Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Candy canes are everywhere this time of year, bringing everyone holiday cheer.
Candy canes are used as decorations on Christmas trees and make a fabulous stirrer in a cup of peppermint cocoa.
Crush a candy, add it to a little white chocolate, top that to a dollop of dark chocolate and you have a holiday favorite of peppermint bark.
A candy can is a sweet treat both kids and adults adore.
How does this fit into our Twelve Days of Christmas Spirit? That's easy.
Here is the plan:
- Buy candy canes. Doesn't matter whether the big candy canes or the small ones. They cost about a dollar a box. Come on! If you can buy a cup of coffee, you can buy candy canes to give away.
- Take candy canes to mall. Pick a mall, large or small, any mall at all. Malls intimidate you, then go to your local coffee shop. It does not matter where you go, just go!
- Open box or boxes of candy canes.
- Start handing them out! See that harried, last minute shopper, give her a candy cane and wish him a Merry Christmas. See that dad with dragging his kids through the mall looking for gifts for the wife, give him a candy cane and wish him a Happy Holiday. What about your favorite barista? Give him or her a candy cane and say thank you for a great cup of coffee.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
It's winter! Have you noticed? Some may have noticed more than others. I live in new England and we are having an unusually warm winter, by warm I mean only down to the 30s.
But it is winter and almost Christmas. With winter and Christmas comes cold and people needing to stay warm, especially those people who walk to work or those people who are homeless and living on the street.
Let's help these people out and give the gift of warmth!
Have you read or seen the articles about people leaving scarves or cold weather gear like hats and mittens on telephone or light poles? Well, let's join the fun!
Do you have any yarn sitting around waiting to be knit or crocheted? Take that yarn and knit up a scarf or crochet a hat and leave them for a complete stranger who could appreciate it.
I will even bet some of you have a scarf that your grandma or relative gave you that you have never even worn and maybe has the tags left on them. Don't let it take up space. Give it away!
Now, if you tie a scarf to a pole most people will probably just walk by thinking it was lost. To avoid this, attach a personal note. Something like you see in the picture to the right or maybe a little more festive.
You could try, "I am not lost, but I am looking for a good home. Take me, I'm yours; a gift of warmth from a total stranger and some holiday cheer. Merry Christmas!" You get the idea.
Have fun with it. Spread warmth and holiday smiles. Merry Christmas!
Friday, December 18, 2015
Give a gift from a runner or to a runner.
As a runner, I know I have lots of shoes and T-shirts. At one time or another a runner buys shoes when they are on sale because he/she thinks, "Oh my gosh! I have to get them while they are cheap!" If the word cheap can actually be applied to running shoes. And then he or she falls in love with a totally different pair of shoes and the ones they bought are sitting in their closet in a box never opened, never worn. Aww. Very sad.
Sound familiar? Are you guilty of this? I know I am. As a matter of fact, I have at least three pair of running shoes sitting in boxes in my closet never opened, never worn.
Hmmm...what should or could I do with these? Last year I held on to them and donated them at the Vermont City Marathon. This year, however, I am going to do something similar to the Christmas in Books. I am going to leave a pair of unused shoes in a box with a note inside, wishing the new runner a Merry Christmas!
Did it cost me anything? Not really. I had already spent the money and it was sitting wasted in my closet. Will it make someone's day? I hope so. Could I be contributing to the insanity of a future runner or walker. That would be fabulous! Even better, I would be giving the gift of health. A pair of running shoes that could spur on someone to meet their New Year's resolution to walk every day, or run their first 5K or better yet, get healthy.
There is more. As a runner who regularly participates in races, I have T-shirts. Lots of them! Where are they? In my closet, under my bed, in a chair, or anywhere else I can find space for them.
Here we have two options. If you have a runner in the family and you know where they store all those unworn T-shirts, why not upcycle them into something useful like a quilt or a handbag or duffle bag. Heck, why not placemats for the truly obsessed runner in the family.
If you're a runner and don't wear your race T-shirts and want to see them put to good use then give them away. Wrap them up and drop them off at a homeless shelter or a women's shelter. Or, if you are feeling energetic then take a handful on your next run and tie a few to various telephone poles with a Christmas ribbon and a note wishing the future wearer a Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 17, 2015
I was on a mission for a couple of Christmas themed books.
I picked up two books by a couple of my favorite authors: "A Knights Bridge Christmas" by Carla Neggers and "Christmas in Mustang Creek" by Linda Lael Miller.
I will probably have them both read by the weekend and will need others. What can I say? I love to read!
When you think of Christmas gifts for kids or teenagers or even adults, what do you think of?
Most people think of electronics or clothes, or jewelry, and everything else in between.
What about BOOKS?!
In this day of electronics, we have Kindle and Nook and even phones to read a book. Yes, you could buy someone a giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Better yet, you could share a book you loved. Share your joy!
This year I'm giving all of my relatives a book. (Oops! I hope none of them are reading this.) I shared with each of them a copy of a book I enjoyed or an author I love to read. Some of the books are even autographed by the authors. How fun is that?!
Anyway, as I was standing in the checkout line at the bookstore I noticed this bin of books just looking for a home. It was a bin of books that needed a buyer so they could be donated to a child. How can you not give a book to a child? You are not only offering them a Christmas gift, but you're offering them a chance at literacy.
Books make great gifts, super stocking stuffers, and open a new world for a child or adult to see and experience.
Can't afford to buy another book? Got any books on a bookshelf? Then take one off the shelf and to your local coffee shop and leave an already read book behind.
Yes, you read that right. Take a book you've read, add a little note on the inside telling the reader that you left this book so someone else could enjoy it and wish them a Merry Christmas and leave the book.
I do this all the time! If you ever visit Panera in Bedford, NH then you may have spotted a book next to the fireplace at one time or another. As a matter of fact...look for more this weekend.
And as my Twelve Days of Christmas Spirit blog says, let's give ALL YEAR. Share your love of books with others, with total strangers, with someone who maybe can't afford to buy a book. Read and share!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
You also know I am a huge supporter of our Veterans and giving back. Every Christmas I make it my mission to make as many Veterans Christmas special. But, as my earlier post Twelve Days of Christmas Spirit Challenge mentioned, we want the spirit of giving to continue throughout the year.
Rock the Ridge 50-miler with the goal of raising money for Team RWB whose mission it is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
This is the second year I am running for Team RWB and the Veterans and as it is the season of love and charity, I am hoping you all will help me in supporting this wonderful organization and the people who have served our country to keep us safe. Let's show our Veterans our love and thanks by giving back.
If you have it in your heart and have money in your pocket you can spare, please help click this link to my crowdfunding page and donate at Denise's Rock the Ridge for Team RWB funding site.
If you're not ready to donate at my site then please, thank an active Service Member or Veteran this Christmas. Thank him or her for their service, offer a hug, a handshake of gratitude, or buy a member of our military a cup of coffee.
Happy holidays and a big thank you to our Troops and our Veterans. Merry Christmas!
Is it just me or is there any greater gift than giving?
It doesn't matter how much or how little you spend, whether its store bought or handmade.
Remember, the old addage, "It's the thought that counts." There are reasons we have such sayings. Because they are based in fact.
Letting someone know that you thought about them is a wondrous gift. It could be a text, and email, or in the case of 10 days before Christmas, a small gift bag with little items to make their day a little more sweet and enjoyable.
Why not offer up a little warmth for those cold winter days with a mug and a jar of hot cocoa mix and a bag of mini-marshmallows. Sweeten up a day with a box of chocolates or a tin of Christmas cookies. Or offer up something simple and seasonal like a candy cane.
Whatever you do, give it from the heart and offer it with cheer, for the smile you receive will last all year.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
I was hanging with a couple of girlfriends the other day and we were talking about Christmas. We talked about how it has become so commercialized that the true spirit of giving has become almost lost amongst the commercials, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, madness.
I hope you do and I wish you a very merry Christmas filled with love and the joy of giving!
Monday, September 7, 2015
|Start and looking up!|
|Portion of downhill|
Friday, May 8, 2015
Many ultra-runners have a race crew that goes along to the
races and meets the runner at various points to provide support, encouragement,
nutrition, and sometimes a pacer on the long run.
Monday, May 4, 2015
|Lake around mile 30-something|
|I would have paid anything to jump in!|
One of the most important lessons for me was to learn that when they say cinder trail that means cinder block, that means hard, and that it is not softer than asphalt. Tip to myself: wear trail shoes! I thought my typical shoes would be good and cushy. NOT!
|Sunset after I reached mile 42.2|
|One of the many hills.|
I will state for the record when we saw the sign that said ‘Home Stretch’ we all wanted to know how far that meant. A mile, half a mile? In this case it turned out to be a little over two miles. You probably think, two miles, no big deal. WRONG! After 16 plus hours on your feet, two hours is an eternity. I think the three of us will state that the home stretch was by far the longest section of the race. It was never ending! And the finish line, when we finally saw the lights never felt like it was getting closer.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Click here to donate.
Think of donating as a way of saying thank you to a Veteran. If you want to call out a Veteran when you make a donation, leave a comment on the donation site and tell that Veteran that the donation was made in their honor. Or leave him/her a note on my blog in the comments.
On behalf of myself, Team RWB and Veterans, we thank you for your generosity and support.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Happy birthday to the best mom!
Let me tell you about my mother. She is the fabulous!
Oh, you want to know more? Well, okay.
My mom is a creative and talented woman. Since the time I was a kid she was making clothes for us (me and my sisters) and our dolls. Now that I’m grown she no longer makes clothes for me, but she does make quilts. As a matter of fact, I am waiting on her latest creation any time now. (No pressure, Mom.)
This same woman taught me to tie my shoes. We did not do the bunny ears in the hole trick. Nope. My mom showed me how to do it several times. Then one day when I asked her to help me she decided it was time I figured it out. Mom went into the bathroom and shut the door all the while encouraging me that I could do it, talking me through the steps, but she would not open the door until I tied my shoe. Did I tell you how smart she was? Cuz, yes, that is exactly what I needed and I tied my shoe. I’ve been tying them ever since.
She also taught me to make my bed. To this day, the minute my feet hit the floor I turn and make the bed before doing anything else. See what moms do? They influence you throughout your life.
Mom taught me to bake and cook. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love the baking or eating baked goods. I recall the very first thing my mother taught me to bake was chocolate chip cookies. Our first house had a kitchen with counters that were Pepto Bismol pink with gold specks. Can you imagine? That would be considered retro today. Anyway, she pulled up a step stool and I stood on it while she handed me ingredients, let me do the stirring, and together we put the spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Then waited, watching the timer. Tick-tick-tick. DING! When the cookies were baked, mom and I ate the first two and shared a glass of milk. Wow! Can you believe I remember that like it was yesterday?
Mom was my number one cheerleader at all my events. Whether soccer or softball games, or spelling bees, you would find my mom in the stands or on the sidelines yelling and cheering, and probably even praying. As an adult this hasn’t changed. She supports my desire to run as far as I can, even if she thinks I am a little off my rocker at wanting to do a 50 or 100-mile run. Then again, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
My mother is the strongest woman I know. Here is a woman who after suffering for years with some unknown skin irritation was finally diagnosed (6 years later) with a very, extremely, we’re talking only about 2500 people have this rare form of skin cancer and has been fighting it and winning the battle for more than 10 years now. She doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself, she stands up and battles the disease with both fists, a kick to the groin, and since she is a girl I say she even pulls hair. No doubt, my mother will kick cancer’s backside and she will do it because she knows she has her family behind her. The family she created and nurtured. And we are all the luckier for it.
So, on this day, I want to wish my mom, the strongest most influential woman in my life a very special and happy birthday.
Happy birthday, mom! I love you.
Posted by Denise at 8:08 AM
Sunday, April 5, 2015
"It is in giving that we receive." -Prayer of St.
Francis, 13th century saint. "When you give, you begin to live, you get
If you know me you know I am a firm believer in paying it forward. Paying it forward feeds my soul. Paying it forward turns the focus away from ourselves, gives rather than receives, and generates joy.
Give a used coat or shoes away. If you see a homeless person in need of a coat and you have one that’s been hanging in your closet not used, give it to someone who will benefit from the warmth of the coat and your generosity. As a runner you probably have boatloads of shoes you have barely worn or didn’t work for you. Rather than leave them in the closet clogging your floor, or in my case, my entryway, donate them.
Donate to a project. Speaking of young entrepreneurs...donate to a project or Kickstarter and help an aspiring business get off the ground.
Pick up litter. Yes, this requires you to bend over and to possibly get dirty, but think of how nice the area where this trash is will look.
Help a sick person out. Take some soup or a box of Kleenex over to a sick neighbor.
Donate old blankets. There are plenty of shelters out there that would love to see you walk in with a pile of lightly worn, clean blankets. And the people who snuggle up under them will have a warm night.
Send a care package. Send a care package to a military troop overseas. What a nice gesture and a way to remind them that there are people at home who care.
Support a friend. I have many friends that are authors so it’s fun to show support by attending a book signing. Or maybe your friend’s kid is raising funds for a field trip. Buy that candy bar or wrapping paper. Every little bit helps.
Got any other ideas? Share them.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
What’s inside your vehicle?
Safety pins…lots of them. And no, they are not the kind you use on kid diapers. Uh, yeah, these come from all the race bibs I wear and then discard when I get in the truck.
Music CDs, country. Although there is an Albannach CD so I like superb Celtic music. Audio books. At least two or three and sometimes up to ten in the vehicle.
A book or two. Or more. You could ascertain by these and the audiobooks that I like to read. And if you look close you will see that I like mystery, suspense, and romance. Oh, and in my car you will find copies of my latest novel. So you will know that I am also an author.
A box of Kleenex and a roll of paper towels. Don’t ask…I have no clue why, but the paper towels have definitely come in handy when I’ve spilled so I leave them.
A snow/ice scraper so I guess that means I do not live in the south or in California.
Glasses and sunglasses. Hm…if it were just the sunglasses then it would be all about the sun, but since I have both in the car it means they are prescription glasses and sunglasses.
A can of bug spray. Well, either I’m afraid bugs will get in the car or I tend to take the truck to where I spend time outdoors and don’t want bug bites.
A microfiber cloth. Similar to the paper towels only this one is cuz of the dust that gets in the truck so I use it to wipe the dash.
A pair of running shoes. Filthy dirty. This says I didn’t want to take them inside until they dried out after running the Rugged Maniac obstacle course. Last September.
A box of hand warmers. Another hint that where I live gets cold and probably snow.
A cheap, black windreaker. This pretty much goes along with the safety pins and running shoes. If there is one thing I have learned, it is to always bring a jacket to a race because you just never know what the weather will be.
Burt’s Bees lip balm, the peppermint kind. What do you think? I like kissable lips! What else does this say? I like natural.
A hairbrush. So what do you want, I’m a girl. Besides, sometimes you have to go someplace after a run and you just need to try and make the hair look better even if it’s to make it look better in a ponytail.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Here are a few ditties I live my life by. They are in
no particular order, except number one.
What little ditties, mottos, or creedos do you live by?