The Best Coat I’ve Ever Owned

I receive a lot of press releases and story pitches in my day job. Lately, companies seem to be eager to tell me how consumers are more likely to be loyal to brands that take a stand, have a conscience, and are good corporate citizens. I want to write back, “Yeah, I know. Let me tell you about my coat.” But, since that would be weird, I’m going to tell you about my coat. Continue reading

A Rock Climbing Fable for the Ages

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I headed to the rock climbing gym as per usual. We donned our gear, chalked up our hands, and hit the wall. There were a dozen or so new routes in the back corner of the gym, and after a warm up, we headed over to check them out.

If you aren’t familiar with climbing gyms, here’s a little primer on how it works. The easiest routes are rated 5.5. If you’re an adult, these get old quick. The holds are easy and close together. Ratings go up to about 5.14 or so (it gets more complicated than that but it’s all you need to know for now). At my gym, when a new route is set a scorecard is put out and climbers can rate it however they think fit. Eventually, someone takes all the ratings and narrows it down to one rating.

600_434194106A year or so into climbing, I can climb a 5.9 pretty reliably. Once in awhile I meet one that vexes me. I have climbed the occasional 5.10. But this weekend I found myself faced with something interesting. Instead of a bunch of scorecards on the new routes, they were simply marked with colored tape. There were absolutely no ratings to be seen.

We stood before the wall, assessing the new routes. You usually have some idea of whether or not something is within your wheelhouse. But I found myself looking at one route on a sharp corner with lots of tiny little holds thinking, “I can do that.” My boyfriend guessed it might be a 5.11. I decided to throw myself at it anyway.  Continue reading

Happy Sunday: Manatees!

I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida. My Nana loves Disney World and would take my cousin and I there every few years or so. I don’t feel much of a need to go back to Florida…except to visit Three Sisters Springs. Earlier this week, the park had to close because hundreds of manatees were crowding around the warm springs. (I wish I was close enough to just sneak into the park, because that seems like the perfect time to visit.) I ❤ Manatees! Kayaking and snorkeling with these guys is basically my Happy Place!

A Depressing Earth Day Tale

My conscience is heavy on this Earth Day. *Sigh.*

Last week I started noticing a pair of birds flying back and forth to the gutter above the window in my office–which has gutter guards on it. When I would go out into the yard I’d try and get a look, and eventually I caught the birds coming and going. Rain was in the forecast, so I decided to leave it, thinking a good rain would make the birds reconsider their choice. But either it didn’t rain hard enough, or the little guys started rebuilding. I put out a Facebook call for suggestions, and my friends told me rain and Darwinism would take care of it. Then my mother dropped by on Earth Day, and as we were standing outside, both birds left the nest so I decided to crawl up on the roof, remove the gutter guards and get a good look.  Continue reading

I Love Autumn, but I Don’t Love Deer

Every year I start to get an urge to write about how much I love autumn. Frankly, I feel stupider for it… Of course I love autumn. I live in New England. I like sweaters and boots and crunchy leaves under my feet. I love walking in the woods without being swarmed by bugs, or having to balance my need to be cool with my need to protect my body parts from things that bite. I love apples and I loooooooove cinnamon… I even kind of like raking. (mostly because my yard isn’t that big, and I don’t have to bag my leaves because the town comes and picks them up).

I don’t always love the garden cleanup — it’s a little depressing and messy — but that’s OK…because this:

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