Monday, March 29, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Five Progress Report

I received a few fun packages this week. One was from the 3 Day Shop and contained a T shirt, some pinback buttons, a bandanna, & Body Glide! Yeah, those first three items are for promotion (and because I wanted them!), but I've been told that Body Glide is a gift of the Gods when it comes to blister prevention (that purchase was a no brainer!). I also received some stuff for fund raising: silicone bracelets, pink ribbons, & a fundraiser kit from Pink Wings.

Training Update
This week I tried out my second new pair of shoes from New Balance. The size definitely felt better and my heel didn't hurt at all in them. The problem this time was with the balls of my feet and arches doing both an easy walk and a more moderate walk. The moderate walk was a little bit more like power walking and I had to cut it short because of how badly my arches & balls hurt; in fact they were still hurting two days later. The easy walk was better on my arches, but the balls still hurt. I do think that these shoes may not be quite right and that I need more shock absorption in those places, but I also think that it's been a long time since I walked this much and my feet need to get used to it again. I'm going to go visit my friend Ken at New Balance again and see what he thinks. I feel bad that I keep going back, but 60 miles and countless training miles are too far to walk in shoes that don't fit properly.

I had a couple of big fundraising projects to work on this week. The first was the announcement of Blue Buddha Boutique's sponsorship of my forthcoming Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection. Thanks to Rebeca's very generous jump ring donation, all proceeds from the sale of items from this collection will be able to go straight to my fund raising. I spent a good amount of time creating some pieces this weekend and hope to be able to debut the beginnings of the collection at some point this week. I am very excited about this!

The second fundraiser that I'm working on right now is my raffle. I started a thread in the Etsy forums and have already received commitments for some really fabulous items from a number of very generous people! Check out the thread if you'd like to contribute, otherwise keep an eye on my blog: the raffle will go live in just a couple of weeks.

Every time I get an e-mail with the subject line "A donation was made on your behalf" it feels like I've hit the lottery.
-An Herb Society friend's donation made me feel so much better after getting home from a walk frustrated & in pain.
-Random love from amazing twitter followers was a very happy surprise, too.

Also this week, I sent out my follow up e-mails to the friends, family, and co-workers that I haven't heard from yet. One of those messages resulted in a nice donation! I also sent snail mail to family that I don't have e-mail addresses for.

In last week's update, I mentioned that I wanted to be at about 75% of my goal by the time my training officially starts. Here's a breakdown of what I have in mind:
-Blog Raffle - I will be promoting the hell out of this, but I'm also hoping that my participants may be able to bring some some entries as well. Even if there's only the same number of bids for each of the twenty (so far!) items at a minimum of $5 that will come to $100 worth of donations!
-Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection - I'm hoping to debut the beginnings of this collection this week. With any luck, I will sell around $200 worth within the first couple of months.
These two fundraisers will bring me up to half of my goal!
-The next big fundraiser for me will be setting up a table outside some stores and at some farmers markets. I've read about other walkers raising any where between $400-$800 by doing this! I have the fundraising goodies that I ordered, a pink ribbon cookie cutter for sugar cookies, and tickets to two separate shows in the area that I can raffle off. So, I have a few different ways of setting up which will allow me to do this multiple times. To get started, I'm going to try to get confirmations for two separate stores or markets and estimate on the low side that together they will bring in the $575 that will bring me to 75% of my goal of raising $2,300.

Mileage to date on training walks: 41
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $870 or 38%
Remaining: $1,430
Countdown: 215 days until the event!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

Fresh strawberries. I love fresh strawberries. Strawberries made me happy this week.

I managed to catch a 50% off sale of an Etsy shop that carries packaging supplies. I placed an order for a bunch of stuff to play with for my herbal concoctions. I have a few ideas of some products that I'd love to start carrying, so I really need to work out the details like this.

My honey recently started working on the shelves he's custom building for his office.... ahem.... game library. He's been working on them off and on since we moved into the house two years ago. Needless to say, I'm thrilled that he started working on them again: I can't wait to get all of the boxes of games (yeah, he's got literally hundreds) out of the dining room.

My yarrow is starting to blossom!! I've had it since last summer and this is the first time that I've seen little white heads starting to bud. I can't wait to see it flower!

After working two really long days, I didn't have to go in on Friday. I spent the majority of the day cleaning the house in preparation for my mom's visit later this week. Yeah, house cleaning sucks but it really does make me happy to have the place clean (I know OCD). On top of that, usually by the time I'm done with that much work I'm ready to collapse on the couch. Not this time! I was still feeling really good and went for a training walk. I'm really happy to see my energy levels are up. It's amazing what a good attitude and some regular exercise will do!

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous out! I had all of the windows open and was thoroughly enjoying the fresh air while I spent the day working on my new Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection. I got a few pieces done and hope to either get some more done today or get the already finished pieces photographed. It's coming along!

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Call for Raffle Donations to Support BOOBS!

To date, the majority of my fundraising for the 3 Day has been in the form of letters, chatting up people, and social media promotion. Through those outlets alone, I have already raised $850 - only $1,450 to go! I'm excited to announce my first true fundraising event! Sure, it's a virtual event, but an event nonetheless!

As part of my fundraising, I will be raffling off items from my blog. Some items I will make or I will have donated from local businesses (show tickets!). Others will come from the loving and supportive arts & crafts community. This is a call out to all of you amazing artists and crafters for items to donate.

~*~ This is how it will work. ~*~
-Amazing crafter provides me with picture(s), a detailed description of the item, and an estimated value or simply directs me to an item in their shop where I can gather all of this information. All of this information will be in your item’s listing in the raffle in addition to your shop information.

-The raffle will run for one month.

-In order for all raffle ticket purchases to go towards fundraising, I will direct people straight to my profile at the 3 Day website (as opposed to Paypal which will deduct fees).

-The minimum donation of $5 (which is the minimum that can be donated at the 3 Day website) will be the equivalent of 1 ticket, $10 will be for 3, $20 for 7, and $50 for 20 tickets.

-I will require everyone that purchases raffle tickets to leave a comment on my blog post with their first name, e-mail address, and number of tickets purchased so that I can cross reference their information at my 3 Day Personal Page (where they make their donation) and be sure that I have a way of contacting them to receive their winning item.

-I will promote the auction on my blog, on Facebook, and twitter as well as among all of my online communities and encourage all participants to do the same.

-If you are able to include your product donation on your taxes, I am more than glad to supply you with the 3 Day’s tax ID number.

-I will use a random number generator to pick the raffle winners.

-At the completion of the raffle, I will notify the winners via e-mail that they won and I will notify my lovely donation crafters of their mailing address. As part of your donation, I will ask that you take care of shipping your item and try to have it shipped out within three business days of receipt of their address.

~*~ Why would you want to do this? There are a few reasons. ~*~
-Free promotion: in addition to promoting the raffle, I talk about this event a lot and boast about the angels that support me & the cause.
-A possible tax deduction: if you include your Etsy business on your taxes, that is.
-Getting your work out there: the more people that see your fabulous goods, the more likely they are to come back or tell their friends about you.
-Supporting an amazing cause: if you’ve got boobs and, yes we ALL do, you benefit from supporting the 3 Day.

~*~ Important Dates ~*~
-This Etsy forum thread will be open to accepting item donations until Sunday, April 4, 2010. Donations can still be made after this point, but I need somewhere to start!
-The raffle will go live on Monday, April 12, 2010 and stay open for one month.
-The raffle will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, May 9, 2010.
-The drawing will occur on Monday, May 10, 2010. And winners will be notified promptly at the completion of the drawing.

Again, visit this thread to let me know what you'd like to donate.

One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Without a cure, one person will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the United States. That's why I'm walking in the 3-Day for the Cure: because everyone deserves a lifetime. I hope that you'll share this incredible adventure with me by supporting me in my fund raising efforts.

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, go to my personal fund raising page:

If you have any questions or want to hear more about what I'm doing, I love talking about the event. Thank you for taking the time to read this message. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Finds - Spring Planting Accessories

It's officially Spring and the weather is getting warmer. Mother Nature is blossoming and practically begging Her people to get dirty and start gardening.

My soil is so sandy, I really am afraid of trying to plant anything in it for fear of killing the poor greenling. I currently have a flourishing herb garden in containers. I love these pots:

In case your drooping plantings aren't a giveaway, this handy little garden marker will remind you what to do:

I've been curious about using worm castings as fertilizer. This looks like a great way of trying it out without investing in the worm home and all of the worms. Plus, they upcycle by using misprinted flour bags for their packaging, saving them from going to a landfill.

Have you started your planting yet this season?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Woman Warrior: Ada Lovelace

It's been way too long since I've done a Woman Warrior post and it's mind boggling to me how I missed Ada Lovelace Day yesterday. Actually, I know how it happened, I was thrilled to distraction with the sponsorship announcement that I had to make for the 3 Day. My Woman Warrior posts feature incredible and inspiring women who have made a difference in our world.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815, the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella. Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, she wrote the world’s first computer programmes for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage had invented.

Ada Lovelace, 1838

Ada had been taught mathematics from a very young age by her mother and met Babbage in 1833. Ten years later she translated Luigi Menabrea’s memoir on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, appending notes that included a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the machine – the first computer programme. The calculations were never carried out, as the machine was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

Understanding that computers could do a lot more than just crunch numbers, Ada suggested that the Analytical Engine “might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” She never had the chance to fully explore the possibilities of either Babbage’s inventions or her own understanding of computing. She died, aged only 36, on 27th November 1852, of cancer and bloodletting by her physicians.

Yesterday was Ada Lovelace Day which is an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. For more information on Ada and some other amazing women in this field, be sure to check out the Ada Lovelace Day Website.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Special 3 Day Announcement!

I have just been bursting at the seams to tell you about a special fundraising opportunity that has so beautifully fallen into place! The majority of my blog followers have been around since before I registered for the 3 Day but for those of you fairly new around here: I am the maillesmith of Athena's Armoury. I create chain maille which was originally invented to be used as armor (picture King Arthur) by knights and warriors. It's only in recent years that the art of chain maille has been adapted to be used as protective clothing, sculpture, jewelry, and many other practical and beautiful purposes. I mainly focus on jewelry, but have also been known to dabble in armor, housewares, bags, and pet accessories.

One particular femailler and business owner that I've admired through the past few years that I've been making chain maille is the insanely talented Rebeca Mojica of Blue Buddha Boutique. Rebeca launched Blue Buddha Boutique out of her spare bedroom in 2003; today B3 has grown to a staff of six full and part time employees, with interns and guest contributors. Her designs include the stunning Poseidon's Embrace (left, on Rebeca) and her signature Quantum Rose. Her projects have been featured in Chain Mail Jewelry, an instructional book by Lark Publishing and Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine. Her work has appeared on CLTV and in The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. She's also in the process of writing her own chain maille instructional book.

Not just a talented artist, Rebeca is also an amazing business woman. She is responsible for updating the website, developing new kits and instructions, writing the newsletter, bookkeeping, managing employees, researching vendors, and anything else that may come up! Rebeca is definitely one strong warrior woman.

Blue Buddha Boutique prides themselves on their meticulous attention to detail, unparalleled customer support, and a passion for what they do. B3 offers finished pieces of chain maille as well as classes, and the supplies you need once you get hooked from their classes.

The Blue Buddha Boutique is committed to making the world a better place, and has supported many organizations in the past including:

And now, I'm thrilled to announce that Rebeca has agreed to sponsor my fundraising efforts for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure!! The 3 Day is using the song Pink Warrior by Candy Coburn as their theme song (or maybe rally song! or fight song!) this year. My warrior woman roots inspired me to combine my love of the defensive art of chain maille in the fight against breast cancer.

The Pink Warrior Chain Maille Collection will be created using pink anodized aluminum jump rings donated from Blue Buddha Boutique!

Rebeca's generosity will allow ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of items from the Pink Warrior Collection to go straight to my fund raising efforts. I hope to have some items in the shop starting next week but will be sure to announce when they are available.

Be sure to check out Blue Buddha Boutique and support this amazing woman and her business.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Four Progress Report

As of today, I am eight weeks away from the official start of my training. I would love, love, love to be at 75% of my goal of $2,300 by the time training starts. In order to do that, I just have to receive a donation of $31 per day until then. Will you help me reach my goal?

Lots to share with you, but first: I had a few random thoughts about the 3 Day this week...
-A funny visual: imagine having to put on a sports bra in a small two person tent with your tent mate trying to do the same.
-Who knew that doing a 60 mile walking event would require new styles of underwear?

In other news, one of my co-workers is thinking about registering to do the 3 Day! That would be so awesome to actually know someone on the walk!!

Training Update
So the sneakers that I got from New Balance were not working. I put about ten miles on them before I finally gave up and decided that I needed to bring them back. They did give me a blister, but more than that they were simply WAY too big. You are supposed to get shoes for the event that are a half to a whole size bigger than your norm to allow for foot expansion and swelling. Well, I typically wear a size 9 shoe, but the guy at New Balance said I should really be in a 10 so he fit me for a size 11 for the event. Needless to say, my feet were sliding all over the place, felt raw on the bottom, and did not feel secure. I brought them back to my buddy Ken at New Balance Westshore Mall in Tampa and he spent an hour working with me to find another pair of shoes. He totally hooked me up and even said that if these give me problems to bring them back again, no questions asked. Right on. I haven't tried them out yet, but I'm hopeful!

For some reason, it was very important to me to be able to walk a 4 mile hour. I think the average is 3-4 miles so really anything in there is perfectly acceptable so I guess it was just a little goal that I set for myself. I'm 5'9" so I have height on my side and I'm a fairly quick walker to begin with, so hitting that goal was actually easier than I thought it would be. Once I reached that goal and knew I could do it, I reminded myself that this is a walk NOT a race. If I feel like walking fast then great, but there's no reason why I have to. Turns out, walking 4 miles/hour has been my norm so far; we'll see if that keeps up on the longer walks.

Once I realized that, my walks started to turn into a meditation almost. I walked a very similar route a few times in a row and it was interesting to see the subtle changes each time: the green on the trees, new wild flowers. I'm also pretty sure I saw a hawk or falcon or something similar one day. I was close enough to see that it was huge, but not to identify it.

The weather has alternated between gorgeous and really windy and rainy this week and I walked in both. Breast cancer doesn't wait for the rain and neither will I.

Don't forget, you can keep up with how my training is going at Daily Mile.

One of my co-workers sent in a check and it cleared this week bringing me up to $780 or 34% of my goal! I need to send out reminder letters to the people that I originally e-mailed and see if I can maybe drum up some more donations from the folks that maybe forgot or are procrastinating.

Next step: approach the general public. One thing that I plan to do is sit outside stores with my donation jar and some fund raising goodies. I spent some time this week shopping around for said fund raising goodies including the classic silk ribbons and silicone bracelets but I also found a kit with all kinds of fun stuff in it! Things left to do for this project: receive the fund raising goodies in the mail, decorate my jar, approach stores (not necessarily in that order).

I also thought to approach local businesses about keeping a donation jar at their register. In order to keep costs down, I went to Freecycle to see if I could get some coffee cans to decorate. I had a few people reply with the massive plastic Folgers containers which isn't exactly what I had in mind. One of the women that offered was conveniently located near the Green Fest that I attended on Saturday, so I picked them up from her in case I couldn't find anything else. She was so sweet: she put a few dollars in one of the containers to get me started!

Another fund raising idea I'm playing with is doing an auction or a raffle right here on my blog. I know quite a few teams do a silent auction at a restaurant and make an event out of it, but I just can't do that right now. This virtual version is my take on it. After talking to a few people, I think I'm actually favoring the raffle idea... I'll keep you posted on how this progresses.

I talk about my FAE friends often on my blog and they really are such a loving, supportive family. Needless to say, I've been talking about the 3 Day incessantly since I registered for it and the wonderful Faes on the forum thread have donated to the cause, supported me through their own blogs, and are now helping me fund raise! There are a few members who are talking about creating a custom piece and donating all proceeds to my fund raising efforts! Are these amazing people or what?! I'm so touched by their kindness and support and so very excited to see what they come up with. I can't wait to share their work with you!

When I went to the Green Fest on Saturday, I saw a booth filled with pink and had to check it out. After some chatting, I was invited to join a team for the 3 Day: Bikers 4 Boobs or Bikers Raising Awareness (BRA). I don't ride but I think I'd fit in. The other team that I heard a lot about (recommended by my field coordinator at the Getting Started Meeting) and wanted to check out was Viva Las Chicas. I think I'll do training walks with both & see where I fit. I have a feeling it's going to be a tough call. From what I can tell, everyone involved in this event has a heart of gold.

Mileage to date on training walks: 30
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $780 or 34%
Remaining: $1,520
Countdown: 222 days until the event!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

I received a huge batch of herbs for Lesson 2 of my herbalism course. I'll be making some herbal oils and salves and taste testing for my herbal reference file. My work room is being overrun by herbs! Maybe I'll spend some time today rearranging the shelving in my closet where I store them...

I met up with a friend from the Herb Society yesterday and went to a Green Fest over near the beach. It wasn't a very big event, but a really lovely way to spend a few hours outside in gorgeous weather and being social. A few of the vendors were fellow Herb Society members, so it was nice to see so many of us out. I got to talking to one woman about a patch in my yard that is covered by my neighbor's tree and the land is lower than theirs so it gets all of their rain, too. Needless to say, grass won't grow there so I was wondering if there might be some herbs that would. She recommended mint and happened to have a lavender mint plant that smelled amazing. We'll see how it goes!

My mom sent down a HUGE loaf of Irish Soda Bread. She's an excellent cook & baker so it's a real treat.

Come visit tomorrow for an update on my 3 Day experiences!

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Three Progress Report

I had a little giggle at work this week. There's a group of people at work that are doing the ALS walk. They're walking 1.5 miles. I overheard a few griping about how far that is and that they didn't know if they could make it. And that's when one of them said "Yeah, it's not like it's 60 miles!" They all went into shock when they heard that that's what I'm doing.

I am SO very excited about a fund raising option that's falling into place!! I'm bursting and can't wait to share it with you, but we're still finalizing details so it's going to have to wait. I'm thinking that I'll be able to share it with you hopefully next week and it will be available shortly after that for fund raising. Suffice it to say, it's perfect! Well, for me anyway.

I had to write a letter to a potential donor this week to explain that all money raised by the 3 Day goes to breast health and breast cancer only. I spent some time doing research at the Komen website,had a conversation with the Field Coordinator that organized the Getting Started Meeting where I registered, and even got input from someone at Komen headquarters. All of the information is available to the public and, although it's a concern that never even crossed my mind, I understand that it might be a concern to others. Perhaps I'll share what I learned in a separate blog post for anyone curious.

A friend on twitter introduced me to Daily Mile which is a social training log. You can track your miles, sync your information with your Facebook and twitter accounts, and even plan and save your routes. I had been looking at other routing websites and thought that this would be a great option since it does that plus so much more. I think it's going to be a fun way of keeping track of my progress and keeping my supporters updated as I go. I've only logged one workout so far and that was simply to get up to date with the miles I've walked so far in my preparation for the 3 Day. Check out my profile on Daily Mile and keep up with my progress!

In addition to planning routes, I was thinking about pedometers, too, for days that I just feel like getting up & going without having to map out my direction. I have a little cheapie pedometer that I bought ages ago and never set up, so I'll have to do that. I was also trying to find a pedometer app for my phone that utilizes the GPS in it. If you know a good one for the S60 5.0 Symbian operating system, please let me know!

Overall, fund raising was a little quiet this week. As I mentioned in last week's update, I think that the majority of the fund raising from the people that I know has happened so I need to start implementing other plans. One is already in the process of happening, I'm planning out others, and I'm still hoping to join a team once official training walks start, so all of that will hopefully help as well.

Training this week was a bit slow as well due to a few days of not feeling well and really horrible weather. On Saturday, however, I planned out a route on Daily Mile for three miles around my neighborhood. It was a really great walk! The weather was gorgeous, albeit a bit warm: it was only about 65 out, but it made me start thinking that the FL summer is going to be BRUTAL for training. I'm also in love with my phone. Whenever I exercise outside, I always have my phone with me for emergencies but my new phone is so much more than that. For this walk I used it to listen to music, be online to keep track of the route I was taking, and take pictures of some wild plants that I want to identify. Talk about handy. Oh and I was very pleased to discover that I walked that three mile route in 45 minutes.

On Sunday, I went to one of the New Balance stores that's an outfitter for the 3 Day and got fit for a pair of sneakers. The guy that helped me was really great and reminded me that I should get a pair of shoes that are a 1/2 to a full size bigger than normal to allow for how much my feet will expand throughout the course of the event. I got home and tested them out with another three mile walk. In the front they felt fine but the bottom of my heels were hurting. It didn't feel like there was enough shock absorption back there. Also, one of the blisters that I got last week started to pop back up again. I'm honestly not sure if it's simply that my feet aren't used to walking yet or if the shoes don't fit me right.

Mileage to date on training walks: 19

Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $730 or 32%
Remaining: $1,570

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

Well, my joys this week have really been about the 3 Day, so you're going to have to wait until my Progress Report tomorrow to find out!

I don't know if this is good news yet, but I heard another rumor at work. This one says that the folks in the Ivory Tower have deemed that it's not possible to have another large batch of layoffs. It sounds like good news, I guess I just don't trust it yet. March is the end of a quarter, so I guess we'll see what happens this month. In the meantime, I'm still getting a paycheck.

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

February FAEteam Challenge

Okay, so I'm running a little behind... February's Fantasy Artists of Etsy Street Team challenge was to design a piece inspired by the name of that month's Full Moon: Snow Moon or Hunger Moon. February is known for enormous amounts of snowfall that more often than not in the old days resulted in (you guessed it) hunger. The challenge entries were amazing again this month!

I used the Japanese 12-2 chain maille weave to create a pattern that resembles snow flakes. The flakes are complemented by clear glass beads representing ice. Here is my piece in honor of the Snow Moon:

It is available in my Etsy shop as well as my Artfire Studio.

Other team members were inspired by the Snow Moon:

Boreas by Gypsy Moon Art

Snowy Moonlight Earrings and Moonlight Faery Ballroom Necklace by Mermaiden

And of course, after all of the snow comes the hunger for warmth and growth. Here are the items that were inspired by the Hunger Moon:

Monday, March 8, 2010

The 3 Day: Week Two Progress Report

Milestone hit! I was so excited when I hit 25% of my goal this week after registering only two weeks and three days ago!! Imagine my glee when that was bumped up to 29% by a very generous donation just this morning. My concern at this point is that I've already reached out to my friends, family, and co-workers and although I think there will still be a few more donations coming in from them, the remainder of my goal will have to come through some big fund raising efforts. I have a few ideas that I'm working on...

One morning this week, I woke up at around 4 am with Scott's alarm clock and then didn't really fall back to sleep again until maybe about an hour before my own alarm went off. This made me realize that not only am I going to have a lot of training walks for the 3 Day, but am also going to have to train myself to get to sleep stupid early. On the first day of the walk, I'm going to have to be up and functioning at 4 freaking AM.

I'm happy to announce that this week's walks did not include any gator sightings! One day I did see a cute turtle and some cool birds, but that's it. Well, there was a metal gator sculpture on someone's lawn, but I can deal with that.

For some reason (and I really have no idea why), I thought I would be a good idea to break in a new pair of sneakers on a training walk this week. Man, was I an idiot for doing that. I walked for one hour and fifteen minutes and had two blisters (on the same heel, no less) about the size of quarters for my efforts! Well, I hit that milestone this week, too: my first training blisters! The 3 Day actually has local outfitters (New Balance is an event sponsor, so they are one of them) that will fit you properly for walking shoes for the event. They even offer discounts on their gear for 3 Day participants. My blisters haven't healed yet, but I'm thinking that I will need to visit one of those outfitters soon.

I continues to be shocked and grateful for the support that people are showing me from very close friends and kind co-workers to people that I only know online. The outpouring of support that I've received so far has been truly touching and inspiring.

Mileage to date on training walks: 13
Goal: $2,300
Achieved: $670 or 29%
Remaining: $1,630

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or too much. Thank you!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Simple Joy Sunday

Finding the simple joys each week...

This was another week where my work schedule was pretty nuts. I was dealing with a show that was an absolute train wreck to advance (the show is today, so we'll see if the stupid carries on) and some corporate B.S. that has absolutely no place in theatre. That said, most of my simple joys this week were just that: simple.

The Cheesecake Factory's massive salads. I was craving a salad with tons of stuff on it and this fit the bill. It made my mouth and belly so happy.

I woke up to a Dice Bag sold in my Artfire Studio. Always a nice way of starting the day.

I usually like to have a few Dice Bags in stock because they've been a best seller for me but I sent out my last one recently and hadn't had a chance to restock yet. So, out I pulled my wire and mandrels to coil and then my Koil Kutter to cut up the coils. The blade in the Kutter was starting to get worn down, so I replaced it before I started. I cut through one coil and was moving onto my second when the blade snapped and I had the broken piece and rings flying. I cut my rings inside of a box in order to keep the dust contained and on occasion when the rings fall out of their holder, but nothing like this has ever happened. It was crazy and I was so grateful that there was no harm done.

I spent some time shopping for herbs for Lesson Two of my herbalism course at Mountain Rose Herbs. As any crafter or artist will tell you, supply shopping is always fun!

I acted like a big kid and went out for a drink after work. When I was on the road, it was a given. Your show comes down, you go to the bar for a drink. Since I've had a house gig (still in theatre, but working in one place) it hasn't happened that often, so it's fun when it does.

Yesterday, I was at work all day but managed to escape for a little while to check out the big annual art show in the park. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and there was so much beautiful work to look at. It was wonderful breathing it all in. I miss being surrounded by that culture. Plus, I treated myself to a Peruvian Turquoise and sterling silver ring. I find that oftentimes, the jewelry at art shows is usually so polished and refined that it almost looks machine made. Obviously it's not at an art show and it is exquisite, it's just not necessarily my taste. I tend to like work that's a little rougher around the edges, a bit more bohemian or even industrial. So when I found this one artist and a piece that was totally affordable, it was a no brainer. It's beautiful and I love it.

As always, check out more Simple Joy Sundays over at Cool Zebras. What were some of your joys this week?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Finds - Lady of the Lake

I love Arthurian legend, but really it's the women that interest me. So of course, Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon is one of my all time favorite books. I featured some Friday Finds inspired by Avalon before. Here are some for the Lady of the Lake.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The 3 Day: Week One Progress Report

You can also follow my Progress Reports on my Personal Page over on the 3 Day website.

I officially announced my participation in the 3 Day this week! This first week I really spent the majority of my time planning and preparing. I couldn't wait to tell the world what I'm doing, but I also didn't want to get ahead of myself and start spreading word before I got my Personal Page at the 3 Day's website ready. And I didn't want to do that before I read my Walker's Handbook. By the end of the week, I had done both.

No sooner had my Personal Page gone live, did I get my very first donation from a fellow walker! And then shortly after that, my man made a donation! I was at 5% of my goal. I was so happy, I could cry. The generosity and support that I received in those first few minutes from my sweetheart and from someone who's practically a stranger meant the world to me. The very next day, I received a contribution from one of my sister in law's putting me at 6%. My friend meri, offered to put my 3 Day widget (which will bring you straight to my donation page; it's on my upper right sidebar) on her blog to help spread the word. The amount of support that I'm seeing already, has given me such warm fuzzies and has made my heart so happy. Thank you all so much!!

I also took advantage of some quiet time at work without the bean counters around to print out some of the downloads that the 3 Day provides. I have a few fliers, some business cards (printed on pink card stock, of course!), and my personalized donation form for anyone that would rather mail a check. I was surrounded by a sea of pink paper!

I also spent some time brainstorming some fund raising ideas that I could do either through my blog or my shops on Etsy & Artfire. I'm hoping to do some raffles and auctions on my blog and to have some items in my shops where all proceeds will go directly to the 3 Day.

I made some nut butter & honey protein energy balls using this recipe from Women's Adventure. I figured they'd come in handy during my training. They're not bad. The consistency is similar to raw cookie dough and they taste like exactly what they are. They really work, though. I had two of them plus a banana and was good to go for a couple of hours while I did my walk and stretches.

Speaking of my walk this week... The official training walks for the 3 Day probably won't start for another month or two and the training schedule that I'm following (24 weeks of training!) won't start until the end of April, but that's not going to stop me from starting now. I did a really good job of maintaining a work out schedule for a while last year, but then I hit a plateau and my work outs became a bit... shall we say... erratic. I have a goal now. I'm making a commitment to walk 60 miles to kick cancer's ass and plan on being prepared for it!

This week's first walk took me to a local park that I had never been to before. It was a lot smaller than I thought it was, so I walked that same route over and over and over. I was glad I had music to keep me company since the scenery didn't change much. That said, I really enjoyed being outside and getting a good work out (despite the wind). I made sure to do some stretches at the beginning, middle, & end of my walk. I haven't set up my pedometer yet, but I walked for a little more than an hour, so I'm guessing that I did about 3-4 miles.

Even though the scenery didn't change much, I enjoyed checking out the flora. I carried my interest in herbs with me and was checking out all of the greenery growing. Where I'm from, dandelions grow maybe six inches, but I saw some that were about two to three feet tall! Most people consider many herbs to be weeds, so I really was looking at everything! There were tons of adorable air plants in the trees, too.

Enough about the flora, I want to share with you the fauna! I was making my way around one of the ponds when I saw some birds by a log. I walked get closer to get a look at them when I realized that the log was smiling. It was a freaking alligator. I stopped dead in my tracks. But, of course, my next thought was "I have to get a picture." I actually got a little closer to the damn thing to take the picture!!

It's kind of hard to see, but it's hanging out over by the water. It was probably about 6' long. I've only seen a gator outside of a zoo or aquarium one other time, but I was at least in a car then! I didn't go back to that side of the pond again, but I kept my eye on it anyway.

When I was done with my walk, I decided to have a little fun and play on the swing set. Oh, yes I did!

If you're enjoying keeping track of my progress, please consider supporting me in my effort to eradicate breast cancer. No amount is too little or much. Thank you!!