Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring omen

   I've found 4 robin eggshells in as many days, on my daily walks. A great omen for a great spring!
   We pretty much got entirely cheated out of winter in the Kansas City area of this year. So it would be awesome if we had a long, Cool spring… And a mercifully short summer!

Bookends

   The pool looks misleadingly calm in this photo; Melia and I had a fun group of four students in it today. Teaching diving is so rewarding; you know you are likely introducing someone to one of the most amazing experiences the world has to offer.
   Although, I will say, there are a lot of great experiences to be had. Because I was teaching from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM, I barely got any walking in today: only 27% of my 10,000 steps! So Taylor and I headed out for a long walk around the neighborhood this evening. I took this photo at the lake in the little park nearby, and it wasn't until I looked at these two shots back-to-back that I realized how similar they are. It appears that my day was bookended!

Gypsy

   Facebook reminded me that today was the day I said goodbye to my Gypsy girl. Still one of my favorite photos I've ever taken. And still missing her, four years later.

Friday, April 29, 2016

In Concert

   Another chapter in the story of the kids I met at the crosswalk by their elementary school. (I've been walking my dog Taylor around the neighborhood every morning--and making a concerted effort to do so, after learning that these kids lost their mom this year. They light up when they see Taylor.)
   This week, we stood and talked to crossing guard Mary for longer than usual, and it was growing late. Looked like the kids weren't coming. But I'm glad we hung on, because suddenly Mary looked up the street and said, "Oh! Here they come!" 
   The kids only had a couple minutes to get their Taylor hugs and kisses, and Mary encouraged them to get going--they were going to miss the bell. They stood up and adjusted their backpacks, and the girl picked up her clarinet case.
   He started across the street. She turned around and stood close to me, and shyly whispered, "Umm… I have a band concert on Thursday night. Can you come?" 
   And it was that exact moment I realized that they didn't just look forward to seeing my dog every day. "Sure!" I said, taken aback. Of course I would.
   So I went last night. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself, in a packed gymnasium at the high school, listening to the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders play. Band has come a long way since I was their age, and I was proud to be there supporting my little friend. :)

Ninja birthday turtle

   Hey quick sketch of a favorite animal celebrating the birthday of my entrepreneurship class instructor. And perhaps channeling a little bit of her personality. Just sayin'. WhaPOW!!!! Ninja birthday turtle!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Live

   Check out this empowering, inspiring video... and then get out there and do something! Thanks to Prince Ea and my buddy Michael for sharing this.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Big and little

   My beautiful, smart, and talented "little sister." Although from the looks of it, I'm the little big sister, and she's the big little sister.  Thankful to Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City for bringing us together in friendship, and for the fun banquet last night! #bbbs @bbbskc 
   I let M'kiylah handle the math in this relationship, and we've been together 2.1 years. The time has flown as we've gotten to know each other, and I am very proud of her hard work and accomplishments!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Baby you're much too fast

   It would be challenging to imagine a more perfect and memorable day for the annual trolley run, benefiting visually impaired children in the Kansas City area. It's the largest and fastest 4 mile race in America.
   Madeline and I have run this one together before, but not since she started ramping up her training, and what a difference! I had to work to keep up with her, and we pushed each other to achieve personal records. I beat my fastest trolley run by over a minute, and she achieved her fastest trolley run, as well as her fastest mile, and fastest 5K distance.
   Our spirits were buoyed by a couple who placed a hand-painted sign in their front yard, and as we ran by they were blasting Prince's "Little red Corvette" and as we ran back home, they were playing "kiss." And it turns out that my friend Daphne knows them. That was her friend, Kelly! Really is a small world. Rest in peace, Prince. We sure enjoyed your music this morning--a gift to the world.
   And, we were just getting started. We jogged back up to her house to drop off our race swag, then headed over to beer station to be one of the first 100 people to get an official trolley run pint glass. John, the owner(?), broke the news that they were actually open at 9 AM, so we'd have to come back at 11. So we walked across the street to McClains bakery and had awesome breakfast treats and coffee, then headed back across the street for our beers. We sat outside to continue enjoying the weather, and chatted up a couple of fellow racers. Runners are good people.
   Knowing that my running career may end shorter than I'd hope makes these achievements that much sweeter. I am playing with my form as I run, wearing compression socks, and getting needle therapy and massage therapy (if you had told me a year ago that I would love being jabbed with needles, I would have said you were crazy!). And it all appears to be helping: my feet never fully went numb this morning, a huge blessing. Planning to add yoga back into the mix and to do a formal running clinic to see what else I can learn.
   The best thing about today was seeing such an incredible turnout. Hoping they raised a fortune for CCVI, the children's Center for the visually impaired. http://www.trolleyrun.org/cause
   AND, we were honored to be running with (using "with" loosely, because… We are not that fast!) as the fastest blind runner on the planet, David Brown, who will be representing KC in the Rio Olympics this summer! http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article73294962.html
   Just a really amazing day for a great cause.
   Correction: I finished 1018 overall, 33:37 (8:25 min/mi). I thought my 2014 time of 34:43 had been my fastest, then found my 2010 time… 32:03 (8:01 min/mi). So I didn't beat my PR today after all. But I've never had a better time at this race! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Finding treasure

   Busy day today, with a stop at two different vets, packet pick up for tomorrow's race a little work, and then lunch with my dear friends Dick and Patrice.
   After a long week of little sleep, since both dogs have been very sick, it was a good night for a long walk to enjoying the springtime sunset. My buddy Taylor joined me, and we found this beautiful feather. Anyone know which type of bird lost it?
   Feathers are symbolic of so many things: courage, potential, freedom, enlightenment, and limitlessness. Laura reminded us all of our own potential in bestowed a white feather on each of us last summer in Hawaii. Now every time I find one, I'm not only inspired, but I think of her, and what an experience we had together. And connecting my own neighborhood back to that wonderful experience is a blessing. I need a big dose of inspiration and energy to get my goals on track and moving…

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Catching the kids

   Today's lunchtime sketch is another follow up about the neighborhood kids we've befriended. We didn't get to see them last Wednesday through Friday because of the strong rains, and then a day off school.
   Yesterday morning was rough. My other dog, Aki, was very ill and had kept me up all night long. And when I went to brew some much-needed coffee, I discovered that my coffeemaker had spontaneously died. Double whammy! I cooked up some chicken and rice for my sick pup, and made coffee in my backpacking stove-- all of this led to me walking Taylor later than usual.
   As we rounded the corner and came down the street, I looked ahead and saw Mary the crossing guard talking to our kids… They were about to cross the street and go into school. Taylor wasn't about to miss them, and broke into a sprint. I could barely keep up with him (and tried hard not to think about how bad it would be if I tripped)! 
   Mary pointed and the kids turned around, and instantly knelt on the pavement, arms outstretched. Taylor ran faster. It was like a slow motion moment in a movie, and he leapt into their arms, licking their faces-- alternating from kid to kid.
   Amazing how all it takes to turn your day around is one brief moment of pure joy.