Thursday, April 30, 2009

$250 Challenge!

Hopefully you know about my participation in the Breast Cancer 3 Day in November! My fundraising goal is $2300, and the organizers have issued a challenge to raise $250 by May 15th!! Cutting my ultimate fundraising goal into smaller segments is supposed to help keep me (and my donors) motivated : ). If ten people donate $25, I will meet the challenge!

I recently read an article about a Canadian study that found exercise significantly decreases death rates among women diagnosed with breast cancer. That may sound like common sense, but now that there is a scientific study backing it up, hopefully more women will begin exercising regularly before diagnosis, and more doctors will perscribe an exercise regimen to their patients battling breast cancer. I am fundraising and walking 60 miles to promote more research like that! So, if you don't exercise regularly now...start! If you already do...keep it up and encourage a friend to join you! And all of you...donate to the cause by clicking on the 3 Day box at the top right of the blog : )

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning

Jonathan and I went to see Sunshine Cleaning last Friday in my continuing "Of course I can't go see normal movies" phase. I loved Little Miss Sunshine, so I thought this would be equally as good. Hmmmm.... It was just slightly too depressing for me for about 99% of the movie. The main chartacter looked to be at the point of tears for most of the movie because she was so depressed and digusted with her life. Thankfully the last three minutes had a positive spin, so I didn't cry into my dinner at Memphis Pizza Cafe. I think what made it slightly more depressing than Little Miss Sunshine is that it was more believable - single mom, kid with antisocial behavior, not measuring up - at least in the character's mind - to the rest of her high school friends. Oh, and the grandfather character isn't a heroin addict in this installment.
If you solely go to movies to escape reality and have a laugh, don't see 'Sunshine Cleaning.' If you go to movies to delve into the inner workings of complex character's minds - ugly though they may sometimes be - then this might be a good movie to see.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get Ready for Earth Day

What are your plans for Wednesday April 22nd? (Aside from recovering from the haze that will descend on April 20th, of course)

Here are some of my suggestions for celebrating Earth Day:
*Walk, ride your bike, or take the bus instead of drive your car.
*Can't live without your car? Carpool with someone to work or on errands.
*Start recycling if you don't already. Call waste management to request a recycling tub to set out with your weekly garbage.
*Go to the Memphis Farmer's Market this Saturday (opening day!) and prepare a meal Wednesday night with local ingredients.
*Don't cook? Go out to eat at a Green Fork restaurant. Green Fork restaurants are working to become sustainable.
*Unplug your appliances and electronics when you are not using them.
*Support President Obama's high speed train proposal.
*Switch to soy/rice/almond milk. Its production is much more sustainable than cow milk.

Just a few ideas for Earth Day : ). What else can you think of to do?

Monday, April 13, 2009


We had a great weekend! I think I probably posted this time last year that Easter is my favorite holiday, and I will say it again : ) Spring is - in my mind - the most beautiful season. I miss my Texas bluebonnets, but have come to love Memphis azaleas and dogwoods! I enjoy hosting Easter lunch, since it's my only holiday to host a big meal, and I spend a long time planning and prepping for it. Of course most of all, this holiday is the pinnacle celebration of the Christian faith, since we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ and with it our assured salvation, victory over evil in the world, and the hope of our eternal life! I have had "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" in my head all morning...probably because I sang it, oh, nine times yesterday in all of the church services!

To back up, the weekend started with a meaningful Good Friday service. I obviously enjoy worship through singing, and the Crucifixus that we sang was my thank offering to God for Jesus' sacrifice. Although it is a somber service, I cannot help but leave uplifted, knowing that with Jesus' death all of my sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven. What a weight lifted off of me, and what a challenge to dedicate my life to Christ. After the service, I went into prep mode doing a final cleaning of the apartment and making honey yeast rolls (thank you Nancy Simmons!). We watched Donnie Darko, because Jonathan wanted to see if a certain scene had a certain song that had been stuck in his head all week. (for Becky, it was the first school scene where we are introduced to all of those characters) If you care, it was not the same song...but it was the same band from the 80s. Only my husband would have a mind that works like that. You can never go straight to sleep after watching Donnie Darko, so we tried to wrap our minds around its meaning. It could be a possible good pick for Good Friday, since one way to interpret it is that Donnie voluntarily sacrifices himself. Every time I watch that movie, I try to pay attention to every little detail so that I can figure it out. Jonathan thinks we need to track down a director's cut version, and then the pieces will all come together. In my mind, DD is possibly Jake's best movie - the Smurf scene may be his best monologue as well!

Saturday morning started with our third annual running of the Bunny Run 5k around Audubon Park. Erin, Becky and I all did very well - I want to say we all PR'd. Bunny Run 2007 - 40 minutes. Bunny Run 2008 - 36 minutes. Bunny Run 2009 - 33 minutes. Erin ran hers significantly faster than that - those are my times! It was supposed to be a tempo run preparing us for the Youth Villages 5k next Saturday, but we were in a groove and ran faster than anticipated. Hopefully we can do just as well on the 18th! Jonathan's grandmother and great-aunt came into town from Chattanooga Saturday morning, so we headed out with them to brunch at Cafe Eclectic (where I got a very nice sunburn sitting out on the patio), and then went to the zoo...along with everyone else in the tri-state area. We love the zoo and are very spoiled living across the street from it! I prepped some more for our Easter meal, and then we had dinner at Ciao Bella. After dinner, I needed to purchase a baby shower gift, and we were already in East Memphis with a car, so we visited the new Target at Ridgeway. It is huge! And it has everything you could ever want! I am completely satisfied with our little Target on Colonial, but I can see what all the fuss is about with the new store. A friend's toddler was telling me about the 'new' Target and the 'old' Target last week - even he knows the difference!

Sunday of course was lots of fun (see first paragraph)! We were at church from 7:15 to 12:30, and we sang in three services. All of the choir members, our director and organist were wiped out afterward, but we had a great time worshiping. At home, we had a total of twelve for our meal, and I was able to get everything out on the table in a semi-reasonable amount of time. Meat always takes so much longer to cook than the directions say! We had pork tenderloin (thanks Becca for the recipe), sweet potatoes, asparagus, green salad, honey rolls, cornbread, and 10-cheese pasta (thanks Ashley for bringing it!). After lunch, a bunch of folks headed out, and those that remained played a rousing game of Harry Potter Scene It (in which I was a big dork and looked up a few answers in the books...because the game is over the movies, but most of my knowledge is from the books). Then we had our Bunny Melt - a Pollock tradition in which you melt a chocolate Easter bunny and eat it, fondue-style. Ashley was brave enough to try a chocolate covered peep, and her facial expression let the rest of us know that it was not a good idea! After all our guests had gone home, we had a very nice nap and didn't really do much of anything for the rest of the evening.

I don't have pictures because I am not a big picture taker : ( I felt the need to share our weekend with you anyway! We had a lot of fun, and all of the fun moments were spent with friends and family : )

Friday, April 3, 2009

Breast Cancer 3 Day

Some of you may have noticed the 'widget' on the right side of the blog about the Breast Cancer 3 Day. What in the world is that? The 3 Day is an event to raise funds for breast cancer research, raise awareness about breast cancer, and honor those women and men who have fought the disease. I am blessed in that I do not have breast cancer, and none of my family members has had breast cancer. I assume that there are a few of you reading this who cannot say the same thing. My 'family' of friends has been affected by this disease. Some have survived while others have lost their battle. I decided to participate in this event because it is something that I can do, with my two feet (literally) to help win the fight against breast cancer.

Here are some details about breast cancer:
- One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Breast cancer knows no boundaries – be it age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location.
- The greatest risk factors for breast cancer are being female and growing older.
- Early detection and effective treatment for breast cancer have been shown to improve survival.
- Making healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today.
- Breast cancer affects more than just the patient – co-survivors (friends, family and co-workers) need support, too.

Here are some more details about the event:

  • The 3 Day is in Dallas/Ft. Worth November 6-8th 2009.
  • We will walk a total of 60 miles over the course of three days.
  • I will be walking with my mother, my sister, and one of my sister's friends.
  • Thousands of women and men participate each year, and after we walk all day, we will camp out in pink tents all together before rising the next day to walk some more : )

Here are some details about fundraising:

  • The minimum amount I must raise to participate is $2300.
  • Donations are tax-deductable.
  • Donations can be made on-line, by phone, or by mail.
  • To donate online, click on the widget at the top right of this page.
  • To donate by phone, call 800.996.3DAY. My personal # is 3211253.
  • To donate by mail, ask me for a donation form!
  • Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

I have a long way to go, both in fundraising and training, and I hope you will join me in this journey!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

6 Months

We passed our 6 months without a car in mid-March. As you can see, it was such a monumental occasion that I lost track of when the date was! Being a pedestrian has really become part of who I am now, and I often forget that I'm doing something different until I get the occasional question of "How do you and Jonathan manage?"

There is a great sense of community amongst us non-car-owners. Although I don't know any of their names, I feel like I have a friendly relationship with my bus drivers, fellow riders and fellow walkers. I actually found out a few weeks ago that the guy who cuts my hair does not have a car by choice. He said that he used to live in Atlanta, which has a much superior public transportation system to Memphis, and when he moved back to Midtown he decided to keep on using public transportation instead of a car. I am very pleased that at least Midtown is pedestrian friendly, since we have such a nice mix of residential, business, service, and cultural outlets in a reasonable walking area.

Of course there are downsides to not having a car. Some of them are having to stay two more hours at work late at night when I miss a bus, getting hungry at work when I forget to pack an afternoon snack and I have no way of getting one, feeling like a mooch a lot when asking friends for rides, and not being able to visit our family out of town as much.

The upsides (is that a word???) are also plentiful: walking everyday, forced running several evenings a week, lots more face time with my husband (since we walk together to the grocery store, to Target, to eat dinner out, to Overton Park, etc.), leaving a smaller carbon footprint, enjoying all of the spring flowers and trees, quality time with friends while they transport me hither and yon, and a better appreciation for people in Memphis who also rely on MATA and friends for transportation.

I must thank all of our friends for getting us through this past six months! I know I can't name all of them, but the ones I can think of now are Becky, Justin, Ashley, Prentice, Katie, Ryan, Stacey, Leslie, Brian, Whitney, Lindsey, Luke, Chris, Crystal, Matthew, Lenox, LaShonda, Lee, Leigh, Elizabeth, Jerry, Marjorie, Wiley, Josh, Marissa...and I'm sure others that I am forgetting.

I'm always eager to help fellow Memphians join the revolution : ) I'm going to put my challenge out there again to pick one trip in which you would normally drive your car and instead walk, ride your bike, or take the bus. If you want to take up the challenge but don't know where to start, let me know and we will figure out a plan!