Smoothie - Kale & Friends

Last week I had my annual ob-gyn check-up. My most wonderful (I have always had kudos for this doctor) gynecologist recommended the following smoothie, which she has almost daily.

  • Kale
  • frozen or fresh strawberries
  • frozen or fresh blueberries
  • frozen or fresh blackberries (basically, any berries can be added)
  • coconut or almond milk (I currently use almond)
  • almond butter
  • apple (optional)
  • flax seed
  • and I add tumeric

The main point of this smoothie is to blend into one delectable drink calcium-rich kale and those ingredients that help with calcium absorption. Quantities are to suit one's taste for flavor and consistency. I was initially surprised by the lack of yogurt and banana, both staples of the smoothies I indulged in every day for many years, and was delighted to discover they weren't necessary for making a smoothie. (I stopped the yogurt and banana in order to cut back on sugars and dairy as a means of naturally managing hereditary cholesterol levels. And guess what – success!)

March with me, I'll march with you…

March with me, I'll march with you, and so we will march together, as we march along
For we are marching for our basic rights, our basic rights, our basic rights
For we are marching for our basic rights, our basic rights, Hooray!

That's a paraphrase of a song I used to sing in camp, and it explains my participation in two marches (so far) since January 1st of this year. The first march was the Women's March, and I was one of over 400,000 (and some numbers suggest close to 500,000) people who marched in New York City the day after Mr Trump was inaugurated as President. I marched in solidarity for multiple causes to show my support and as a way to cope with my demoralization. My fear then, and still is, that basic human rights, health care, and social policies will be eroded – drastically eroded – under the current administration.

I marched this past Saturday in Philadelphia, along with 125,000 others, in support of Science. Heck, I am a S.T.E.A.M. Integrator (Science Technology Engineering, the Arts, Math), so I marched to practice what I preach, and to express the need for policy makers to incorporate fact-based, peer-reviewed Science into their decision making process.

In both cases, I felt it was simply important to stand up and be counted. A silent majority is a DOA majority; if we do not speak up and out, if we do not become involved and engaged, then we are, in essence, rolling over and saying "kick me", and that isn't my style.

Women's march pictures (I marched with numerous neighbors)

Science march pictures (I marched with my husband and his brother)
This last picture is of a mural on the side of a building just off South Street in Philadelphia. I was struck by the amazing juxtaposition of tile and paint and perhaps other elements. I took the picture rather quickly and did not spend time up close feeling the mural.

Blah morning, great day :-)

Sometimes the morning starts out blah, mostly due to weather, but also sometimes due to the day. This past Thursday it was due to both. I have long had a 4-day work week (Friday is my day off) and rather than being pumped for the weekend (which I actually was excited about!), I was feeling blah because of the weather and my waning energy by the end of my work week. You can likely tell, because I dressed as nice as I could while still engaging the blahs. Probably not the best way to exorcise them, but heck, sometimes ya' just gotta indulge them! (At least I opted for some color!)

Not much to write home about with my outfit – comfy cords, colorful Gap sweater and Lands End art tee. But the part I have a strong affinity for is the multi-colored silk scarf. Besides the practicality of color and warmth, it was a gift from my younger son many years ago when he was on a trip to SE Asia. He bought this scarf at the silkworm "factory" where he saw other scarves being made. Intentionally mismatched earrings have been done before, only with a different earring than the blue one (from Montréal); all to make it possible to wear the earring from Ecuador that was part of my favorite pair, and then one earring was lost when it likely came off at school en route to my car. My guess is that as I slipped a shoulder strap off my shoulder, the strap displaced the earring and it fell. Being light weight, I never felt or heard it exit.


I've worn this Montréal jumper multiple times but only blogged about it once. I continue to enjoy wearing it, and today's weather of chilly and moderately overcast made this the perfect outfit as it kept me comfortably warm, especially coupled with leggings and this Lands End art tee underneath. 

Earrings and bracelet are becoming favorites, and of course that has long since been true for my Belgian-bought gifted-to-me blue Hush Puppies! Oh, and there's that deep denim blue Gap jean jacket…again!

Rinse, repeat, shrink!

I first wore this top last September and am positive it shrunk in length after being washed, because it looks a bit longer then (and a bit shorter now!) The top and blue tee are from the Gap; jeans are from Talbots. Red shoes, the Belgian Hush Puppies, of course! I wound up pulling my hair back with two barrettes and adding a red, 3D printed headband, but I couldn't cajole my husband to take another photo. Earrings were a gift from a friend with whom another friend and I used to regularly give earrings to one another as souvenirs from vacations. Now we exchange earrings less frequently and usually as birthday or other occasion gifts.

In any case, another glorious spring day, though a tad cooler than yesterday so I added my Uniqlo feather-weight down jacket as outer wear. 

On Deck!

That's where I began my morning, with yoga on the deck. The day began with a glorious sunrise, bird song, and barely a breeze. Definitely a day for shorts! And 90 minutes later, when my husband took this picture on the deck, the moment was slightly overcast and cool; almost felt like rain could pop into the forecast, though it wasn't there the last time I checked.

Nonetheless, shorts it will be! I head in late to school this morning, having my annual ob-gyn checkup at 10:15. Always asking for doctor appointments on Fridays (my day off), I take whatever day and time is offered if a Friday isn't available, as it is important to keep the annual checkups occurring at about the same time each year.

Shorts are Lands End, patterned tee and sweater, as well as the red belt, are from the Gap. And my awesome, much loved, long had red sandals are Danskos. I used to have somewhere along the line of six or seven pair of Danskos, clogs, ankle boots, dress shoes and sandals. One by one, over many, many years, as they wore out or could not be resoled, I stopped replacing them – partially due to the cost, and partially because they had become "heavy" for me to wear going up and down stairs. The clogs and these sandals were, and are, extremely comfortable to wear as they support me well when being on my feet for most of the teaching day. However, I have opted for lighter weight shoes that provide the same benefit. Am glad, though, that these red beauties are still going strong!

My earrings were made and gifted to me by a former colleague about eight years ago.

Tuppence's and my epiphany

This morning I read the New York Times article In Praise of Agatha Christie's Accidental Sleuths. I am an avid reader and have been a mystery fan for my entire reading life, so this piece caught my eye. With thanks to author Radhika Jones for helping me discover these Christie gems (which I put on reserve at my local library within minutes of finishing the article), I came across this timely thought by one of Christie's characters, Tuppence:

At this novel's climax ["By the Pricking of My Thumbs"], Tuppence, closeted with an unlikely killer, has an epiphany: She realizes, simply and profoundly, that she is old. Lulled by the enduring sharpness of her mind, she has forgotten that her body is no longer that of the 20-something gamin who suffered chloroforming and kidnapping in the name of good mystery fun.

Okay, let me be upfront, I never was chloroformed or kidnapped. Otherwise, Tuppence's thoughts ring true for me. I am 62 and a half. Three years ago I read another NYT article What's Your Fitness Age? by Gretchen Reynolds and then answered the questions for the Fitness Age Calculator she mentions. At that time, the online questionnaire calculated I had the fitness age of an average 35 year old. I just responded to the questionnaire again, and this time it tells me I have the fitness age of an average 40 year old. Both times I responded to the extended questionnaire, figuring the more information provided, the more accurate the calculation. I even knew how much time I spent sitting because in December 2015 I did an experiment to find out how much time I spent sitting and standing.

My brain – me – has always felt younger than my biological age. My body has usually gone along with that thought. But the simple biological fact is, like each of us, my body is aging. That is what it is supposed to do. And as my body has aged, bits and pieces here and there start to show their wear. My fitness age may be younger than my biological age, but no way am I the "20-something gamin" of the 1970s. And the realization that my body is older, and there are parts that DO need TLC so they continue to function optimally, is something I have to periodically remind myself. Ha, even the internist who I see annually, and who has known me for many years, told me that I should reframe my self-image to catch up with my body reality. Not exactly the optimistic comment I would have made, but I got her point then and get it now. To keep my body in optimum health means I have to acknowledge those parts that will do better if they are cut some slack. 

This doesn't mean letting up on daily activity. But as my husband likes to say, everything in moderation. And perhaps I chose to write this post just to remind myself of this advice. :-)


This past weekend we were away for several days visiting our son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. Glorious daffodils greeted us upon our return!

The pants were purchased a few years ago from the Gap. I've never been fond of the way they sit on my tummy, but I like the raised texture of the material and the pin stripes, which are so subtle you can barely see them. Plus they wash well and can be mixed with just about any top. The art tee is from Land's End, sweater and jean jacket (told you there would be much use of this jacket) are from the Gap. 

The shoes are Capezio Jr. Footlight character shoes. They are meant to be purchased without heel and sole attachments so that dancers can add the appropriate bottoms for their style of dance. Someone thought I was wearing tap shoes! I had these heeled and soled in standard non-slip bottoms for wearing to school. Nonetheless, they ARE SUPER for dancing!

And the jewelry all comes from The Turnover Shop in the Hampden section of Baltimore. Purchased on two different visits, the bracelet and earrings compliment each other nicely! My husband made me the jewelry holder after I commented on a much larger version and suggested it might be useful for jewelry hanging. Turns out that earrings do not always fit on the antlers, but I do use it for my stash of weekend earrings, and it comes in handy for photographing!

Outfit picture is thanks to my husband. 

Skirt Repeat, kind of neat

I last wore this skirt in November and smile to see that wearing it still raises my spirits. There is something about a flouncy skirt that just takes the spirits and makes them flounce as well!

This morning I went to replicate the prior outfit but this time round the top didn't drape in a way that made me feel "just right", so I went with this Gap sweater that hangs at just the right length. Underneath is a white Calvin Klein tank top that was my Mom's (positive sentimental wearing also helps to raise my spirits!) and the silver and turquoise bracelet was also my Mom's. The earrings are new-to-me but not new, as they were purchased just this past weekend from The Turnover Shop in the Hampden area of Baltimore. Shoes are the red Hush Puppies from Belgium, thanks to my daughter-in-law and her mom.

As I've started to mention my jewelry in some of my recent posts, am writing this as a reminder that it's time to start photographing these pieces, as well, so they can be seen in their glory.

And thanks to my husband, who is gamely going along with my "please would you take a picture of me for my blog" requests! 

New Boots

First I purchased a new yellow raincoat, and two days ago I purchased new rain boots – blue with white polka dots, no less! Both purchases were to replace items that had finally, after years of use, worn out. On my raincoat it was a no longer functioning zipper, and on my boots it was rubber that split in multiple places and rendered the boots no longer waterproof.

And today I had the opportunity to wear my boots. Rain, rain, and more rain, on and off throughout the day. 

Orange earrings gifted from Ecuador. Orange and black beaded bracelet made by my neighbor's daughter; brown bracelet consists of a nut from Hawaii. Scarves (there are two, same style, different colours) by GAP, as is the orange sweater and burnt umber cords. Green vest is Uniquo. And under that sweater, which *burr* never came off, is a LandsEnd Art-T-Shirt.