500 Miles

While I’m on the subject of running, I thought I should mention a goal that The Boy and I set for our summer.

We are going to try to “move ourselves” 500 total miles.

For now, the things that count as milage are running, biking, hiking, and paddling. We are open to adding other things, but right now, I can’t think of what those might be.

Anyway, I’ll give some updates every once-in-a-while, and maybe I’ll figure out how to make a fancy graphic of us moving from Pittsburgh to somewhere 500 miles away from Pittsburgh. For now, though, enjoy The Proclaimers.


Twinkle Toes Review

My boy bought me a pair of Vibram Five Fingers for my birthday! Thanks, Mister! If you’re not familiar with Five Fingers (I’ve taken to calling them twinkle toes, or monkey feet), they look a little something like this:

These shoes serve different purposes for different people. Some use them for water sports or paddling, others wear them when they hike. I would imagine they would be good for outdoor yoga. Surely some people wear them solely (no pun intended) because they’re so odd looking.

Mine will be used for running.

We took them for a test run last night, and I think they might be pretty awesome. Here are my reasons why. (If you’re looking for something a little more–um– scientific, you can start with this Wikipedia page on Barefoot Running.)

-First, no socks required!! This is great news for me. I hate socks and everything that comes with them. I hate wearing them. I hate folding them. I hate the bin of partnerless socks in my laundry room. All other things being equal, I would choose these shoes for the sock factor alone.

-I will be the first to admit that this could easily be a placebo effect, BUT the shooting pain that I had been getting in the sides of my feet was GONE when I ran in these shoes.

-Foot science aside, Five Fingers make much more sense based on my own personal shoe-wearing habits. I wear sandals all summer, then switch to ballet flats for the cooler months, and flat boots when the snow gets to be too much. Why would I expect it to be comfortable for me to run in typical running shoes which completely smother my poor feet and surround them with so much other junk?

-Finally, Five Fingers make me feel old school and sort of oddball-trendy at the same time. And, for some reason this is important to me.

Happy Birthday, Feet!!

#2- Go to 5 States (3/5)

Washington is state #3 of 5! I got lucky with the first three states. I have a feeling the next two won’t come as quickly or easily. Here are a few snapshots from Seattle.

Original Starbucks! (Oliver’s Mecca.)

The Fredmont Troll. There is no lack of whimsy in Seattle. This guy is ready to gobble up a VW Beetle. On his right hand, you can find Jocelyn, Me, and our lovely Seattle host, Josh.

Pike Place Market

A fresh market lunch: grapes, strawberries, cheesy jalepeno bread, herbed curds, and bubble tea.

Seattle Library.

Guitar cyclone in the Experience Music Project.

Holden Village

#13: Visit Holden Village with Jocelyn– CHECK!

As usual, here is a string of unconnected thoughts.

– Holden Village is a great place to visit. Beautiful wilderness. Interesting people. Delicious food. Unique worship. Patchwork quilts on every bed!

-There are very few things that Holden takes seriously. Hospitality is one. Bread is another. It’s refreshing to see people do really good (and important) work without taking it all too seriously.

-The Holden Village community was one that I could recognize, but it was not my own. It felt familiar, but it wasn’t exact. I recognized people from my own place (Lutherlyn, if you haven’t figured it out)– the laugh of this person, or talents of that person–  but these people weren’t my people. It helped me appreciate Holden, though, knowing that– for someone– every room and bench and tree had a story to tell, like every room and bench and tree at Lutherlyn holds significance for me.

-I am now accepting any and all recipes for quinoa muffins. DELICIOUS!

-Being at Holden made me think about all the ways I spend my time. What things are important? Why do I spend so much time on the meaningless things and leave so little time for the important ones? Even though I know this, why in the world would I spend the last two hours of my life watching the movie Grownups?!

-We need to get the band back together at Good Hope.

-At Holden (especially in the non-summer months) you have to find ways to entertain yourself. For me that looked like this: eat, read, drink tea, nap, weave (no pottery, though, because there wasn’t enough electricity), take a hike, drink more tea, play a few games, take another nap…

Here is an assortment of photos from the week.

Some educational reading from the Holden library. (We read it, too.)

Welcoming the bus. (This happened twice a day.)

This is why snowshoes are important...

Ready for the viewing of the royal wedding! (You can't see my dress, but it's pretty classic.)

Exhibit B.

"Trial" would probably be a little more accurate.


We’re doing a unit in my College Student Development class about Spiritual Development and Meaning-Making. For some paper-writing inspiration (I need as much as I can get), I collected three of my favorite quotes about life. Enjoy!

 “Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren’t any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives.”

(Stranger than Fiction)

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. 

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. 

Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. 

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. 

Show respect to all people and grovel to none. 

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. 

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. 

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. 

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

(Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation)

“The meaning of life is this: try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, have regular bowel movements, have people in your life you can love, get some walking in, but most of all, try to live in harmony with folks of all creeds and nations. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a cuddly pet.”

(Monty Python… I think.)