Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm not a morning person. Really.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not the "rise and shine" type. I'm more the, "sleep in while the rest of the world gets the coffee ready for me" type. On occasion, I can get up early if there's a reason to. But usually, I'd opt not to.

Lately, I've been waking up early in the morning. Well, early for me anyway. During the week, I rarely get to be annoyed by my alarm clock anymore. I'm usually up before it begins its morning whimper of NPR chatter on ultra-low volume (did I mention I'm a really light sleeper?).

Pre-dawn hours are almost mystical to me – a strange kind of foreign magic. Perhaps it's because I don't usually see them. Years ago, when I thought I was a jogger, I got up early and went out for a jog at the crack of dawn. I saw lots of people that I didn't know, but they all acted as though we were casual friends. The UPS driver honked and waved. Other walkers and joggers said things like "good morning." Drivers on their way to work or where ever waved or nodded a slight hello. It was freakin' weird. Kinda made me wonder, are there really two types of people in the world? Morning People and Non-Morning People? Why do these MP's seem so friendly? Have I slipped into Stepford? Are they secretly running the world? Do they know something the rest of us don't? Should I be scared? Or should I just go back to bed and let myself believe it was all a dream?

For some ungodly reason, I woke up at 5:30 this morning. It's a Sunday. I think that by law, you're supposed to sleep in until 10am on Sundays. But I'm up. And the really strange thing about being up early is this compulsion to be somewhere or do something that I don't normally have time to do. Maybe it's to see if the morning people are still out there.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Today we went kayaking. We haven’t been in over a year. I’ve had problems with my shoulder. Since going back to the gym regularly, and practicing my interpretation of yoga, it seems to be better. So it was time to try it again.

We had some friends meet up at our house this morning to join us, so there were 5 of us all together. We loaded up and went down the street towards Ft. De Soto. We put in and headed out. It’s been a long time. The weather was perfect. It was warm and sunny, but not late enough to have that furnace-type Florida heat yet. We paddled out to Shell Key, so it was a short trip.

We hung out at Shell Key for about an hour. Again, it wasn’t too late in the day yet, so there wasn’t much boat traffic, which was really nice. We re-discovered why it’s called Shell Key. Actually, the first thing we saw was that the beach was littered with sea urchins. I’ve never seen so many before. And they were everywhere in the shallows. I walked a short way on the beach collecting lettered olive shells. Only the biggest made the cut. Within just a few minutes I had to turn back because my hands were full.

We paddled back along West Shore in Tierra Verde – some of the biggest houses I’ve ever seen. I think we were gone for about 4 hours all together. I had a really great time. I missed it a lot. It was so peaceful. Almost therapeutic. I see myself doing a lot more of that in the near future.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thank you!


Late on Friday, I decided to join a friend on

ASAP's AIDS Walk St. Petersburg. The walk was the next morning, so it didn't leave a lot of time for planning and fund-raising. I'll confess that we talked about it earlier in the week, but I had another commitment that I thought was the same day, but wasn't. So we sat down and registered online.

We decided to become a team of two. We brainstormed some team names - determined to come up with something fun. We came up with "

Since it was last minute, we didn't really expect to raise any money aside from the donations we would make ourselves, but we each sent an email to small groups of friends. Well, this morning I was AMAZED to see that we had raised $130! I don't know who of you donated online, but I must say THANK YOU! I know that it doesn't sound like much money, but we honestly weren't expecting to raise anything because we were so late.

I haven't volunteered or participated in this event for about three years. I was really happy to see that it was a much larger crowd. Although - I've apparently become a hermit, because I only saw one person there that I knew.

There were lots of the usual type crowd there. Also a lot of families. There weren't as many characters there as I expected. There was a small group of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence among the crowd.

Next year, we decided that we will plan a little better and do some work to make it fun and involve more people. There will be a repeat appearance of team Crosswalkers, and we decided we will need to dress the part (we're thinking big sun hats and sunglasses). A little Dame Edna inspiration. So, if you're looking for some fun next year and like to walk, keep us on your calendar for September 2009!

Aids Walk St. Pete

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yoga Update...

Back in April, I mentioned that I finally got the nerve to try the yoga class at the gym. Since then, I've switched gyms, and tried a couple others. I still enjoy it, although I still feel really awkward. My description of trying to bend a potato in half still fits. But It's getting a little better.

The instructors at my new gym aren't as good, I don't think. The instructor of the first class I tried wasn't very personable. I got the sense that she drew the short straw. The class I go to now is a little better. She said she also teaches at another yoga studio and is also a massage therapist. She seems a little more into it, and is good about walking around the room and giving feedback and helping out.

There's another class I haven't tried that they call "Yoga-Ball" a combination of yoga and pilates (I've also heard it referred to as "yogalates"). But I have horrible visions of me falling off the ball and onto a neighbor. I'll continue to go to this one, because I do enjoy it. And honestly, it's a good change of pace from the circuit training and the cardio stuff. As I get better, maybe eventually I'll seek out another class elsewhere.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Summer Photos

A few things in the yard right now...

What's in a name?

One of the interesting things I have found living and visiting the East coast is how connected to family history people are. I find it fascinating to hear people talk about where their grandparents or great grandparents came from. We didn't really have this on the West coast. My theory is that it took longer for the West to be settled, so there is a generation or two that is separated from their families who may have stayed on the East side of the continent, or remained in their "homelands."

A while back, I saw an ad for while watching something on the history channel. I decided to take advantage of their three-day trial just to see what it was like. I sat down at my computer, and much to my amazement, within about 20 minutes I was able to trace my grandmother's side of the family back about 500 years to Notinghamshire, England (Mullins, to Flint, to Flynte). I didn't get far on my maternal grandfather's side. But I was curious about the name. I thought I knew that Mullins was derived from the French. I didn't realize that there is also an Irish derivative. My mom's cousin sent me some family history on disk a while back. But it wasn't very well organized. Some word documents and powerpoint shows. I keep saying that I should go through and sort them out some day. I wasn't so lucky on my father's side either. I got to my great grandfather and hit a roadblock. I'm not sure if anyone has done any studies there.

I don't have any delusions of finding famous ancestors or claim to fame of any sort. It's all just a curiosity. Who knows. Maybe I'll decide to subscribe to someday. I have lots of photos I could scan and share. There might be someone else out there who would be excited to see them.