Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 Day raggedys

I take my inspiration from moments I remember....

Tutu Boys
Boa clad men
Friends sporting back packs and smiles
INTRODUCING the latest additions to the Pinktini and Popcorn Silent Auction

The 3 day Raggedys.... They are quite the pair and would fit right in to a 3 day near you. Perhaps they remind you of someone you know!

3 Day Andy or.... Tommy Tutu or BOA BOY..

Measures 26" - featuring a pink boa and pink tutu

3 day Anne - sporting her boa and a pink back pack. Secrets inside her pack. Smiles on her happy face. No blisters because she is wearing the right shoes.

These two and more are available for your bid at

The winner will be announced at our great evening - with Peter Sellers in "The Return of the Pink Panther" - and a very very pink evening indeed. Food , drink and more all a glow in rosy splendor. Buy your all inclusive ticket now and mark you calendar!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A cup of Joe

That pipping hot cup of coffee - It is steaming near the boiling point. There is a lot of danger in that extreme heat. You could burn yourself if you aren't careful. In fact many people just wait until the coffee cools off before attempting to take a sip. You take cold cream and pour it into your mug. The white ripples make their way throughout the cup sinking at first, then slowly the cream rises to the top. The cream always rises to the top.

This is what I am seeing these days in my fellow 3 day walkers. We are out there, asking for money for an organization that has been under fire over the past month or so. Feels like a longer time to me! The rhetoric drones on like a one note instrument stuck in the middle of a symphony. If you listen to that one stuck instrument you could lose the music that surrounds it. There has been a shake up at Komen with some people leaving (One the board chairman is 81 year old) and the headlines all read ... Komen still reeling.

I don't know about you, but what I do when I read articles right now is go to the bottom and scan upwards. We have turned into a Twitter world, where our judgments are formed from sound bites and first lines of news stories. I took journalism classes and learned a couple of things. One was you had to have at least 3 sources for news; another was you needed to verify those sources; another was you could not interject opinion. But perhaps another journalist principle is where our collective minds are stuck right now... grab them in the first sentence.

I don't think back in 1972 anyone envisioned this Twitter world where very few people read beyond the headline. Beyond the headline you would have read that donations holding steady in most areas. You would see that recent articles refer to four individuals besides the 81 year old Chairman, two of those people people very well may have been part of what people preceived as the problem. "Affliate Relations" "Marketing" Ok.... I am ok with those people looking for work elsewhere. People move laterally within Non profit work frequently. This isn't news. It is the way it is. There is always more to the story beyond a Twitter headline. Part of that story are the people who are walking in the 3 day.

Those folks walking with me and raising funds with me have been looking beyond the headlines for a long while now. They are the cream in this cup of coffee. Many have been tested by REAL life, not Twitter tweets. They have battled Cancer either themselves or with others. They have focused on the reason they are walking and supporting Komen not the noise. They are focused on the music.

Komen still reeling? Well I have been reeling since I got a call 16.5 years ago telling me I had Breast Cancer. Others are reeling since their mother or sister or wife received the same call - And all too many are reeling since their loved ones died. But when they decided to do something about it, they found there were others like them. They joined them and together they jumped in, and in the recent days, they have risen to the top.

You can tell a 3 day walker by the smile on their face, and the steely eyes set firmly on the horizon where they see a day without Breast Cancer. We will never give up. We will never give up. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Be the difference

Regarding this blog, I have been a little stuck. Maybe it was the rain that interfered, or the work load that tripled overnight. Or maybe, just maybe I was running out of things to say.

I took a walk with Patti and snapped a picture,

but found I didn't really have anything to say. After all I have walked this journey before. Not only have I walked from Larkspur to San Rafael via the pedestrian tunnel, but I have trained for 3 other 3 day walks. I have been blogging for 3 years about this journey. What more could I possibly say?

I waited for inspiration and found nothing but a head full of cotton.

I looked at the weather report and saw a week ahead with threatening skies. I found my motivation lagging and my excuses growing. So what did I do? I walked to work.

With all my pinkest of walking gear right down to the pink Pandora bracelet, I slipped on my pink bungee laced shoes and headed out the door. It usually helps with my enthusiasm to put on as much pink as humanly possible.

I along the way I thought I would look for things that were either beautiful or had a message for me... Basically I would be looking for inspiration.

The first thing I noticed as I wound my way down the hill from my house was this enormous oak that had fallen across a pathway. It lay in its stubbornness growing moss with every intention of being a part of the permanent landscape. Now when people decide to pass by they need to bend to alter course.
Within a few feet I saw the emergence of forget-me- nots. I took a hike last year shortly after a Cancer Warrior Kathi had passed from her long battle with Breast Cancer. I remember the walk in particular for the abundance of forget-me-nots that lined the trail. So when I saw these, I remembered Kathi and her fight. I remembered her video she sent to Allison and I to thank us for walking in this walk.

Looking closer I saw a honey bee gratefully taking the sweetness found in this most magic of flowers.

As I continued I heard the sound of water rushing its way down hill. We have had quite the dry winter. The sound was like a song celebrating the end of the drought.

As I walked along Shoreline Highway the cars and trucks buzzed by. I walked keeping step to the songs in my head, keeping my eyes on the horizon. But while I walked with such purpose I could smell spring. The sweet pungent smell of the wild garlic with it's white bells moving gently in the breeze.

Then the smell of licorice from the anise with its feathery fronds poking up out of the ground.

The bike riders along the walking path whizzed by while I looked out at the marsh to see if I could see any birds. Usually along this path there are hundreds. Today for some reason I couldn't see any at all until I came nearby the dog park where I saw one egret peeking through the fence.

There were numerous gulls circling the sewage treatment plant, flown inland in advance of the weather perhaps, but the normal shore birds were slow to show up.

Then I saw one lone duck, swimming on his solo journey.

A few feet beyond I saw three more.

And then when I was nearing the end of the path, I saw several different birds. Egret, duck, pipers and geese. It reminded me how similar the 3 day walk is to this growing flock of shore birds.. It starts a s an individual mission. Along the way you find birds of different feathers, each on their own mission. Together each mission becomes more fruitful, more fun... and more noticeable to others.

I saw this slogan on the way back home... "Define the journey."

What IS the purpose of the 3 day. Why am I walking. There are many reasons, but one is to join the thousands of others who together are making a difference. Each and everyone of us raise awareness, raise funds, support each other while we are being supported, we each and everyone of us matter. If one of us decides the journey is too long, or too difficult, or no longer worth the effort, it matters. We are that much less powerful.

I walk because I want to be the difference that matters. I walk because I am convinced that is what every 3 day walker is... the difference.

I asked today for my 3 day friends to tell me who inspires them. I will share this in next post. Because you, I think, will see just how much power and love there is in everyone of these crazy pink people. I am so proud to be a part of them.

I am glad I found my way to the road today, to rediscover my inspiration. It lies in every flower and tree, it speaks on the wind, its sweet smell fills my senses. It is the spirit of people who make a difference. It is like Spring.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why walk - This says it all

This You Tube video is 11 minutes that could change your life and the life of others. There has been a flurry of sentiment being battered about regarding the Pinking of America, Susan G Komen and ultimately women's health. I hope before you read anything else here, you will please listen and watch this video. For me, it puts the focus back where Susan G Komen has worked 30 years to place it, on the increasing the survival rates from Breast Cancer and ulitmately a world without Breast Cancer. Ok... click the link, or come back and look later.

Bridget Spence has survived stage 4 Breast Cancer for 7 years now. She has more courage in her little finger than most of us would ever hope to have in our entire body. I have followed the debate (if you want to call it that) about Susan G Komen for several weeks now. I am left with the overwhelming feeling that there are those people who look for a wound and see it as an opportunity to destroy their prey and then there are those who see a wound and want to heal it.

I see myself in the latter catagory.

Susan G Komen has never been political, but for some reason women's health has always been political. When it comes to Breast Cancer, it doesn't know if you are Republican or Democrat - it doesnt discrimate over age... you could be 42 or 21. It will not decide whether you are ready to die based on your eye color or the color of your skin... In every 74 seconds a person will die from Breast Cancer.

I have to ask myself, why would you turn your back on an organization that has changed the survival rate of Breast Cancer ( discovered early ) from a survival rate of 73% to 98%? We are winning battles daily against Breast Cancer. Today its a different world than 30 years ago. When I was in High School Betty Ford was the First Lady. She annouced to the world she had Breast Cancer. She even used the words BREAST CANCER. Only a couple of years before a friend's Mother had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and they told us she had "female problems". To people who were not around pre 1970, that may seem impossible to believe. But it happened. How many of YOUR relatives died from Breast Cancer and yet no one ever even said the words. Now there are many who insist screening prior to the age of 50 is not effective. Tell that to Bridget. Tell that to me. The battle still rages on.

When Bridget Spence was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, there still were misconceptions that threatened her life. She was only 21. No family history of Breast Cancer. 6 months after she felt a lump, she finally was diagnosed. The Doctor said "I don't know what to do for you." Those 6 months could very well have been the difference that caused her Cancer to be a stage 4 (there is no stage 5).

Since then she has battled for her life. She still does. With Cancer in her lungs, liver and bones - Bridget is beating odds just to be alive. What is she doing in her "spare" time? She is advocating for SUSAN G KOMEN. Why? For the same reason I walk. No one should ever be told 'we can't do anything for you.'

For Bridget and thousands of others, Susan G Komen has been the one organization that was there from Day One. They are the reason I am alive today. The money they put into education helped me to understand the importance of self exam. Despite the fact there was no "Breast Cancer" in my family history I had an inital mammogram at the age of 35. At the age of 42 when I felt a lump, I had another mammogram and I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer. A Cancer the Doctor said she could see divide in the microscope.

Susan G Komen was there for Bridget, providing a support group that was instrumental in her emotional health, a Doctor who listened and understood her and fought like it is a fight that can be won and 15 drugs, each paid for by the research funded by Susan G Komen.

I feel as though the noise we have been subjected to is only a distraction from the true purpose of our passion. And I know it is a threat to our Health.

Who is ready to put the focus where it belongs? Who is ready to stand up and shout? I am.

I am prouder today of Susan G Komen than I was 2 months ago. The measure of someone is not what happens when things are going swimmingly well, it is when there is a hurricane.

And my friends, with people like Bridget.... we are weathering it fine. We are stronger today than yesterday and MORE committed than we were before the storm.

In a world where a sound bite can go viral on social media, whether it is based on rumor or fact doesn't seem to matter. A new truth has evolved. It's somewhat like that old game of telephone where one person whispers in the ear of one person something like 'the sky is falling'. The whisper continues down the line of a dozen other ears and it is finally spoken out loud as 'the guy is walled in.' The things that go viral on Facebook and twitter are often clouded in misinformation and misconception. But a video from Bridget says it all. She is a living proof of what Susan G Komen has done. She and the 2 million survivors who can tell their own stories are what we are walking for. We are walking so that one day the only walks we do will be victory laps.

JOIN me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back from the Northwest

Its not that far away. We could drive to Seattle in a day and a half. But we haven't been up to see our youngest daughter Katie in quite awhile. We haven't seen my family, my sisters and their children and their children's children in a long time. We were past due. So we decided to celebrate Katie's 27th birthday we would fly up for a few days.

Katie's fellow is Dominic, and Dominic's daughter Blixa are huge parts of her life. We hadn't gotten to know them very well, only meeting Blixa once, and Dominic twice. So this trip let us spend a little time with them.

The weather was a little cool and so we looked for indoor activities to do with Blixa. We headed to the Science Museum near the Space Needle.

Blixa had recently been there and was looking forward to seeing the planets and the butterflies.
She was eager but very polite.
She held tight to her Daddy's hand as we maneuvered the streets on our way to the museum.

Walking by the EMP museum who's architecture is supposed to replicate a guitar.

Then by the Space Needle.

Blixa saw a balloon man and beamed. He cracked jokes (which she loves) and wanted a balloon flower.

So he made her one!

She love butterflies and in the museum she was bright eyed and engaged.

Katie and Blixa had their picture taken in a photo booth.

And got to take a souvenir home.

We walked through the butterfly habitat and I took a few pictures.

Monarchs are Blixa's favorites!

Glenn and I tagged along and enjoyed watching everyone, enjoy themselves.

Looking deep into the tide pool.

Katie and Dominic.

Glenn and Blixa.

Rubics Cube.

Have to admit these old folks needed to sit down towards the end of the day. Standing is so much harder for me that walking!

We went to get some Seattle Coffee on Capital Hill before heading to dinner.

Glenn (who is a regular cup of Joe kind of guy) ordered his coffee as Americano.

Dominic and Blixa.

Katie and me.

The Younglings.

The next day while Dominic was at work, Glenn Katie and I went to a movie in Bellevue. Then later went to dinner with my family. It was way too short. But I did get to meet Adam my newest grand nephew, Laura and Steve's youngest and catch up with Owen their oldest. I got to see Debi and meet her roommate Noriko and her son, catch up with Debi's kids Megan, Madeline and Grace. Then there was Michael and Kelly with their daughter Aubrey and (one on the way!) And the hub of the Northwest Collis family wheel Vicki. We ate at the Spaghetti factory and said good bye too soon. It makes me sad we live so far apart. I sure hope we have some visitors come our way.

After dinner we went back to the Hotel and talked late into the night. I learned that Dominic is a night owl. Glenn and I tried to keep up!

Then it was here, Katie's birthday. We decided to head up north. Originally we thought of taking the Ferry to Friday Harbor, but we got a very late start. We decided to drive to Whidbey Island and then take the Ferry back to Mukilteo.

It was a beautiful drive, up nearly to Anacortes and the over Deception Pass.

27 years has gone by and our little girl is all grown up.

I know she had wished we had had enough time to head to the Washington Coast, a place she loves. But we were glad to have the chance to explore and share her birthday.

Katie remembered her grandfather had a shirt that said "Where is Coupeville" and so, we took a picture for him to show him where it is!

Langley is a cute little town near to where the Ferry landing is on Whidbey Island. We discovered how these towns look like when it isn't the "season". There were very few places open. Most places are only open May-September.

Glenn and his little girl.

Mt. Baker in the distance.

We found a coffee shop and had a little something warm before heading to the Ferry.

Langley is full of art. These birds (not real) clung to the branches of the tree.

On board the Ferry, pulling away from the island.

Coming into Mukilteo

There was a darling lighthouse welcoming me.

We got back to Kirkland and changed clothes to head off to Sullivan's Steakhouse in Seattle. I let them know ahead of time that it was Katie's birthday. They went so over the top acknowledging that it was almost funny at the end! We had excellent service, good food and Katie and I had a photo to take home at the end - they even signed her card.

So know as the work continued to pile high in our absence it is catch up time. There never seems to be enough time. The distance always seems so far. But I know we are blessed with two wonderful daughters who have grown to be women we are proud of.

Our children come into the world and we rarely know just how they will change our lives. I may be a lot of things to a lot of people, but the thing I am the MOST thankful for, is I am the mother , and Glenn is the father, of these incredible people. I am truly blessed.