Dear Erin,

I really like the link you put on facebook yesterday. Fifteen Powerful Things Happy People Do. Thanks for pointing me to some more good inspiration.

I would like to report that I skipped one of my gym workouts this week in favor of doing 1-3 hours of heavy duty yard work every day. I think my body has gotten the better end of the deal, as has my yard.  Tonight I return to the personal trainer for a good workout, and then out to a vegan dinner out with friends at a very non-vegan friendly restaurant for dinner. I’m bringing my own condiments (salsa and homemade salad dressing) for a plain garden salad and plain baked potato.

On the vegan eating…I would like to report that my body is really happy with my whole foods regimen. I cheated a little bit on Sunday night and has some cheese. I didn’t get sick or anything, but I just didn’t feel good, and it reaffirmed for me that I am feeling a lot healthier eating dairy free – with whole foods. This does not, of course, mean I won’t sneak a little bit of meat and dairy back into my diet on a limited basis later, or that I have stopped craving cheeseburgers. Just that I affirm that my body really appreciates the healthier fuel I have been filling it up with for the last week or so.

Also, I lost some weight – a whole shirt size now. Which is really nice.

Pictured above, me, playing at the playground on Monday (sporting that smaller sized shirt). I was there for an excellent mothers day celebration on Monday with my mom, sister, and nephew, pictured below. What fun!



I ate out!

Dear Erin,

Playing outside here has ceased and a long hard rain has settled in instead. I am trying to be happy because the garden loves rain, but I am honestly feeling a little bummed out. I was on a real roll out there.  Can’t wait to get back to it.

Here is my eating update – Went out to dinner last night at a Mediterranean place. Ordered a baba ganoush sandwich on a pita with no cheese. There was no option for whole wheat pita, and there was some oil on the sandwich, so it wasn’t completely “clean,” but it was vegetarian, low fat, and delish. I am calling it a success.  I also had a fun time with my friends at the event we went to – listening (and knitting along) to my favorite pod-caster and knitting celeb Brenda Dayne of Cast-On talk about knitting and memory at the famous Webs. It was really cool.

Also, today’s lunch was indeed homemade brown rice (with a splash of rice vinegar) veggie sushi rolls. They included, cucumber, avocado, carrot and spinach inside the nori with the rice. I accidentally made the rice not-very-sticky, and the rolls were a little messy as a result, but it still tasted very good. They were supposed to be my picture for the day, but they looked really disastrous, so I skipped it and am re-using this picture of the Murph being sad about the last rain we had (previously posted on facebook). Because that’s how I feel about the rain today, too.

Tonight…third personal training session. Wish me luck!



**For those of you missing Erin, she is without a computer for a little bit, but I expect you will find her back posting with us soon.
She HAS been posting some pictures over at our flickr account, so you can visit her there if you are missing her too much to wait.

Morning Walks

Dear Erin,

As you know, one of my continued goals is morning walks with the dog. This morning, I managed to get up early enough to take a walk down to the beach, snap a few pictures, and even limber up enough to plant the blackberry canes I’ve been holding onto, and two clumps of yellow daffodil bulbs I asked my mom to bring me yesterday.

As I sit here working and drinking my tea, I report back to you: it felt amazing! Well, to be honest, it felt sore and a little crappy on my body, but MENTALLY, it felt AMAZING!

I can’t wait to heal a little more and get to start off all my mornings with a walk and a putter around the yard.


PS This is the beach at the end of my block. Its the bay, not the actual ocean. But I like to pretend.

Extreme Gardening. Boot Camp Style.

Dear Sarah,

First, let me start off by saying I am not dead, nor have I given up on our project. I have been a little busy at life, work 1, and work 2.

I LOVE your playlist suggestions. I need to shake mine up a bit and can see the Bosstones, The Black Eyed Peas, and some Outkast making their way on to the treadmill with me.

I am done with my training for work 2. Competency tests passed and ready to be a bona-fide crab-hustler. I am very glad that phase is finished and I can be an independent being making money for herself.

Speaking of work 2… I was supposed to go in tonight and got an unexpected call saying they had too many crab-husters already on the schedule and that I was not needed. It was 4:30, GORGEOUS in Baltimore, and I headed straight to the garden. (after a brief trip to Home Depot to replace some weathered spades and purchase seed tape).

The man-cub did not protest (largely due to a hole-digging adventure I have sanctioned in the untilled portion of my plot).

I was really excited to stumble upon my good buddy, Herb, hard at work in his own 9 + plots. (I have no idea if he eats all he grows or just uses the garden as his escape from his wife during his long days or retirement). The first thing he said to me, as I was wearing similar to my workout/gym attire, was “Damn, Girl! What did you do over the winter? You look good!” 

(Now, for anyone reading my very public letter to Sarah, know that Herb does not fit into the “creepy old-man”  category. He is my friend and a very appropriate gentleman.)

I was ECSTATIC to say the least. I forget how different I look sometimes and get pleasantly surprised when others remind me that my hard work is paying off.

I was very motivated to finish the clean-up of my garden, boot camp style.

I weeded, hoed, removed debris, and fertilized like I was sprinting. Man-cub was enlisted to make “bucket dumps” to the weed pile as I needed them. He carried six or  seven 5 gallon bucketful’s of weeds to the pile outside of the garden fence.

I manured in my beds, converted my long, conduit trellis into 2 smaller more manageable ones, and untangled a snarling mess of tomato cages.

Sweaty and tired, I relished in my accomplishments. I found a little SANTOSHA in my deeds, in myself, and in the hopes for a plentiful summer’s bounty.

~ E


I left him to guard my BLOOMING strawberry patch.

The Good, the Bad, and the Garden

Dear Sarah,

Today, like most other days, has had its good and bad things. I guess that is life.

The Good:

I was so proud to hear that when I tried calling this morning you were at the gym. Kudos friend! That is awesome.

The man-cub had a “laser tag” birthday party at 9 am this morning. Both of us were forced to be up and raring to go to make a fullest of the time we have together before I head to work tonight.

The new 2nd job is going really well. I like the folks who make up the server crew there and the management is great. I am glad that I landed in a place with less bureaucracy and more humor than I have worked in the past. If I am to be working a lot more, it is nice to be in a place that can be enjoyable.

The Bad:

I ate fast food for breakfast AND lunch. Not even smart fast food. The fast food that is highlighted in “FOOD, INC.”

Yuckity, yuck, yuck, yuck. I didn’t have a plan and now remember what happens when you do not. It is called “getting fat”. I know one day does not blow all my efforts… but am not planning on a repeat performance any time soon.

The Garden:

It was clean-up day at the garden!

It was great to show up and see my gardening friends! The man-cub came with and actually pulled weeds. (This is huge. He doth protest a lot most days!)

I got 4 of my 5 raised beds cleared up. I have strawberries flowering and herbs on the mend. I arranged for my buddy to till the plot on Monday and straw is being delivered tomorrow. Man-cub has BIG plans for his 4×4 bed and I am on the fence about building another bed and doing all raised bed gardening for evermore.

It is so very exciting to start planning my garden. I feel a little late to the party compared to other years, but I still feel like the party isn’t over in that department. I will come home from work tonight and dream of what plants are going where.

I leave you with the image of my man-cub in his post-weeding state:

~ E

P.S. My asparagus are up too!!!



Dear Erin,

Thanks for saying nice things about my picture. I am lucky to have 3 especially talented photographing friends.  Jody, Garry, and Craig.  Craig took this one on a recent hike. He is my favorite photographer because he seems to be super-mindful about only posting flattering pictures of people (or at least of me). I didn’t actually ask him if I could use this picture. Ooops, I guess i know what I am off to do next.

Along with signing up for the gym for AN ENTIRE YEAR yesterday, I went totally off the deep end, admitted I needed <gasp> help, and also hired a personal trainer for 9 sessions.  We are going to work on adding some strength training to my cardio. I will talk more about her next week when we actually get into some training. Yesterday was just an assessment because my back was all sore and out-of-wack.

Your goals are great.  I already added one of yours to mine. I am already keeping track of weight, but I am off to do my measurements this evening too.  Not especially looking forward to that, so thanks for nothing. I can’t want to see some of the creative artsy stuff that flows into your written journal! (You KNOW you are going to sneak us a peek when its cool enough.)

A big shout out to our Rhode Island friend Jenny, who is blogging (probably way more frankly than I plan to) about her own journey over at: Farewell Curves. Lots of luck, good vibes, and actual support if she wants it coming her way from here.

That’s all from RI today. I’m off to find a REALLY BIG tape measure.


PS The asparagus have already started coming up in my garden!!