On the Mend

This week I went back to the doctor and got an injection in my hip.  I also changed my exercise routine from floor aerobics to water aerobics.   I am happy to report I have been pain free for 3 days now, and I am cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind me.

Heading to Iowa for a few days to visit family while my bathroom gets remodeled. Expect to see some hiking adventures when I return.

Here is where I want to be. . .


just hanging out on top of a mountain!



A couple of years ago, a dear friend gave me a ten year diary for my birthday.  I was completely freaked out by it, thinking I would have to fill these pages with trivial bits of my life.  But it turned out to be a wonderful way to keep track of my hiking experiences along with other pieces of my daily routine.

Now it sits here mocking me.


As faithful as I have been to my PT exercises, I can’t seem to get my body back to hiking quality. If my knee is feeling well, my back is out, if my back and knee are okay, my hip is out – I cannot get them to coordinate so that they all three work at once.  I’m missing my women’s hiking club and I know they are missing their leader.  Several of them are older than me and in much better shape.

This is what I should be doing right now:


Instead I sit here having a pity party for one.

However, having just finished reading “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, I came to the realization that my life is amazing and I need to get over myself.  I have a great family, wonderful, supportive friends, and most importantly, freedom.

The mountains will be there when I’m ready – and I will be ready someday (hopefully in the not too distant future).

Please share your hiking experiences so I can enjoy your adventures!

Back to Nature

It’s been a very depressing week.  I tried comfort food, beer, and spending time with like minded friends.  While these things all helped; today I got back out in nature where I felt peace and serenity again.  Heading to my favorite hiking spot (Hungry Mother State Park), with my favorite hiking partner (my husband, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery for the last two months) I was finally able to put the anger and grief I felt after the election, aside while we enjoyed a peaceful hike around the lake.


It was a beautiful day – cool and sunny.


The ducks were enjoying a swim.


The leaves were everywhere adding color to the floor of the trail.


And it just felt right to be back in the woods.


While I was walking, I decided the best thing I can do to move forward, is to vow to be kind to everyone, fight for what I believe is right (women’s rights, LGBT rights, minorities and our environment) and not let a bully in Washington stop me from living.

The Wedding Part II

I’ve been hiking for over 4 years now and power walking since I was 40.  Saturday, I took the most fulfilling walk of my life, when I got to walk my daughter down the aisle along with my husband.


Weddings don’t really have ushers anymore and she did not want me to have to walk in by myself and wait for her to come out – so she gave me this amazing gift.

The day went so smoothly I almost had to pinch myself.  The bride was so relaxed, and that spilled over to everyone around her.  Two minutes before they got in their dresses, we were chilling in the room.


I have to thank some special people for helping to make this day so perfect.  First Jack & Jaime – the cutest couple ever.  He officiated – his words went from educational – to personal – to quite funny.  She was our coordinator and thank goodness someone was there to keep track of details.


Most importantly was my dear friend, Laurie Buchwald who served as photographer and best friend of the family.  She is truly amazing.

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She had back-up help from her friend Tim, but he escaped being caught on camera.
We are so happy to welcome Doug into our family – these two are crazy in love and such a perfect match.  They will have a fun life together.


The Wedding – Part I

The Rehearsal Dinner

Natty Greene’s Pub  3rd floor Loft, was the perfect venue for the rehearsal dinner for Lori and Doug.  We have been there many times but never had such an emotional evening as this night.

The dinner was for the wedding party and close family members who had made the trip a day early.  My sister and brother-in-law arrived just before the event started and my brother – who suffered many plane delays despite leaving Des Moines very early in the morning, arrived just before dinner.  My husband, whose family all live in Germany, had one representative, his nephew, who came from Berlin and had already been with us for a couple of weeks.

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That’s me with my German nephew, my sister, her husband, and the bride to be

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and my brother.

The emotional part of the evening came when the bridal party was invited into the conference room for gifts.  My daughter gave me the most incredible gift.

When my mother passed away she gave me her pearl ring, a gift from my father that she wore all the time.  I never wore the ring, but I had it cleaned and gave it to my daughter when she was in college.  She loved it and wore it everywhere.  There were little pearls surrounding a larger pearl.  One of the little pearls fell out of its setting and she was unable to find it.  She thought someday she might have to redo the whole ring because it was impossible to find an exact match.

For my gift, she had the original pearls made into earrings.


She then had the ring restored with all new pearls.  She planned to wear it for the first time on her wedding day.

As if that wasn’t enough to bring on the tears, the card had a quote from our beloved Gilmore Girls (which we watched over and over and over).  The quote is from Rory’s high school graduation speech:

“My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. . . I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything.”

For my husband, she painted a replica of their campsite.  For the last several years they have taken a Father/Daughter camping/hiking trip near Mt. Rogers, VA.  They stay at Graceland Highlands and try to get the same campsite each time – lucky number #89.002

Oh yes, dad had a tear or two.

Even the groom got a little teary eyed listening to his father’s speech.

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Oh well, at least we got the crying phase out of the way before the wedding.