Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year ... and Thanks for a Great 2011!

I just ran through all the pictures I have used on my blog and this is still my favorite.  Sollie did a good job, didn't he?
2011 was a good year. 
I walked a lot of miles ... made great new friends ... and completed another 3-day adventure.  
I raised $3000 with your help and made my/our contribution to finding a cure.
Maybe next year will be better.
Maybe there WILL be a cure.
Loyal readers ... you are the best! I love you with all my heart.
My GREATEST wish for 2012 is that YOU enjoy good health.
I look forward to walking with you ... to spending time with you ... to sharing every bit of happiness you enjoy in the coming year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dinner With (Some of) Burt's Babes

Two of Burt's Babes came out to the Island last night to meet me for dinner.
Sandy just came back from her trip to Viet Nam and Lesley is getting ready for her trip in about a month to Southeast Asia.  I listened with great interest.  I don't think I'll ever travel like they do!
We asked my friend Enya if he would do a fundraiser at La P'tite Framboise ... (Ronnie's and my favorite place)  to which he replied "of course!" (All those Friday nights paid off!)
I asked the girls to tell him how much money we have each raised for breast cancer research so far and it amazed me!

Lesley (3 walks) ... $15,000+
Roberta (6 walks) ... $20,000+
Sandy (8 walks) ... $90,000

That's 1,080 miles walked and $125,000 raised...
... by just 3 women!

When we get together with Burt and other walkers who have trained with us, we will go around the table and add up the totals.
Maybe next year we will celebrate a CURE!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays

This is what the Chrismakkah table looked like before the meal started.  Notice the little bags of Chanukah gelt on each salad plate. I didn't eat the gelt because I'm good.
But I guess I wasn't all that good this week although I really tried ... tried through Christmas breakfast at school, tried my way past cookies and cakes on the sign-in counter,  and tried through an awesome Christmas dinner party at Bruce and Celia's.
  In spite of all that trying ... I gained a STICK OF BUTTER+.  
Do you know how long it took me to lose a stick of butter?
 I did take a deep breath and stepped on the scale last night ... so I am taking ownership of my weight gain and starting over today.
The end.
Or is it the beginning?
We'll see next week.
Damn New Years Eve is just before the next weigh in. duhr.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lucky 13

Another 8 sticks of butter*!
The topic last night was "Moving Around."  I haven't done much of that lately ... at least not the training walk kind of moving around.  I have been moving around the Internet ... shopping for the holidays.  I even moved around the malls (two malls in one week!  Yikes!) and I moved in and out of stores.  This kind of moving around will stop soon ... maybe even now ... because my credit card wants to stop moving out of my wallet!
I don't enjoy staying for the meetings.  
I find some of my fellow "watchers" quite dull. 
The leader is nice ... but I guess she couldn't pick her audience.
Last night she reported that a latke ... 3 inches in diameter ... is 7 points. She also talked about how everything smells like cooking oil after standing in the kitchen where the latkes are frying.
That's just not worth it.
No latkes for Bertie this year.
My Crayola Calendar says tonight is the first night of Chanukah.
The story of Chanukah is about miracles and lights.
May we all share in the miracles life offers.
Happy Chanukah!
Hag Sameach!

*two pounds.  Total loss:  13 pounds

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday Was "You Know What" Day!

44 sticks of butter*, y'all.

11 pounds ... since October 31st!

Monday, December 5, 2011

First Training Walk of the Season--12 miles (or there about!)

Here we are on our first training walk of the season ... Burt, Bert, Lesley, Val,  and Jax. We're most of the members of Burt's Babes Dallas (except Jax!)  It was a crisp day and a good walk.  I would have gone the 16 miles ... but I was tired.  It was a fun filled weekend ... but I was tired.
I'm tired today!
In other news ... my thank you cards went out and I'm getting lots of nice compliments.  I had Minted print them.  They have the best designs.  The proof came back the day after I designed the card, then, after I approved the proof, the cards were produced and mailed and I had them within a week.  That's my endorsement for Minted.
It's a great company!
Boardwalk Empire anyone?  OMG ... it's the best thing on TV.
If you are reading this, please leave a comment.
Sarge and Bee are on a cruise with their family and they (plus Thumper and Sandy and occasionally 'Chelle and Rocky) are my only readers who comment.
I forgot ... Monday is weigh in night:  .4 last week and .6 this week = 8.4 since October 31st.  This is sooooo slow.  And why did they have to change the program?  PowerStart.  Duhr!  Now I'm only allowed 26 points!
The end.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

At the Finish Line with Joan!

Can you see this?
It's Joan and me as we are approaching the finish line at the Thanksgiving Day Race.
I hope that next year we make better time ... and that my hips and thighs are a little smaller!
Speaking of smaller ... I lost another .4 last week.  Not great but better than gaining .4 after Thanksgiving, 'eh?
That is a total of 7.8 since Halloween.
This is going to take forever.
I have realistic expectations, however, and am beginning to see results.
Now that Debra is going to be 25 ... it's time to lose that stupid baby fat!
The end.

Friday, November 25, 2011

WhyHunger Video Full Version

Happy Thanksgiving ... I Am Thankful For ...

I woke up early to walk to the Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run.  I arrived at the parking lot where Joan and I had decided to meet ... and I waited and waited.  No Joan!  Just before 8:30 the runners/walkers made their way to the starting line.  I was carried by the crowd but moved to the side to get a better view ... still no Joan!  I fell behind and waited for the last group of walkers ... no Joan.  So I started walking my first Thanksgiving race solo. It wasn't a race for me so I treated it like a nice training walk on a beautiful day.  I passed some people I know and asked if they had seen Joan.  They said "Yes!  She passed us a while ago." So ... the stroll turned into a fast walk.  Finally, after marker 2.5, I caught up with my buddy and finished the five miles in 1 hour 26 minutes. 
NEXT YEAR I WILL TREAT THIS LIKE A RACE! A walker race, that is.  I just checked the results and I came in 13th in my division.  (Don't ask my age!)  Not great since it was 13th out of 14!  Joan came in 2nd in her division!!! ( 2nd out of 2!)  
OK ... so we weren't the fastest but we finished and we had a lot of fun!
I am thankful that my family and my friends were able to partake in a delicious and bountiful meal yesterday.  I don't take that for granted!
In 2010, 17.2 million households were food insecure.  In 2010, children were food insecure in 9.8% of households.  Food insecure. I am sure that some children in my school, in the "middle to upper income" community in which I teach, are food insecure.
It's something to think about.
I hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful and bountiful.

Click here to see what the Harry Chapin Foundation does to help.
And click here to learn more about "Why Hunger"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run 2011

Joan and I registered for the Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run.
It is 5 miles and we will most certainly WALK!
Let's call this the first training walk of the season.
It should be fun.
Tonight is Monday night so that means weigh in night!
I am pleased to report that I lost 2.6 lbs for a total of 7.4 lbs since October 30th.
Not bad.
My friend Fran reminds me every day that if I lose 1 lb a week I will lose 20 lbs by spring.
That would be just fine by me!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Team Ra-Ras Kicks Breast Cancer - Susan G. Komen for the Cure Philadelph...

Help us hit 5 million views by December 13, 2011! When this video reaches 5 million page views, UnitedHealthcare of Pennsylvania will donate $50,000, to the Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to empower the fight against breast cancer. Please help us achieve this goal by clicking the "share" link above to tell your friends about this video via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

For the first million views, UHC has already contributed $100,000 for this inspiring, powerful campaign.

Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why We Walk

When one of Burt's Babes returned from the Boston walk in July, she emailed this picture of a little girl seen on the route at a cheering station.
The title of her email was "Why We Walk."
The picture was moving enough ...
Yesterday she emailed a link to YouTube via Facebook that featured a video submitted by another walker who saw this little girl.

Hopefully you will get to the video if you click on the link above.
It IS ... why we walk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Get a load of this ... (because it won't last long!)
Top fundraiser on team Burt's Babe:  Roberta Harris
Tenth place in top fundraising teams in Dallas 2012:  Burt's Babes!
Now the top fundraiser on our team won't last long because once Burt sends out his first letter he will jump ahead. (He's pretty amazing ... he walks 2 events and is always among the top 5!)
As far as the top team ... who knows what can happen in the next 360+ days!
Perhaps we'll move up to the top 5 ... or even higher!
Here's something new!  I am a member of the Commitment Club.
Commitment Club

Here's what the Commitment Club is all about:

There are two ways to qualify:
  1. Raise $5,000 or more for the 2012 3-Day season.
  2. Participate as a walker who raises $2,300 or more each year for three or more years, including the 2012 3-Day season.
Commitment Club perks:
  • Designated phone number and email address to your 3-Day® coaches through the Commitment Club Help Desk
  • Free on-event towel service
  • Recognition on the 3-Day website
  • Recognition at the 3-Day camp show
  • Commitment Club badge on your personal fundraising page and event credential
Well now ... the MOST exciting perk is the free on-event towel service.  We have to pay for those towels, you know!
I went to the link and found my name listed with hundreds (and maybe more) of other names.  That's impressive when you multiply that by (minimum) $2300 for breast cancer research... just as a start!
OK ... drumroll please:
I lost another 1.2 pounds this week.  The total in two weeks is:
4.8 pounds!
Boy Howdy ... this is NOT moving along as fast as it did when I was in my (ehem) 30s ...
But ... I WILL carry on!
As a Weight Watcher would say "It's better to lose 4.8 than to gain it!"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This one is for Sarge ...

There is another new member of Burt's Babes.
Meet Liz ...
Liz and Sandy are demonstrating a breast exam on a recent training walk!
(You wouldn't know from this picture that Sandy is disturbed every time we pose at "Eyes"!)
I knew you would enjoy it Sarge. I hope it cheers you up and makes you feel better!
So now we are five!
There's always room for more!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Blossoming of Burt's Babes!

Lesley, Burt, Roberta
Roberta and Sandy

Our Dallas team is blossoming!  Today Lesley joined. So Burt's Babes has four fabulous members ... Burt, Sandy, Roberta, and Lesley.  Two more "babes" will be joining soon ... I am excited!  I sent in my first donation yesterday ... (Thank you Bob!) so I'm on my way.
OK ... I'm going to tell you a "sort of" secret.
I joined Weight Watchers last week.  Bee and Lesley ... you are my inspiration!
I'm doing just fine.  I have found foods that are satisfying and keep me on track.
So ... drum roll ... I lost 3.6 lbs this week.
It used to be 5 lbs the first week ... when I was younger!!!  but I'll happily take 3.6 lbs.
So you, dear readers (Bee and Charlie and Thumper and SANDY!) are going to keep me honest!  I will report to you on Monday nights!
The ... beginning!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Here I Go Again!

When Lesley and I saw this sign held by a lovely woman in Atlanta, who is finishing her Dallas 3-day walk today, we just had to take a picture!
Our next journey will be to Dallas ... in just under a year!
We will be team BURT'S BABES!
We will be walking in honor of Burt Lipshie, our New York training leader, who walks in Dallas every year for his cousin ... who did not survive breast cancer.
 This will be a really special walk because we will train TOGETHER and walk 60 miles side-by-side!
Here's Bert (me) and Burt, side by side before a training walk.
 My NEW 3-day page posted the following this morning:

363 days until the event!
Participant ID: 3038281
 Registered as a: Walker
The minimum fundraising goal for a walker is $2300.
Fundraising for me is always the scariest part.  
I HATE rejection and I worry "what if they say 'no'?" 
So, sometimes, I don't even ask!
  This year I raised $3500... and that's GREAT!
  This time I am aiming HIGH!
My  personal goal is $5000.
Whaddya think?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 3 ... and a New Journey Begins!

We awoke Sunday after a restful sleep for me ... not so much for Paula in the next tent (I guess I snore) ... and gathered as team Pink Slips for our last day.  We were all very excited that we had accomplished two amazing days so far.  We were anxious to get the show on the road as Closing Ceremonies were near!
 I saw this sign as we left camp. 
I think it says it all for me.
I am "lucky" that I can walk and that, with your help, was able to raise $3,500 this time around.
Atlanta is great.  I especially liked the reflection of the building in the glass building behind it.  Can you see it?
The 3-day Coffee Kids were out in force again on Sunday.  This group was terrific and will be one of the great memories I will have of the Atlanta 3-day.  They had this amazing bread that they offered with butter and honey.  
Did I mention it was amazing?
Thank you Coffee Kids!
I was moved when we walked past the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and past the Ebenezer Baptist Church.  We had just enough time to walk in and view the tomb and eternal flame.
Throughout the three days spent walking through Atlanta I was moved by the wonderful support we were given.  The cheering stations were fantastic!  It was an emotional walk to say the least!
Thank you Atlanta!
Just before we walked into "holding" a small group of Pink Slips gathered to toast our accomplishment!
Other walkers were in the bar and, as each group walked in, we cheered for one another!
It was a great moment of camaraderie!
(and Atlanta has some mighty fine home brew!)
Holding is where all the walkers and crew gather just before Closing Ceremonies.
Walking in to Turner Field was really special for this walker!
Before we were officially welcomed by thousands of walkers and crew ... we hammed it up in front of the day 3 banner.
Another 60 miles in the books!
Before receiving the 3-day shirt and a rose ... walkers complete this part of the journey by making their way down a path flanked on both sides by fellow walkers and crew.  The cheers and high fives make you feel so much a part of a spectacular community!
Turner Field is just a bit smaller than Yankee Stadium.
I loved it!
Team Pink Slips gathered one last time as we locked arms.  We marched with all the walkers ... all the crew ... our 3-day family ... to Closing Ceremonies.
Lesley wore a pink shirt and walked with the survivors.
The heroes.
Survivors Circle ... 
Walkers salute is a sneaker in the air!
And so, dear friends, Bee and Sarge and Thumper and those of you who read my blog but don't often comment (!)  thank you for joining me again this year.
Your support means so much to me.
You have made a difference!
Sarge ... this last picture is for you!
Whaddya think?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 2--Another 20 miles

Day two and we're off!
You know folks ... Atlanta is hilly ... not San Francisco hilly ... but l-o-n-g, let-me-tell-you-about-it hilly!  It seemed as if we were walking uphill all day long! But Atlanta has some really wonderful people to get a tired walker up those hills.  We all looked forward to seeing the 3-day Coffee Kids waiting with coffee and bread and just looking so adorable!
Day one had us walking through Stone Mountain and downtown Decatur.  Day two took us through Buckhead.  Boy howdy ... there are some beautiful homes in Buckhead!
Here's a shot of the port-o-potties.  Some were more "fragrant" than others ... but when you gotta go ... well ... you know the rest!
The kids were out in force all day!  They were almost always dressed in pink and they were adorable!  They "slapped  five" and cheered us every step of the way! (The little guy on the left doesn't look happy ... it's because his mama took him away from his job welcoming the walkers to pose for the picture!)
We walked past pink plumbing trucks ... and pink fire trucks ... but I think I liked these fellows at the car wash best!
Boy Howdy ... Atlanta knows how to do PINK!
Lesley picked up this guy by the car wash.
We arrived back at The Georgia World Congress Center after a long day of walking.
This was my 6th walk ... and I have to tell y'all ... there's nothing like camping indoors!  The shower trucks are still outside ... but indoor plumbing is AWESOME!  It's also comfortable to sleep indoors!
Here's Lesley in our 3-day accommodations!  The air mattresses worked just fine.
The Girl Scouts took very good care of us.  They should earn a couple of badges for their work in the "dining tent."
I think Night 2 was the dance party ... but I enjoyed wandering around, finding a place to charge batteries, and talking to people.  That's all part of the experience!
We were sore and tired, and our friend "Advil PM"  helped us get through the night.
After all the months of training, we were about to take our first steps on our last day.  
And for you Sarge ... 
I thought this was a little girl.
It wasn't?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Atlanta 3-day: Day 1 (20 miles)

Ah ... Day 1 is always so exciting.
You get up before the sun is up (like 3:30 or something) and you dress in your finest 3-day gear and you wander downstairs (dragging your 35+ lb. duffle on wheels behind you) and suddenly you find yourself in a sea of pink and see the greatest get-ups you will find in one place! (someday I will wear a tu-tu and a tiara!)
You grab something to eat (usually included in the hotel bill ... this time NOT!) and then you wait for the bus to take you to Opening Ceremonies.
Opening Ceremonies this year were in the shadow of Stone Mountain.
It was chilly but we were excited ... and the warmth of the thousands of participants ... walkers and crew ... was enough for me!
One of the first things we do (after throwing our duffles on the truck to be transported to camp) is remember for whom we are walking.  As always ... I walk for Muriel, Cynthia, Phyllis, and Bee.  I have added Lisa to my list.  You might remember we lost Lisa 2 years ago to Leukemia.
Always emotional ... Opening Ceremonies is a time for us to honor the survivors.  This is the Survivors' Circle.  These are the heroes.
 You wipe your eyes ... and you're off!
We always start together ... then little groups walk together.
Sometimes we walk alone.
It's a time to reflect.
I met these three gals along the way ...
3 generations of walkers!
I love it!
The cheering stations in Atlanta were amazing.
I almost lost it when we came to the Stone Mountain cheering station.  To hear their cheers and read their signs made me walk just a little faster ... and helped me to forget that my feet were beginning to hurt ... just a little!
Although I was just fine with port-o-potties all day ...
it was very exciting to be camping indoors in Atlanta!  That meant flushing toilets!  What a thrill!  It also meant that we didn't have to drag our gear over grass ... we didn't have to find the heaters in the dining tent ... we could walk around in our pjs and feel warm!  Lesley and I found that Advil PM is a miracle ... and we quickly fell asleep in our pink tent ... ready to begin a new day and walk another 20 miles in the morning.
Always on the lookout for something to bring home to my dear friend Sarge, I decided on the following:
get a load of them balloons ... 'eh Sarge!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Breast Cancer Claims Another Brave Woman

When my friend Denielle told me her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 ... she was upbeat and KNEW her mother would BEAT THE BEAST!
It didn't play out the way the family and friends of Joanie Balsari thought it would.
Today we said goodbye to another brave woman.
I never knew Joanie ... although I knew she couldn't be anything but amazing ... because Denielle is just that!
I learned about Joanie as I waited to hug Denielle and her dad.  She clearly was amazing!
Hundreds of her friends paid tribute to her.
Letters from her students decorated the walls of Connell's.
The pictures showed a vibrant ... beautiful woman.
I knew that she fought breast cancer with all her might.
As hard as she fought, though, in the end ... she lost the battle.
So ... in memory of Joan Balsari and the women who lost their battle today
and in honor of those women who conquered this disease

I will walk because I CAN ... 
Will you be join'n me? 

Monday, October 24, 2011


Hey y'all ... I'm back in NY.
Youse guys in Atlanta are the greatest.
I will add pictures and a wrap up tomorrow ... tonight I'm filled with sadness because our good friend Tom passed away while I was walking the hills of Atlanta.
Ronnie kept the news from me as he didn't want to ruin my amazing 3 days.
I'm glad he did that.
Tom Harkins was the sweetest guy.  
I will miss him.
I do want to give Kristen Cincotta a shout out.
She sent me the nicest note while I was in Atlanta.  
I don't think she'll mind if I share it with y'all:

"You don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for a while now.  I've actually linked to a bunch of your posts (my blog is "Kristen Walks")  I keep coming back to your posts because you are always so positive about everything.  So, let me give some of that back to you:  I'm positive that you're doing a great job!  I'm positive you're inspiring others and I'm positive that you're awesome!  have fun stomping across Atlanta!!"

Well readers (Bee and Sarge and those of you who say you read my blog but don't comment) that made my day ... no ... that made my YEAR!!!
Thank you Kristen!  Thank you!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hello From Hilly Atlanta

Hi y'all!
I have now finished day 2 and another 20 miles here in this BEAUTIFUL city. The people are amazing!
I am pleased to say that I don't have one blister.
I guess that's because
I haven't complained!
More later (with special pictureS for sarge!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I am in Atlanta.
I am taking my first step tomorrow morning.
I have so many people to thank.
My family ...
My friends ...
My supporters.
It has been another journey to get to this point and I'm ready to go.
I have raised over $3500.00 and I thank you all!
Our team PINK SLIPS has raised over $30,000 for the Cure.
Pictures to come soon.
(oh ... and by the way ... I had DELICIOUS chicken and waffles this afternoon, y'all.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another 10 miles in Sands Point

It is a gorgeous day ... perfect weather for a walk.  So I did another respectable 10 miles in Sands Point.  I saw this little guy just sitting on the side of the road. He's a bit of a mess ... just waiting for someone to pick him up.  No ... I didn't.
But I did a deed.  I gave directions.
I saw this guy at the water.  Could he be one of the "Three Amigulls?"
Probably not.  He's a Sands Point Gull ... the others were Port Washington townie gulls.
My neighbor goes ALL OUT for Halloween. The house is decorated inside and out ... and he and his wife have the best "Party on the Hill" every year.  Here are some shots of his house:

 Finally ... something, as always, for my dear friend Sarge.
I love you sir ... and hope you're feeling better soon.
This is for you: