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Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Ahhh fall! It is my favorite season of the year! Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in Fall– well it was gorgeous this weekend. Now the skies are gray and threatening rain, so I’ll be cuddling up with a cup of coffee and hoping the crisp sunshine returns soon.

I’ve been reading about the great work that 412 Food Rescue has been doing to reduce food waste and hunger in one fell swoop, by connecting those with surplus food with those without enough, and by using a volunteer network to transport that food from one place to another. I also like the opportunities that 412 Food Rescue provides for those of us who have inconsistent schedules.  I want to contribute to my community, but my schedule does not often lend to commitments planned far in advance or at regular intervals.  412 Food Rescue posts their volunteer requests on their facebook page (and soon, through their new app) and anyone who is available can help out.

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Last week we were out and about, when 412 Food Rescue posted they needed someone to do a quick pickup in the South Side and drop-off in Uptown.  We were in the right area at the right time and had a few minutes to spare, so Baby Beez and I volunteered for the task.

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We picked up 7 cases of fresh orange slices from the Pittsburgh Public School’s central kitchen and delivered them to Jubilee Kitchen.  Baby Beez helped with the carrying, and as we delivered the oranges to Jubilee Kitchen, she wished the clients a cheerful “Enjoy your oranges!!”  This provided a great opportunity for us to talk about food insecurity and food waste in a way that was meaningful and clear to a 5 year old, and was especially meaningful just a few days after Yom Kippur, in a season when we should be thinking of improving the world.

412 Food Rescue

If you are hungry for an opportunity to contribute in a way where your dollars “hit the ground running” so to speak, 412 Food Rescue’s Taco Tuesday fundraiser is tonight. There will be tacos (AND WHO DOES NOT LIKE TACOS?) and an opportunity to learn about the organization, mix and mingle with the leaders and volunteers and an opportunity to preview their new app.

In other fall happenings, I am very much looking forward to a solo-road trip this weekend. I’m going to be heading up to Corning, New York for the Wineglass Half Marathon on Sunday in the Finger Lakes. I have loaded my phone full of audiobooks and I’m very excited to have a couple days to just relax. I suppose I am an introvert, because a little time by myself really does leave me feeling refreshed. You don’t have any idea how much I am looking forward to laying in bed, reading, maybe painting my nails, getting a spaghetti dinner by myself, and going to bed at like 7pm.

wineglass

Baby Beez was disappointed that I did not bring her home a medal from this weekend’s Pittsburgh Great Race (they do not give finishers medals, which makes complete sense for a 10k), but I told her about the gorgeous glass medal they give finishers at the Wineglass Half and she became very excited for this weekend’s race.

On October 10, I’ll be taking Baby Beez to her first Pitt Football homecoming game! This kid LOVES Pitt! There aren’t many words she knows how to read yet, but Pitt is definitely one of them. She has even announced that she plans to be a Pitt Cheerleader. While cheerleading is (to put it mildly) not really my thing, at least she has her sights set on Pitt. Can’t wait for the game! H2P!!!

Read her second word today! "P-I-T-T….mommy it's your school!!"

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And fall would not be complete without APPLES!  I could really go for apple crisp this morning, to tell you the truth. But apple whiskey would also do the trick! I’m excited for the Wigle Whiskey Apple Whiskey festival coming up later this month, on October 17 and 18.  The celebration is taking place at both their Strip District Distillery and the Wigle Barrelhouse in Spring Hill. It is family friendly, and will include bobbing for apples, live music and whiskey samples for the 21+ crowd. Yes, PLEASE!

Walkabout Promo


Thanks to everyone who has been reading! My posting has slowed a bit lately (that’s what happens when you go on a manic reading kick, and spend all your time taking words in, instead of writing them out!), and it’s great to have dedicated and enthusiastic readers! If you aren’t already doing so, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter, to carry on about ADVENTURES IN PITTSBURGH!

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9 Miles in Pgh: A photo essay

9 Miles in Pgh: A photo essay

I like to use my long runs to see the city, especially when it is as beautiful out as it was this weekend. I live in an extremely hilly neighborhood, so I reserve my near-home running for shorter mileage days. Luckily, flatter routes are close by. I don’t like to do the same route for every long run, but I do like to run paths that are familiar enough that I have a good idea how far apart the landmarks feel (and can mentally push myself in the late miles when I’m getting tired, because I know when the next landmark is coming up). This Saturday I took one of my favorite flat & shady paths.

But first– COFFAY.

COFFEE

Fully caffeinated. Time to run.

Mile 0: Kicked things off at Southside Riverfront Park

Southside Riverfront Park

Mile 1: Taking the riverfront trail toward downtown, the path goes alongside the train tracks and has an industrial feel

Riverfront Trail

Mile 2: After swinging a right on the Smithfield Street Bridge, it’s a left onto Blvd of the Allies, and heading toward Point State Park

Boulevard of the Allies

Mile 3: Pixburgh Photo Essay isn’t complete without one of these

Point Park Fountain

Mile 4: Ran up and across the Fort Duquesne Bridge and then went up the riverfront trail along the Allegheny, lots of foliage and shade, and the folks on this trail tend to have good trail etiquette so I’m not spending all my energy M-F’ing inconsiderate people biking three-across under my breath.

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Mile 5: Still going up the Allegheny, lots of leaves and spotting lots of boats. There is a wrecked boat along the way which is fun to see, but I couldn’t get a good snap of it.

Allegheny Trail

Mile 6: I took the trail up to Herr’s Island/Washington’s landing, which puts you on a lovely little trail going around the island, and then I made my way up to the 31st Street Bridge.  Even though I had my fuel belt, it was warmer and more humid than I expected, and I was thirsty. On the bridge, I realized that I would very soon be in the Strip District, where I could refill my bottles. That was a moment of joy.

31st Street Bridge

Mile 7: SWEET, SWEET WATER FOUNTAINS THANK YOU PGH PUBLIC MARKET FOR MY WATER BOTTLE REFILLS (they also have toilets, if you are out on a run and have a need).

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Mile 8: Ok I didn’t take a picture of Mile 8. I ran up Liberty Avenue toward downtown and by this point I was starting to run out of steam because LAST MILE TO GO, and boy was I getting tired. So there’s no picture for this one. But Liberty Avenue on this stretch isn’t much to look at anyway.

Mile 9: YES I AM DONE. Mayor Caliguiri says “That’ll do.”

Mayor Caliguiri

Phew.

And afterward I recuperated by eating snacks while soaking in the tub, because if you have not eaten snacks IN the bathtub, you do not know what you are missing. It’s my favorite thing all week. Don’t knock it til you try it.


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My Erie Preview with @WholeFoodsErie Presque Isle State Park and Sara’s

My Erie Preview with @WholeFoodsErie Presque Isle State Park and Sara’s

I call my week in Erie an “Erie Preview” because I really did not do a whole lot of visiting or sightseeing. I was there for a trial in federal court, and until the jury went out for deliberations, I was (rightfully) all work-focus-work-focus-work-focus. I have to take a moment to be thankful for modern technology. I left bright and early Sunday morning, and did not return until Thursday evening. I missed my family. I was so thankful to be able to FaceTime with them for a few minutes in the evening, to talk about how much we missed each other and to wish each other sweet dreams.

FaceTime


I’m not going to talk about the trial itself, because frankly that would be inappropriate. But the jury went out on Wednesday afternoon and I had all the way through their return on Thursday afternoon to do a little exploring.

On the drive up. Game face on.

On the drive up. Game face on.


My first order of business once the jury went out was to go for a RUN. I hadn’t been for a run in at least two weeks. There was flat-out no time, and I was so stressed that I did not have the energy for running.But once that work was done, that energy flowed back! For my visit, I was staying at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront, with a room overlooking the little marina.

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I was able to run right out the hotel door onto the Erie SeaWay trail. The weather was absolutely perfect for a run. The sky was clear, the temperature warm, and the lake was a beauty to look at.

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After my run was done, I realized it was only about 6pm, and I still had the whole evening open and to myself. I have heard that Presque Isle State Park is very nice, so I decided to go for a drive through there. After getting there and seeing all the gorgeous trails, I realized it would have been an even more lovely place for my evening run. But I was not in a state to do 2 runs for the evening, so instead I went for a drive. And really, with gas prices being what they are, and with the rush rush rush of modern life, who goes for a leisurely drive anymore? I popped open the sunroof and wound my way through the park. It was just delightful.

I pulled over and stopped to take this selfie. No pictures while driving. Obvs.

I pulled over and stopped to take this selfie. No pictures while driving. Obvs.


The park is huge and full of trails, and there are beaches and lighthouses. The lake doesn’t have the waves of the ocean, but my kid cares more about the sand than the waves. I think it would be an ideal spot, and only 2 hours drive away, to take her for a little beach outing this summer.

After my drive, I stopped at local legend Sara’s for some summertime comfort food. Yummmmmmmm

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Afterward, I retired back to my room, to enjoy one last evening of watching whatever I wanted on TV  (read: Teen Mom) and sleeping basically sideways across the bed because OMG IT WAS A KING SIZE BED AND I HAD IT ALL TO MYSELF.

The next day while the jury continued its deliberations, I made my way over to the Whole Foods Co-Op. I picked up some necessaries (a mud mask for later, and a couple of bags of Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips, because they are the best). I also got lunch of a small wrap, a kale and beet salad and a chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

Whole Foods Co-op

All the food was extremely fresh and delicious. I must say, there is something special about the friendliness of a Co-Op. Since we are members of Pittsburgh’s East End Food Co-Op, the Whole Foods Co-Op extended their member discount to me. Also, I got to sign their guest book 🙂

Before this visit, I probably would have never considered doing a little family trip to Erie, but this trip introduced me to a lot of things my family would enjoy. Erie is now on my short list of destinations, when we are getting restless and just need to get ahhhhta tahhn. On a future visit, I’d like to take Baby Beez to the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum. Also, the Erie area has quite the local brewing community, including Lavery Brewing Company, Erie Brewing Company and The Blue Canoe Brewery.  Mr. Beez and I would very much like to check out their offerings.

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100 Medals.

100 Medals.

Running is kind of my thing. I’m not great at it, but I can accomplish it without embarrassing myself too badly. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I ran 2 marathons about 10 years ago. I burned out on running for a while. Then I started running again. Then I had a kid. Then I didn’t run for a while. Now for the last 2 years or so, I’ve been back in the swing of it.

before running ATM

I like 10 mile races and half marathons. They’re long enough that I do have to train, but short enough that training doesn’t hijack my life. They get me to travel to neat places. They help me burn off the angry.

Baby Beez appropriates my medals. I’m happy to let her have them. I love teaching her that her mom has been strong and has worked for something that is hard.

This week, she earned her first medal of her own. She participated in a kid’s basketball class, and at the end of the session, she got her very own medal.

A medal for a job well done

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This morning, we were talking about the races I’m running this week. I told her I’m running a 10k and a Half Marathon, and I’m going to be getting a total of THREE medals. She was thrilled. She loves these medals. Jumping up and down, she exclaimed “WE’RE GONNA GET 100 MEDALS.”

I’ve been thinking about it all day. 100 Medals. Why don’t we earn 100 medals?

My girl and I, we’re going to earn 100 medals. They don’t all have to be running. They can be from other sports events. But we’re going to be strong and be healthy and earn those medals. I don’t know what we’ll do with them once we have them. But we’ll have them. With the races I’ve done, we’ve got a good start. We don’t have any deadline. But we’re going to do it. I’ve set up a photo album through Facebook, so you can watch our progress.

We’re going to earn 100 medals.

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Various and Sundry

Various and Sundry

Welcome to Sunday.

Today we took Baby Beez to Sunday School, had a fab grown-ups breakfast at Habitat, and then I did laundry, did a little bit of work and cooked a bunch of food for the week. Not exciting, but much needed quiet time.

Habitat Sunday Breakfast Buffet, yes pls.

Habitat Sunday Breakfast Buffet, yes pls.


My restaurant review posts have slowed down lately. I’m still trying new places and eating way too much, but I haven’t had the review-writing bug lately. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I feel like the review bandwagon is too full and it’s not as entertaining for me right now. Maybe it’s because I spend all day thinking about things and then writing about them, that by the time I get home I’m tired of thinking about things and writing about them. Maybe it’s just because I’m enjoying spending more time doing things than writing about them (I’ve already got 6 races booked this year, in distances varying from 10-13.1 miles). This blog, in the first place, is supposed to be fun, so I’m not forcing myself to write if I’m not feeling it. I’m sure I’ll swing back into reviews eventually.

There are still plenty of other things on my mind, just enough to be the kernel of a post, but not really enough to draw out a whole post, so instead I’ll share them with you in list fashion:

1.   My daughter loves Scooby Doo. She gave us the peace of a THREE HOUR nap this afternoon and I decided to reward her by letting her watch the 2002 Scooby Doo movie. This movie is very likely the worst movie I have ever seen in my life.

2.   Orlando vacation is coming soon. I am so ready for this trip. I’ve been having almost nightly dreams about it. I’m not sure if that’s pathetic or really pathetic. Last night I dreamt (dreamed?) that it was the day we were going to Universal, but I couldn’t get folks moving to actually GO to the park. Like it was noon and I still couldn’t get my family out the door, then it was 1 and they were still not budging, and I was SO frustrated and angry. I don’t know how the dream ended because then Baby Beez climbed into our bed and woke us up.

3. Speaking of bed invasions, we got Baby Beez an OK to Wake clock, in an effort to end her habit of crawling into our bed at FOUR AM. It worked great…for two days. Well, not that bad, but it’s still not a failsafe solution. I’ve been getting up earlier because I need to get into work earlier because I need to work all the hours, and lately I’ve been getting up before she does, so the waking-me-up thing isn’t such a problem. But she’s still rolling in at 6am on a Sunday, which is less than cool.

4. I finally realized that all these training runs aren’t so much about pushing myself to make the distance, it’s more about the recovery. With a very moderate level of training, I could force myself through the 2.5 hours of a half marathon, but I’d be d-e-d at the end. Even though I’ve been getting more like 2 mid-length runs in during the week (instead of 3), I have been diligent about my long run each weekend. As a consequence, I did the 11 miles yesterday, and although I was stiff afterward and still a little stiff today, I’m feeling pretty good all around. This gives me confidence that I’m going to feel just fine after the Princess runs in two weeks.

5.  I’ve been listening to audiobooks on those long runs, which means I’m killin it with my audiobooks. In the last few weeks, some of my favorites have included: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The First Bad Man by Miranda July, In the Woods by Tana French, The Secret Place by Tana French, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. There’s something lovely about listening to a book you’re really into that helps make miles and miles and miles of running seem so much easier.

6. Enough with the Sriracha already.