batteries, flashlights, candles, bread, milk, pet food and the very important nacho chips and tequila? If not, you could be in a heap of trouble if the weather warnings come to pass.

Did you check your generator? Radio? Fill up the gas tank in your car? Hope so! If not you still have about 24 hours before the leading edge of the storm reaches our shores.

Don't forget to check on your elderly relatives or neighbors to make sure they're alright. If you keep animals outdoors, make sure they're safe and secure.

It's Saturday, late afternoon. Hubby has taken care of the outside of our home and yard. We have groceries, paper goods and propane for our outdoor grill. Plenty of jugs of water. I think we have done all that we can to prepare.

I hope the storm isn't as bad as last year's nasty lady, Hurricane Irene, but some forecasters are saying it could be worse. I've heard reports of incredible wind gusts, 10"+ rain, 2' snow, deep flooding, downed power lines,uprooted trees, power outages. All the usual hurricane damage but on a massive scale. Not good, people!

Stay safe my friends. And let's keep in touch. I hope we all weather the storm just fine and life goes on as normal (and that Halloween can go on as planned).

Take care.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Buffalo Gal Won't You Come Out Tonight.....

Tried something new tonight. Normally, I'm not that adventurous with food. But hey, this is my reinvention time now, right? Try new things, open my mind to new experiences.

So I went for it. Hubby and I went to Ted's Montana Grill in Cranston. Never been there before. We both had the same thing......drumroll please.........


Bisons dans la plaine
Photo Credit: om_man8 (Flickr)
And....it wasn't bad! Couldn't tell the difference from a normal beef filet. Matter of fact, it was quite yummy. It came with tasty garlic smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus for a filling meal.

Not sure if I'll make a habit of eating Bison. It was quite pricey compared to the beef prices. But I was proud of myself for stepping a bit out of my box and trying something new.

If you haven't tried it, give it a shot.

So.....what kind of "out of the norm" foods have you tried?

50+ Fashionista

50+. That's me. Sounds so old. But I don't feel like an antique and I certainly hope I don't appear to be that old to all of you!

I read the following blog post:


What do you think? This bothers me. I love fashion. I've dreamed of designing clothes since I was a little girl and I helped my mother design and make clothes for my dolls. I even enrolled in retail management at the local community college. I wanted to live, breath and work in fashion. Trips to NYC were magical for me. I once even got to tour the inside of the Calvin Klein design house and almost fainted from the excitement.

Eventually my rational mindset intervened and I switched majors to business/law because I realized that the only way to make it in the fashion world was to be in/near NYC. Being married and a mother to 3 little ones, I couldn't pick up and disrupt my family's life by moving closer to the big apple. I gave up the dream and chose a more stable "normal" career.

Secretly I still voraciously read all the latest fashion mags and kept up on all the trends, even though I did not have the funds to afford them or the places and occasions to wear them. I salivated over the fabrics and colors, the beautiful designs.

And now here I sit. Still coveting the latest fashion and watching Project Runway wishing it was me on that show competing for the top prize and finally going after and realizing a long-held dream.

But no one wants us 50+ designers or consumers. Yet there are more of us than there are of them. And we have the bigger purchase power. It just doesn't make sense, does it? Much to my chagrin, I often come home empty handed after a day of shopping, even after visiting the biggest malls in the area. There just isn't much to choose from for someone like me.

My husband jokingly tells me I should start my own business designing for myself and for women like me. It would solve the problem and fulfill a childhood fantasy. Should I do it? Is now the time?

I know many of you are not in my age group yet, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you think?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Couch to 5K

My daughter-in-law gave me the idea. I had never heard of this program. But after reading about it, I'm going to give it a try. It may be just what I need to get rid of the last 10-15 pounds I want to lose.

I'm been trying to lose weight and get back in shape since the beginning of the year. I've had a few setbacks but its been mostly a positive experience. And by that I mean the scale is moving in the right direction.....down! Woo-hoo!

I'm not a runner and I can come up with a zillion reasons why I shouldn't be doing this. But I will NOT listen to the naysayer voice in my head. I CAN AND I WILL DO THIS!

I feel like I've hit a plateau and need something to push me up and over it. I think I've found it with this plan. Hubby and I are doing it together. My daughter-in-law and I are supporting each other across the miles. Always helps to have running buddies!

Check it out and see what you think!


I'll try to post periodic updates on my progess. (That is, once I catch my breath!)

If you decide to give it a try, keep me posted on how you're doing. And good luck!

Cell Phone Revolution

Do you remember the days before cell phones? I sure do. It’s hard to fathom how we lived without them.
Rotary Phone
I recall wishing we had a portable phone back in my childhood. (Heck, I wanted one of those newfangled fancy ones with push buttons that wasn't permanently attached to a wall. Didn’t want much eh?) Dad would be working his one-man landscaping business and mom would be getting dinner on the table. She’d suddenly realize we were out of something. We’d get these crazy science fiction thoughts about how to get word to dad. It would have made life so much easier if we could have teleported a message to our hard working father. (“Hey Dad! Mom says we need milk….NOW!)

Or how about when we took long car trips and it decided to break down (which always seems to happen in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, right)? How did we call AAA to come save us? By walking miles to find a pay phone, praying it wasn’t broken and that we had a dime left to put in it.
           Photo Credit:  Dean Terry's Photostream (Flickr)

Where was that cell phone then, huh? It was only in the land of make believe. James Bond had a cool phone in his car, didn’t he? And what about Maxwell Smart? It was in his shoe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Backyard - Boston Freedom Tour

On my to-do list was Boston. Sure I live less than an hour away, but have I truly ever spent time exploring that big historic city? Nope. Been there many times; for seminars, museum visits, ball games, etc. But I’ve never taken the time to hit the streets and get a real close look. To absorb the history, the culture and munch on the yummy food!

My 2 fun-loving younger sisters eagerly agreed to go with me on my latest adventure. Yay!! Away we go! 

False Alarm

I said in a previous post I'd been at the hospital recently. Here’s what happened.

In August I went for my annual physical. I'm told to go for a mammogram. I show the doctor a lump I found. She didn’t seem concerned. Probably a cyst, she said. I go for the mammogram. I show the tech the lump. She doesn’t seem concerned either but says she’ll take a good picture of it for the doctors to look at. I leave feeling like I’ve done my duty. Annual exam is over.
I leave for a trip to Minnesota for my brother’s marathon (more on that in an upcoming post). While there I get a call. I need further testing. Oh boy. I felt queasy. Scared. This sounds urgent.
I have another mammogram and an ultrasound. Afterwards I talk to a doctor. She’s worried about the lump. Neither test showed what it's made of; she thinks we should do a biopsy and find out. Yikes!
Two weeks later I’m back for a biopsy. This is nerve wracking. I’ve made it this far in life with no cancer scares. There’s no history of it in my immediate family. Haven’t found any lumps before. I’m worried.  This is so not a place I ever saw myself in. But I pull up my big girl pants and steel myself for whatever comes.
The staff goes over the procedure with me. They do another ultrasound. The doctor reviews it and preps for the biopsy. She studies the screen again. Does another test. Finally, she turns to me and says, “I don’t believe we need to do a biopsy. No needles for you today.” Huh? What? I’m not sure I’m hearing her right. "This is a cyst. Nothing to worry about. If it doesn’t go away or it becomes painful, a surgeon can remove it for you.”
Whoa! A gamut of emotions rushes thru my head. Relief, it’s not cancer. Anger, because this was a waste of time over nothing. Frustration, because no one could agree if it was a serious matter or not. One doctor's concerned, another isn't. And there I was laying on a table, holding my emotions in check, prepped for biopsy, and I’m told “never mind”. Argh!
Has this ever happened to you? How did you feel? Am I right to feel so conflicted?
Hubby was relieved when I told him it was nothing to worry about. I should have been, too. But I felt deflated. This whole process threw me for a loop. Wow! I don’t know if emotionally I can handle anymore craziness. First dealing with a hysterectomy. Then losing my job. And now thinking I might have breast cancer and die? Can’t wait for my head to stop spinning from this latest life episode. Don’t think I can handle another scenario like this.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


What the heck just happened? Where'd my job go?

One minute I was hard at work in a job I thought was secure. Next I’m being shown to the door. Whoa! In a flash my world as I knew it was turned upside down. Budget issues. That’s what they said. Could be other things. Don't know. Not going to dwell on the reasons they didn’t want me anymore. What’s done is done. As the wise man Mr. Bill says “It is what it is".

The question is, “So now what?”

And the answer is……. “I HAVE NO FREAKIN’ CLUE!”

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.....

Christmas. It’s coming. Some say it comes earlier every year. Now you know that isn’t really true. Christmas falls on December 25 every year. But retailers are coming after us and our holiday budgeted dollars earlier every year. Or maybe it just feels that way.

So I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room (more on that in a later post) watching the tv to pass the time. The Today Show is on. They’re running a segment about stores and hot toys children will be begging for this year.  Main topic: “What are retailers’ plans for Black Friday?”

Monday, October 22, 2012

How To Stay Sane: Replace Your Children With Dogs

I tease my 3 children and tell them that I pushed them out of the nest so I could replace them with 3 dogs. They just roll their eyes…smile and nod.......

I love dogs and cats; probably was always more partial to the felines. Our family has had quite a few of both over the years. But there was a time when I was looking forward to not having any. Children or animals. They both bring their own burdens of responsibility. And this woman was looking forward to a break!

My Personal Symphony

Okay. I know what you're thinking. "Her Fourth Movement"? What the ........... huh?

Let me explain.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My First Post - Call Me Ishmael......

Call me Ishmael….

Ha! Only kidding! That’s not really my name. (Just thought I’d class up the place by sounding all literary and refined; besides, its a great opening line eh? ☺)

I have lots of names:
Ø  Kathleen (on my birth cert)
Ø  Kathy (my family and sibling alias)
Ø  Yes Dear (term of endearment by hubby)
Ø  Kate (friend and nickname)
Ø  Red Rocker (self appointed rock star moniker)
Ø  MOM!  (plaintive cry of my kids)
Ø  Gramma (the sweetest sound)
Phew! Sounds a little schizophrenic, doesn’t it?  But, really, who am I? You even a little curious? I know I am. Seems as long as I can remember I’ve been trying to figure it out. Like that age old mystery: why are we here? I’m still trying to find an answer..............