Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 Brainstorm Walk/Run

This past weekend I participated in the Brainstorm walk/run for epilepsy at the lakefront. 

Epilepsy is a brain disorder involving repeated, spontaneous seizures of any type. Seizures ("fits," convulsions) are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior. They are caused by abnormally excited electrical signals in the brain.

Beth’s daughter, Mali, was diagnosed with epilepsy a couple years ago.  A year ago, at the age of 5, she underwent brain surgery to try and resect the area of her brain that was causing the seizures.  They made it through most of the surgeries, but in the end they were not able to finish what they started.  However, they were able to implant a device to keep her seizures in control and it has helped tremendously, although she still has them occasionally. 

Her team name was Miles for Mali and this was the second year I participated.  Last year the weather was cold and rainy, but this year was warm and sunny!


Here’s Mali with a cute flower headband in her hair.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day!

Jamie wanted a cookie cake from Pick n’ Save but I told him I would just make him one.  His comment was: “Will it taste as good?”  I gave him the evil eye…  We haven’t tasted it yet, but I would say I decorated it more than a normal cookie cake. 

Fathers Day cookie cake

I would like to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New York, NY

Mom called me about a month ago telling me she was heading to NY for business and asked if I would like to tag along, I just needed to buy a plane ticket as the hotel was paid for by her company including transportation to and from the airport.  I quickly jumped on Kayak and saw the flight Mom had was only $157 non-stop!  After a quick discussion with Jamie we decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to go since I had never been and Jamie has no desire to ever go. 

We flew into La Guardia and I was told to try to get a window seat on the left side of the plane.  I was able to and saw the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Manhattan skyline and the Met’s stadium.

Plane pictures

That night we met up with Mom’s cousin Judy.  She has lived in New York for at least 30 years and all over Manhattan.  She now lives in the West Village with a lovely patio and about a block from Hugh Jackman, Jim Carrey and a couple blocks from Sarah Jessica Parker among others.  We strolled around a bit and ate dinner at an Irish restaurant called Dublin.  It was great and I really enjoyed meeting another member of the family.

Judy patioMom&JudyMom&MeShelly&Judy

Since Mom was actually working while we were there I booked myself on a 6-hour walking tour of New York.  While I was excited for the tour, I was a bit nervous getting to the tour by riding the subway alone from Grand Central to Wall Street.  I asked 5 people along the way to make sure I was headed the right way.  I made it there on time, but it was still a bit nerve racking. 

We started on Wall St & Broad Street in front of the George Washington statue.   The tour took us to the major sites of NY including the Stock Exchange building, Battery Park, building of the Freedom tower, City Hall, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, West Village, Times Square, Empire State Building, New York Library, Grand Central, Chrysler Building, The Waldorf=Astoria, St. Patrick’s Church & Rockefeller plaza.  

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That night Mom and I had dinner at the hotel and then walked to Broadway to see “Chicago” starring Christie Brinkley as Roxie Hart.  While I thought I show was amazing, I was a bit disappointed in Christie Brinkley’s singing.  She wasn’t off key or bad, her voice just wasn’t as powerful as the other actors.  But we had awesome seats, first row in the first balcony. 


The next morning I headed back to Rockefeller plaza to see the taping of the Today Show.  I was able to get a picture of Matt Lauer from far away, but Ann Curry came right up to where I was and said hi to a little girl near me.


I then continued on my way to Central Park where I bought a banana from a street vendor.  I didn’t make it in very far into the park, but I was able to see a little and relax on a bench.  An Asian woman was taking pictures of the park and then I noticed she turned her camera to take a picture of me eating my banana.  I hope she didn’t think I was a local!


The rest of my morning was spent walking around inside FAO Schwarz (they still sell the big piano from the movie BIG) and Tiffany’s where I picked up a few items and then put them back. 


Before we left for the airport we had lunch at a diner down the street.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip to New York.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

C is for Cookie

A friend on Facebook informed me that today is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.  So naturally I got the itch to bake a batch, not that I really needed a reason. 

peanut butter cookies

I found this information from

peanut butter cookie day

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My First Vegetable Garden

I decided to plant a vegetable garden this year.  It’s my first try at growing vegetables and I’m a little nervous that either nothing will grow, or it will all grow and we will have too much. 

I have heard of Square Foot Gardening and it looked like something I could manage.  The concept of square foot gardening is that you plant one type of plant in each square foot.  Some plants require more room than others so you plant one/sq.ft. or other vegetables, like onions, don’t need as much room so you can plant 9/sq.ft. 

There are books you can read and lots of information on the internet.  But the one I found most valuable is this website.  You just say how many columns and rows you have, then find a vegetable and place it in one of the squares and it will automatically tell you how many seeds or plants can fit in that square.  I have 2 gardens, both 8’x3’ so I had 48 squares.  I decided to leave some plants that were already in the garden so I only used 32 squares.  Here’s my plan:

planting maps

I couldn’t buy everything as plants, so the beans, peas, broccoli and romaine lettuce was by seed.  I hope they grow!  I never knew how small lettuce seeds were!

I am a visual person, so I decided I needed to have a grid in place before planting.  I had some old replacement vinyl blinds that I cut and used for my grid.  I thought this would be good because it would withstand rain and I could also flatten it and store easily. 

2011 Sq Ft Garden 002

These beds had soil in there already, but I added 1 bag planting soil and 2 bags top soil.  The vinyl blinds were a bit flimsy and harder than I thought to get into the bed. 

2011 Sq Ft Garden 003

2011 Sq Ft Garden 005

Time to plant!  On paper it looked like my beds would be a good mix of plants and seeds, but after planting I noticed that one definitely looks more mature than the other.

Garden 1: Cantaloupe, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, cauliflower & broccoli.

2011 Sq Ft Garden 007

Garden 2: bib lettuce, peas, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers (green, jalapeno & Caribbean hot), onions (red, yellow & sweet white), celery & beans.

2011 Sq Ft Garden 008 

Well, here’s hoping to a successful and plentiful garden!