• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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Dear Diary and new GOALS

I’ve just finished chapter six 6 in NOT and have two things I’ve been thinking a lot about.  1. How does the author know all that stuff? 2. How have women’s roles/place/acceptance (I could go on) really changed in the last 70 years?

So the first one.  In order for the author to have such detailed information – not only factual events, but feelings and perceptions – everyone must have kept daily, detailed diaries.  Not only does it seem they write in them all the time they must have held on to them and passed them on.  Did everyone do that?  Or is it just those that felt like they were in such positions of importance that they felt obligated to record history?  Do you think the President and the First Lady do that today?  And their kids and secretaries and aides and all the members of the House and Senate?  Or is everyone relying on the internet and blogs to not only record their lives but to also publish them to the world.  (do you know there is a national texting competition?) Hmm.  I wonder.  I never liked the idea of documenting my life and intimate thoughts on paper.  In fact found it kind of embarrassing.  But really, I wouldn’t have much to say that would need to find it’s way into history books.  Maybe that’s the difference.

Second thing plaguing me.  On the one hand Eleanor is out there making speeches at political events without FDR, lobbying for civil rights even though it may be against what her husband was supporting, writing columns – really following and communicating her own political agenda. Maybe because FDR couldn’t be out and about?  He seems to be totally supportive of her “work”.  It seems very ahead of the times.  But then there was the seemingly open and acceptable goings on FDR had with the other women.  What’s up with Missy?  and the Crown Princess of Norway?  Would that happen today?  I don’t think so.  Look at the Monica Lewinski thing (how embarrassing).

OK back to running.  We are moving on to a new GOAL!!  The 10K .  After realizing that we are floundering without a goal we decided to go from the couch (yes it’s back to the couch) to the 10K.  I’ve already downloaded my app.  My only concern is the weather and the darkness.  London from Oct to Mar is grim.  Really grim.  I can do it.  So watch this space.

Now for food.  I made the most delicious cheese soup the other day.

I know most cheese soups are grainy and too cheesy, but this is delicious.  Chop into nice little pieces some carrots, celery, onions (and I sometimes add little potato pieces) and sautee in butter.  Add a bay leaf.  After the veggies are getting soft add some flour.  Then a splash of wine.  Next some chicken stock and simmer until vegetables are done.  Then add some 1/2 and 1/2 and cheddar cheese.  S and P.  Delicious.



The sisters, and dog, were finally together last week for our own official/unofficial early morning extremely humid, hot August 2010 5K Fun Run.  The stats:  88 percent humidity, 75 degrees, 5k, 6:00 am, 46minutes and some change. (46 minutes, that’s the “fun” part).  Daisy was a little confused by the extra company and kept looking back to check on us, but she is a great running companion, and it’s a welcome break when she needs to stop to sniff or do other business..even it she’s faking it.

Thank goodness for some early-morning lawn waterers that gave us the chance to run through a couple of sprinklers. We were a bit slow that morning and I think we were technically lapped by other runners who seemed to quickly pass us more than once. But we finished.  Medals were awarded (hand made and personalized by the kids).  Biggest news…..shorts were worn.  Scary.  We were desperate in the humidity.

What next?  8k?  10k?  Need a plan.


Graduation days have to be some of the happiest of all days.  A feeling of both accomplishment for what you have achieved and nervous anticipation for what’s up next.  I’ve had a few myself – some with ceremonial cap and gown and lots of fellow graduates and others celebrated quietly on my own.

Today marked my final day of the C25K program.  Although the journey was only nine weeks, I still consider it a graduation.  No way would I have thought that I would be running for 30 minutes.  It has been so long since I did that – 8 years to be exact, and I have tried to get going so many times since then.  I guess I just was missing someone to run with.  Thanks girls.

Another milestone today.  I did my week 9 day 3 run in…..SHORTS!  Yes, shorts.  Navy blue running shorts I bought probably in 1999 – the kind with the built-in underwear of sorts.  Hilarious.  I tried them on and looked at myself in the full length mirror for a while.  Then I took them off at the sight of my legs. Put them on again.  Asked my son how they looked.  He checked me out and said I looked kind of funny (I don’t think he has ever seen me in shorts).  Hmmmm, they do kind of balloon out a bit and the dark blue made my legs look even whiter.  But, it was really hot, and I was looking for something special to mark the day so I left them on and quickly went out the door before I changed my mind (I also knew it was Sunday morning and was pretty sure it would be very quiet on the streets).  Maybe this would motivate me to run fast and get home before anyone woke up in London.

My goal was to cross Hammersmith Bridge.  I’ve run/walked to the bridge a few times, but never over it.  I started out with the usual shuffle feeling like 30 minutes would never come.  Finally I got to the bridge. Shoot. Stairs.  I tried to pretend I was Rocky Balboa running through the streets of Philadelphia (no I wasn’t listening to The Eye of the Tiger) and hustled up them.  Crossed the bridge.  Stopped for a quick look around the Thames and  headed back home because miss lady said I had reached the half way point about 3 minutes ago.  I was just starting to loosen up and enjoy myself….always takes me at least 15 to 20 minutes.  I even did an extra 2 minutes at the end just to prove I could.  Yippeee!  I DID IT!

Here’s my graduation cap I always run in and my old trusty headphones (from my walkman).  I couldn’t find any tassels to wear.  You didn’t really think I would put a picture of myself in the shorts getup.  I guess the only thing left to do now is to shoot for the 10K.

When boys aren’t gross…it’s love, actually

6:45 am.  I’m just back from my very first 30 minute run (hooray) and am met at the front door by my son who is holding up a drawing he just did.  “Guess what I’m calling this picture?”, he asks.  I had no idea. Some brown flowers, clouds, a few blue slashes.  It starts with the letter T, he says.  Still no clue, although I see he has scribbled something at the bottom. Not giving me much time to guess, he tells me that he has called it Tears which he spelled “tirs” on the picture.  That’s a relief because I thought it said “tits”.  I asked him if it was a sad picture and he replied “all in life is not happy” and off he went.

Back again with The Art Book for Children.  He can’t decide what to draw next and shows me his two choices.  Waterlily Pond  by Monet or Spring by Botticelli.  I’m not sure what has inspired this early morning burst of creativity from my son who is usually more interested in old war movies and re-enacting every scene.  Anyway, I suggest the Monet as it looks far more simple to recreate and we had to leave for school in about 45 minutes and he is still in his pj’s.  Although drawing for him is all about speed, not perfection.  He tells me he knows what to do and off again he goes to his art station.  This is what he came up with – a combination of the two paintings.  Simply titled, “Love”.  And spelled correctly.

3 extra minutes, garbage, bad smells, and……cakes

Week 8.  28 minutes.  No problem.  I’ve done 25.  What’s an extra 3?  Well, it’s an extra 3 at the end when you want to be doing the cool down, that’s what.

I did my first 28 minute run the other morning just a wee bit before 6:00 am.   Running in the city offers lots of interesting sights and smells.  Trash day is particularly interesting as everyone puts their stuff on the curb the night before.  Which the urban foxes LOVE.  They have a party that night.  So in the morning when I’m out for some fresh air, before the “dust bin collectors” come (what a funny name – I don’t think they are collecting dust), there are ripped open trash bags and half eaten food and other gross things all along my route.  Lovely.

For some reason on this morning I also seemed to be following the route of the 94 bus.  Didn’t seem to be any people on the buses, but I got the nice exhaust blast every time one went by.  Which was a lot.  I envy my sister’s field.

But, I often do get to see the milkman in his little van that says “Milk and More”.  I don’t know what the more is, but there he is picking up empty glass bottles and leaving full ones on people’s doorsteps.  And once I did see a man in a pretty dress.   I do love the mornings.

And finally, cakes.  In my house I have a bad, but true, reputation as a not-so-great cake baker.  But, I keep trying.  For my sons’ birthday last year, I excitedly asked them what kind of cake they would like me to make them.  And one replied, “Mom, can you just buy a cake because you haven’t had much luck in the past with cakes”.  Sad, but true. I ignored their protests and made this, and it was quite good.

Not bad.

And then just the other day for my husband’s birthday.  I made this! And it was not only edible, but delicious.

I believe I have redeemed myself.

The NOW Body

I read an article in The Times this weekend called, The Body for Now that made me think of our quest.  It got my interest with the first line….”it all started with a lot of talk about bottoms.  My friends had become obsessed by bums…”.   The article goes on to talk about how super-skinny is just not in anymore.  Instead the dream physique is a healthy, sporty one obtained by “getting your kicks for fun instead of punishing yourself in the gym”.  A few celebs like Anniston, Paltrow, and Christensen are mentioned (as are some new shoes by Reebok) as examples.   They all cross-train and watch what they eat.  I guess it’s a bit easier when you can take your yoga instructor with you on location (Jen’s says that if you want to change your body you have to change your diet – which accounts for 80% of how you look).  I’m sure she has a cook too.  When she has a Mexican meal she doesn’t deny herself…oh, no! She will just have 3 tortilla chips.  Hilarious.  What fun is that?

I just finished week 7 – all 25 minute runs.  I have to say I’m finally starting to enjoy running.  AND I’m getting the good addiction to exercising again.  AND I do have much more energy.  At the end of this illuminating article it says….”you want to wear shorts?  Go for it.  Get down to the gym, the park, or get on a bike.”.  I’m still waiting for the magic bum and legs transformation.

I’m going to make a cake and have some nachos.

why boys are gross

Spencer got a microscope kit for Christmas.  When he first got it, he and Adam filled all the test tubes with pee…which also meant the bathroom floor was covered in pee as well.

mad science

He’s at it again.

He just showed me a slide he made… “look Mom it’s a booger”.  Sure enough a big one on the slide.

Then… “here’s a sample from my nose” he said holding up a test tube with something in it.  Which he also told me smelled really bad (probably the residual urine).

Boys are gross.  I tried to look interested.

He then told me he is a real scientist.