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Engleswan Family Blog

The story of our journey through adoption. When we get stuck in the inevitable extended wait times, you may also see some posts on our travels and just what's going on with us!

Updated: 2014-10-01T03:06:44.228-04:00


Closing Time


"Closing Time.  Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
        - Semisonic 1998
This post is a bit anti-climactic, but it seems fitting to put a closing post on this blog rather than just leaving it hanging with a random supper club post.

In April 2008 we formally started our adoption process.  We were licensed in November of that year.
We've enquired on and been considered for placement on so many kids I've lost count (more than 50, I'd say), but matched only once and that fell through.

The three-year anniversary of our foster license is this month, and we're due for another 24 hours of training.  We've decided to end this process now and let go of this plan to adopt a waiting child.  We really feel that if we were going to be chosen for a child it would have happened by now.  The ups and downs of hopes raised and dashed have just gotten to be too much and it's time for us to move on.

We've looked into and considered private infant adoption, but have decided that route is not consistent with our motivations for getting into this to begin with.  We've decided to accept the reality that there are plenty of families ready and waiting to adopt the elementary-school-age and younger children in the system, and the need is not what we thought it was.  It's worth noting that it's a good thing that all these kids are finding families.

Many thanks to all our dear friends & family who have cheered us on and loved and supported us through this process.

- Dawn & Scott

Supper Club - October 13 & 20, 2010


October 13, 2010
A large group gathered last week at Sticks & Stones at the corner of Walker & Elam.  It's been over a year since we were there last, so it was very nice to return.  Their toppings are wonderful, with fresh and inventive combinations of flavors, and the crust less blackened by the wood oven than we'd experienced in past visits.  This time, most of us got the 'Sweet Carolina' which has yummy local sausage, chiles, spinach and three cheeses.  What a delicious combination of flavors!  Now, in the category of crust, I have to give the edge to the wonderful new The Corner Slice in Fisher Park, but for toppings, I have to give the edge to Sticks & Stones.  Even though they are both pizza places, they are so different that I think I'll still frequent both of them, depending on my mood.

October 20, 2010
Last night we made our inaugural visit to Darryl's (now Darryl's Wood Fired Grill), an old Greensboro institution, recently renovated and under new ownership.  Two years after my family moved to Greensboro we, and just about everyone else here quickly became regulars at Darryl's, a local/regional chain that was a precursor to Bennigan's, TGI Friday's and all the other now-ubiquitous family-casual restaurants.  Over the years the concept became tired, quality and service suffered, and eventually the chain was down to just the one location on High Point Road.  It's been closed for nearly a year during this massive renovation, and reopened just in time for Furniture Market.  And yes, we went there the last night of market.  How brave are we?!  Really, the service was only a bit scattered -- not too bad considering they just opened and it's market time.
Three people got the ribs that Darryl's was known for and they got positive reviews all around (Tommy says to ask for extra sauce when you place your order, because there's never enough).  John got the French Dip, which he liked.  David got the Salmon entree and I got the Salmon Ceasar Salad.  Both of us agreed that the salmon was cooked just right -- not dry at all, which is hard to do on a grill in a large restaurant.
Also, everybody's favorite home-made crackers are on the starters menu, served with artichoke/spinach dip and fresh salsa.  Yummy!
We will be back again for sure, Darryl's.  Welcome home!

California Dreamin'


We've been back well over a week, and I'm finally getting around to blogging about out wonderful, beautiful and rejuvinating 10-day trip to California.  We haven't gotten away for more than a long weekend in over a year, and we both really needed this break.Day 1 - We arrived in Reno by 1pm, picked up our checked duffel bag of camping equipment and headed on the road to Lake Tahoe, but not before stopping for lunch at In N Out Burger.  Delicious!  On our arrival at the lake, we were met with the most beautiful weather, which traveled with us uniformly throughout the trip.  In the photo below, Scott marvels at the beautiful clear deep blue water of Lake Tahoe.  We camped that night and the next night at a campground owned by the town of South Lake Tahoe, Campground By The Lake.Day 2 - We rented bikes and explored the west side of the lake, including Pope Beach, Eldorado National Forest, Camp Richardson, the Tallac Historic Site, Stream Profile Chamber and Fallen Leaf Lake.  What a great way to see the area!Then in the late afternoon we drove up to the northwest side of the lake to check out Tahoe City.  Tahoe City was a really charming town, with something of the feel of a very small Jackson Hole or Moab.  Even though the South Lake Tahoe town was fine, along with the campground, it really made us wish we'd stayed up in Tahoe City instead.  Ah well -- you plan a trip over the internet, you're gonna have some hits and some misses.  Next time!Day 3 - We packed up camp and headed south, through the beautiful Eldorado National Forest, by Mono Lake and on across the Tioga Pass Rd. to Yosemite Valley.  The Sierra Nevada mountains are just so beautiful!  We made our way to Curry Village to get checked into our tent cabin, and then explored the large public areas of the valley, visitor center, Ansel Adams Gallery, etc.  Once again, the weather was absolutely perfect, with amazing beauties everywhere you look.Day 4 - We got up early to hit the trail before daylight for our big hike up to Half Dome.  To see the trail we followed, check this trail map.  It's 7 miles straight up, 7 miles straight down.  Here's a view of the trail, but with the bottom & top of the trail obscured.OK, so here's the thing about the peak...We sat and ate lunch at the spot where this photo below was taken.  It shows the last 400 feet of the trail, and the summit of Half Dome.  To finish the trail and reach the summit, you have to hoist yourself up these metal cables.And I chickened out. We talked to a guy who had just finished it, and his parting advice was, "don't sit and look at it too long or you won't do it". He was right. While we sat there eating out lunch, I kept looking up there and got more & more scared & I chickened out.It was still totally worth it.  The hike was exceptionally challenging, and the views amazing.  We were out on the trail a good 12 or so hours (including numerous photography stops), and the hike down was very nearly as tough as the hike up.When we arrived back at our tent cabin, we met up with Dawn's middle school friend, Laurie, her husband Ira and their two-year-old Samantha.  What a treat that they were able to take some vacation time to overlap a day with us in Yosemite!  They are terrific people, and we felt so lucky that we were able to overlap there.Day 5 - We spent the morning in Yosemite Valley with Laurie, Ira & Samantha exploring Mirror Lake -- almost entirely dry at this time of year, and in the afternoon headed down to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and then for an amazing sunset at Glacier Point overlooking the same Half Dome we had hiked the day before.Day 6 - This was another travel day.  We drove across the state from Yosemite to the coast.  Before we left the park that morning, we stopped for awhile to look at the morning sun on El Capitan and watched these insane rock climbers who looked like lit[...]

Supper Club - September 29 & October 6, 2010


Playing catch-up again...  Of course, I missed a couple of supper club nights while we were on vacation.  Since then, it's been pretty low-key places, but good food and good times, anyway!

On Wednesday, September 29, we made a quick trip to Jason's Deli at the Shops at Friendly Center.  It's a chain, of course, and we don't usually frequent chains as supper club destinations, but occasionally we make an exception.  Anyway, for being a last-minute decision to a pretty generic place, our turnout of eight was quite respectable!  I'm very boring at Jason's, and just about always get the salad bar, which is always well-stocked and very fresh.  Tommy had picked this place because he was in the mood for soup, and they always have a ton of great choices.  Others were very well-satisfied with their deli sandwiches, which are huge.  And of course, the soft-serve ice cream and ginger mini-muffins are always a hit.

This week eleven of us went to Fincastles Diner downtown.  We enjoyed their yummy burgers, fries, and what Chris decreed "the best onion rings I've ever tasted."  David was not such a fan of the chili on the Sweet Carolina Burger (didn't like that it had beans in the chili), but everyone else seemed to be big fans of what they got.  I didn't see whether anyone at the far end of the table got one of their Po' Boys, but I've always heard rave reviews from people on those in the past.  Fincastles has this great old-time diner feel, with nearly as much bar seating as table seating, and they had a pretty respectable traffic level the whole time we were there.  Speaking of which, the service was very good, especially considering we were a pretty big group, and they brought out everyone's food at the same time -- more than I would have expected from this type of place.  Fincastles, we'll be back!

Doing More Than I Think I Can


I reached another milestone this evening, completing my first 8K race (5 miles).  This was the Run 4 The Greenway, raising money for the new downtown greenway under construction.  I finished in 54:53, beating my goal of one hour by a respectable margin, and pacing very near the same average speed I had in the Kirkwood 5K two weeks ago.  My new shoes did great.  Guess it's time to start looking out for an appropriate 10K to push myself even a bit farther.  Many thanks to Susan Lee Skipper for coming out with me, and congratulations to her for being 3rd in our age group!

Supper Club - Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Finally, finally, we were able to get a reservation at Southern Lights Bistro in its triumphant return to Greensboro in its new location on Lawndale Dr. in the back of the old Rooster's location.  As you've probably heard from other people, it's certainly more refined a place than the old location across from Ham's on Friendly.  The food is still delicious, the service dependable, and the dining room stays full, just like at the old location.  As before, there are soup & sandwich & salad standards on the menu, and then a large variety of daily specials.  Besides the nicer interior, I would estimate that the new place seats twice what the old place did -- or at least there's a lot more privacy between tables than there used to be.
Now about the reservations...
They only take reservations for around half the seating, so it's definitely worth dropping in, even if they aren't accepting any more reservations.  However, for a larger group, I really wouldn't chance it as a walk-in.  Our group of six had reservations and were seated at a beautiful large round table that could have held 2 or 3 more comfortably.
So don't keep waiting to be able to get a reservation to Southern Lights.  Just Go!!!  Welcome back, SLB.

Supper Club - Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Wow, let me just say it up front:  Go to Asiano Bistro!  Don't miss it, whatever you do.  We had fourteen people at supper club at Asiano Bistro on Lawndale across from Target (site of the old Grappa Grille) this week, and it certainly did not disappoint.  In fact, the only thing that bothered me about the place was that we were practically the only customers in the large restaurant, and I fear they won't stay in business long like that!
It's a Pan-Asian place, with Japanese, Chinese & Thai offerings, and our group tried a pretty good sampling of all they had to offer.  Everyone raved about their meals, and the service was tremendous.  I got the same thing I always get the first time I try a new sushi place -- soup, a rainbow roll and a philadelphia roll.  Their prices were identical to those at the very tasty Imperial Koi on New Garden Rd. and slightly lower than than one of my favorites, Sushi Republic on Tate St.  The sushi was incredibly fresh and flavorful, and I will definitely be back.
A couple of people got General Tso's Chicken and Sesame Chicken in the most beautiful presentation I've ever seen for that kind of Chinese food, and they raved about the wonderful flavor.  The Thai Basil and Mongolian Beef also got excellent reviews.
**Update:  I forgot to mention that they brought out two free appetizers for our table that were absolutely delicious and included seaweed salad, crab meat, roe and who knows what else.  Indescribably wonderful!
Please, please, everyone go to Asiano Bistro soon so they stay in business.  They deserve to be packed every night!

Supper Club - Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Supper club last week was at Fuji Sushi, a relatively new place at N. Elm St. & Pisgah Church Rd., right next to the Bruegger's Bagels.  John & I joined Tommy & Holly & their kids in another summertime small group gathering.  With school starting in the next few weeks, folks will begin returnning from their summer vacations and we'll be back to trying to squeeze in big groups at small places!
Anyway, we all got sushi and agreed that it was certainly good, but not a contender for best sushi in Greensboro.  So far our consensus choice there is Sushi Republic on Tate St. and Imperial Koi on New Garden Rd.  The prices at Fuji were competitive with other places, and the service good, if a little pushy on selling the most expensive menu items.  It's not a place we'll probably rush back to, but then, it was good and not to be avoided either.

Rafting Adventure Weekend in Tennessee


I am way behind in writing about our second weekend with Juliette, when we road-tripped to the Ocoee River in Tennessee to go white-water rafting with niece Susie, who was a guide this summer.
Scott and I drove there on Saturday with Juliette's new friend Avery (the daughter of good friends who had befriended Juliette the week before), and my parents came in with Juliette and Susie's younger brothers, Joey & Peter.  We had a cabin at a YMCA camp very near the Ocoee Outpost of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and Susie stayed with us there on both Saturday and Sunday nights.

Left to right are Peter, Avery, Juliette, Susie and Joey
On Sunday, we were a very heavy group of eight in Susie's raft and had a wonderful time.  Five of the eight of us did go "swimming" unexpectedly at the aptly named "Double Suck Rapid", with just Susie, Scott and Juliette remaining in the raft.  It was exciting and great fun, and I look forward to doing it again next summer when Susie guides again, as she states emphatically that she will.  Joey appeared to get the bug as well, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if he's out there himself as a guide when he turns 18.

After rafting, we got to take advantage of the wonderful waterfront facilities at the YMCA camp, with a huge climbing iceberg, a rope swing and a long hillside slide into the lake.  Then when Susie was done with her last run of the day, we all met for supper at the Ocoee Dam Deli.  This place is oriented around all the whitewater rafting in the area, with "carnage" video going on the TVs, and free meals for guides for every 10 referrals they send (Susie said she earned three or four of them in her two months working there).  The food was terrific.  They focus on local and organic food, and you can really taste the difference.
On Monday, my parents headed back early with Joey & Peter, as the boys had their first day of band and cross-country practice that day.  Scott & I took the slow path back with Juliette and Avery, and included a stop in Cherokee to visit the museum and have a very decadent lunch of "Indian Taco" (chili, cheese, lettuce & tomato on fry bread, and I don't want to know how many calories were in it).  It was a long drive each way for one day of rafting, but so much fun, and wonderful to see Susie having such a wonderful summer.

Supper Club - Three Week Roundup


The last three weeks of supper club have all been repeat visits to old favorites, and all have been cozy little groups.  So many people go on vacation in August that we don't usually get big crowds for supper club.

July 28, 2010 - Iron Hen
Ooh, yummy.  This wonderful little place in Fisher Park serves terrific food with local ingredients.  This time it was just John, Wendy & me.  I got the egg salad sandwich with sweet potato chips.  Those sweet potato chips are like candy, I tell you.  I promised I'd get something other than the crab cakes I always get there, and certainly wasn't disappointed.

August 4, 2010 - Bangkok Cafe
Tommy, Holly & the kids, plus John and I were the small group returning to Bangkok Cafe, a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall Thai place in a sketchy-looking strip-mall on Holden Rd.  What terrific flavors!  I'm very boring and nearly always get one of the curries with coconut milk, this time the Panang Curry.  It's interesting how the recipe varies from Thai place to Thai place, but I loved it there.

August 11, 2010 - The Corner Slice
I was so glad when Tommy announced we were returning to this wonderful pizza place in Fisher Park on the edge of downtown.  Wendy, Eric and I joined Tommy, Holly & the kids, and were pleased that my parents happened into the same place and were willing to join us.  I've written before about how good the pizza by the slice is there, so won't go on about it again, but suffice it to say that I'm always happy for a chance to return to The Corner Slice!

My French "Niece"


Two years ago, I posted about a visit from my French "sister" and her family.  This weekend, we had the pleasure of getting to host her daughter Juliette, now 13.  She is in the US on her own for a two-week visit with my brother's family up in Danbury, NC, and we get to enjoy her on the weekends with us.
My friend Lori's daughter Avery is 12, and she played hostess to her friend Hannah and Juliette for an American Teenage Girl weekend.  In spite of Juliette being still a bit jet-lagged and having somewhat limited English, they (and we!) had so much fun.
Saturday we had lunch, an afternoon of shopping and swimming (at Lori & Avery's pool, Starmount Forest Country Club) and then an evening into late night of movies (with French subtitles), home spa treatments, makeup, nail polish, pizza, popcorn and other assorted junk food.  After Scott's specialty breakfast of biscuits and gravy this morning, we headed out for an afternoon of shopping and ice skating, hiding from the extreme heat.

What a fun weekend with three lovely girls!  Now I'll be looking forward all week to our trip next weekend with Juliette, Avery, my parents & two nephews to see niece Susie who is working this summer as a whitewater raft guide on the Ocoee River  in East Tennessee.  Can't wait!

Supper Club - Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It's funny.  The last time we went to Lox, Stock & Bagel, we were complaining about the long, cold winter.  Now we're in the midst of the longest, hottest summer I can remember, and all everyone talks about is the heat.  Why is it that the coldest winters are always followed by the hottest summers?

Anyway, it was just me, Wendy and Holly and her boys, so it was great for conversation.  Erick and Liam were SO well-behaved and let their mommy enjoy her supper and the evening.  I returned to my favorite, the Rutherford (roast beef & muenster on bialy), and got it with their new option, apple chips.  Yum!

Supper Club - Wednesday, July 14, 2010


It was another good turnout night this week as we returned to Kiosco Mexican Grill on Spring Garden St. near Holden Rd.  I think there were around 14 for dinner, including six kids.  I can't believe we let so much time go by since the last time we went there -- it was terrific!  Scott and I split the Chicken Fajitas for 2. All the vegetables tasted so fresh and everything seemed freshly chopped, grilled and served hot.  Kiosco has wonderful, attentive service, perhaps a bit slower than other Mexican places, but I have the sense that everything wasn't just scooped out of a vat, but freshly prepared.  By no means was the service slow.  Hope it's not a year and half before we go back to Kiosco!

Supper Club - Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Supper club on the 7th was at Pho Hien Voung on Spring Garden near West Market St.  I had heard from several people that this Vietnamese & Thai restaurant was very good, and the advance reports were correct!  The food was very good and the service excellent for our group of 14.  I am personally not a big fan of pho, but those who got it said it was very good indeed.  I was a bit high on my calorie intake for the day, so I just got a fresh spring roll, which was huge and yummy, and a bowl of tom yum chicken soup, which was also huge and extremely tasty.  And did I mention how very affordable it is?  I look forward to our next trip to Pho Hien Voung!

Low-Key and Fun Fourth!


Saturday of Independence Day weekend had a high of only 85 degrees, so it was one of the most comfortable Fun Fourth weekends in many years.  We walked downtown, walked around and enjoyed some bands with friends on a beautiful day.  That evening was a family fun weekend cookout with good friends watching fireflies and kids with sparklers.  Perfect.
On the 4th (Sunday), we enjoyed some corny fun by going to see a local production of 1776 with my parents.  I've talked before about the corny music I was raised on, and Scott was a good sport to go along with us, undoubtab-Lee (extra corny song starts around the 5 min mark)!
Monday it was a good deal hotter, and though our yard cries out for mid-summer maintenance, we decided to take a road trip up to Blacksburg, Virginia.  I had applied to and been accepted at Virginia Tech way back when, but had never visited the town or school.  You know, it's funny, but college tours weren't a big thing back then.  The only school I had visited that I applied to was NC State, where I wound up going, and I had only been there because I had so many friends who went there before me.  In addition to those two, I had applied to Georgia Tech, Clemson and Bucknell, none of which I had ever seen.  As we ate lunch at a yummy fresh mex place, I found myself wondering how different my life would have been if I had gone to VA Tech instead of State.  So many of my dear friends from State and NCSL I would never have met if I'd gone to any of those other schools.  I would have majored in something different, and who knows where I'd be today.  Anyway, it's a very nice campus, and a nice little road trip to what might have been!

Supper Club - Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We had a real break in the heat on Wednesday the 30th, and took advantage of it by returning to Lindley Park Filling Station and their lovely, family-friendly patio.  We were a very large group -- perhaps 20? -- and it was a perfect place to meet up.  Their patio is particularly nice for families because they have a large grassy area with bean-toss boards and plenty of space for the kids to run around without bothering other diners.  The food was good as always, and the service was fantastic, which is saying something with such a large group.  One of these days I will branch out and get something other than the Holliday (fried oysters on fresh spinach salad), but I just love it so much!  Their burgers, sandwiches and wraps look great, too, so I'll try to be strong next time.

Summer Soltesz 2010


Bless me readers, for I have have been slack.  It's been three weeks since my last post.  Summertime busy-ness, summertime laziness.  The end result is all the same -- no posts.  Anyway, the first thing I have to catch up on is the last thing I mentioned before this blog went dark.As I posted last year and the year before, we go to Kerr Lake for a big group camping trip every year during the last week of June.  It's known as Summer Soltesz, after our friend Steve who's been making it happen since the late 80s.  In addition to our usual long weekend of floating on the lake, catching up with friends and enjoying the musical and other talents of our friends and their kids, this week we also said a final farewell to Steve.On Saturday, Steve's sister Julie, his 10-year-old son and several close friends went out and took Steve for a last ski (a very moving riderless ski rope trailing behind the boat), and then scattered his ashes in the lake.  Summer Soltesz, skiing and Kerr Lake were among Steve's favorite things, and his family agreed that he would have loved that.  It's been just over six months since Steve died, and it was good to get some closure at his event after the raw shock of his death had softened.I couldn't post about this year's trip without mentioning the HEAT.  Hoo boy was it ever hot.  With highs in the mid-90s and lows in the mid-70s, it was a warm one that kept us in the lake or in the shade for most of every day.  Tommy & Holly were there with their 4-year-old and 4-month-old, and I couldn't believe how well baby Liam tolerated the heat for five days!  He complained much less than the rest of us.This Car-Mar-Wells sign designates the camp area of our dear friends, the Wells family (including David's wife, Lyn CARlisle and Jennifer Wells MARtineau).Once again, the kids (and a couple of adults) treated us to a talent show on Saturday night -- quickly becoming the highlight of the week every year.  I wish we had a photo of everyone trying to see whether they could lick their own elbow like Viktor Idhammer!As hot as it was, I still found myself wistful on Saturday night, wishing that somehow those few days at the lake with our dear friends could be real life, all the time, which of course it never can be.  If it were, it wouldn't be so special![...]

Second Boot Camp Done


I completed my second boot camp on Friday, and am well-satisfied with the experience.
Final tally of results after two boot camps (nine weeks):
     Weight: down 9 pounds
     Fat: down 6% (that's 13 pounds of fat!)
     Hips: down 2-3/8"
     Stomach: down 1-3/4"
     Chest: down 1-3/4" (once again, sorry about that, Scott)
Here's the terrific group of ladies I worked with, Monday through Friday at 5:30am for the last four weeks, in our hard-earned boot camp t-shirts:
Besides the boot camp causing me to burn a gazillion calories every morning, the other key has been doing the food diary.  It hasn't been that hard to do (well, the counting part, anyway), since I've used this free website that our boot camp instructor Brett Ray recommended called My Fitness Pal.  It's really easy and calculates all the fat grams, sugar, protein, etc.  Working out this hard and keeping calorie consumption around 1,700/day seems to lead to about a pound a week for me.  Imagine that.  Burn more calories and consume less equals weight loss.  Who knew?

I'm going to try to lose the next 10-15 pounds on my own (and by by "on my own", I mean classes 4 days a week at the Y and 1 day a week training with Ken).  If I can continue to lose a pound a week, that'll have me at my goal just in time for the end of bathing suit season!  (guess I shoulda started boot camp in February instead of April)

Giving Blood and Not Passing Out


I've mentioned before that my dad has (CLL) leukemia.  He's going strong, more than a decade after his initial diagnosis, thank goodness.  Before his diagnosis, he was a regular blood donor.  Now, of course, he can't donate, and so for many years I have felt obliged to try to make up for what he can no longer give.  I'm sure I'm not as diligent as he was about donating as frequently as possible, but I'm making an effort, even though I hate it.  When they come at me with that needle, I always have flashbacks to some very negative experiences with selling my plasma while in college. (shudder)Today was our annual blood drive at work, and I was careful to eat a big, hearty lunch before I donated.  I used donating blood today as an excuse to consume a ridiculous number of calories that I'm embarrassed to enter into my food diary.  (Though I did.  Good God.  Over 1600 calories and I haven't had supper yet.)Why so cautious about making sure I eat plenty before and after donating blood?Several years ago, I made a 12:30 appointment to donate blood at the Red Cross out on Yanceyville St.  I had intended to grab a burger before donating, but didn't get out of the office in time, so I thought, well, I'll just donate and then swing by Wendy's after.  Things seemed to go fine; standard, run-of-the-mill donation.  I grabbed a Little Debbie and shoved it in my purse on my way out the door.  When I stepped inside the Wendy's on Summit Ave., I felt sick to my stomach and thought I might throw up...OK, let me just stop here and say that I had never passed out before in my life.  I didn't know what the signs were.So anyway, I thought I might throw up, so I got out of line and went into the bathroom.  One of those one-holers where you go in and lock the door and if you die in there, no one will know until the fire department comes and has to shove your body out of the way to even get the door open.OK, so I get inside, hang my purse over the door handle, and........and I come to, confused, and wondering, "Why am I on the Summit Avenue Wendy's bathroom floor?"  "Why is MY FACE on the Summit Avenue Wendy's bathroom floor???"  People, this was YEARS ago, and I STILL feel dirty.Anyway, I tried to get up, but that clearly wasn't happening.  So I got to a seated position against the wall, pulled the Little Debbie out of my purse and ate that.  Yes, I ate it with the hands that had been, with my face, on the Summit Avenue Wendy's bathroom floor.When I felt I could stand up, I got to the sink & mirror to assess the damage.  My cheek was bleeding, but it was a fairly shallow scrape.  I had a few bruises which certainly hurt, but didn't seem too serious.  I washed and washed and washed my face and hands.I knew I still needed to get some food in me, so I went out and got back in line.  Within a minute, I started to feel woozy again, so I went and sat down at a table and put my head down.  Crazy thing was, NO ONE even asked me whether I was OK.  Maybe they thought I was some kind of business-casual crack whore strung out in the Summit Avenue Wendy's, I have no idea.Eventually I did get back up and through the line and got my burger and a full-sugar Coke.I went back to the office, washed my face and hands again and slathered my cuts with about a pint of triple-antibiotic ointment.  I tried to work, but kept having to get out of my chair to lay down on my office floor from dizziness.  Fin[...]

Supper Club - Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This week we went to El Carreton on Tate Street -- a place we used to frequent regularly, but haven't been in awhile.  It's usually a place where we get pretty good turnout because it's so family-friendly, and this week was no exception for our group of 10 including 4 kids.
It's still good, cheap, basic Mexican food.  What was different this time was the service.  For years, we've seen the exact same people working there, and are guaranteed to have extremely fast and courteous service.  That was definitely different this time.  I didn't recognize any of the servers, and have never had such poor service at El Carreton or any Mexican place in town, for that matter.  The place was less than half full, yet we were still ignored for long periods of time, had a hard time flagging someone down to place our order, our chips and drinks went empty, no napkins or silverware delivered, etc.
I sure hope that's a one-time thing for them, and not that they're under new management or something.  Please don't be this way, El Carreton!  San Luis, just a few blocks away on Lee Street, is much better food and service, but not so accommodating of a big crowd.  Still, this experience doesn't make us want to return...

No supper club next week, as it's time for our Kerr Lake trip.  Hooray!

5K Goal -- Double Check


I decided to take a do-over after my first 5K last weekend, and the two events couldn't have been more different.  Last week in Danbury there were 68 runners, and we went across fields & gravel and up & down some VERY hilly roads.  I was constantly on the lookout for the next turn, and it was hard to see runners very far in front of or behind me on most of the course.  As I wrote last week, I walked several of the hills and finished with a time of 37:10.
I had set myself a goal of running a 5K without walking any of it by the end of June and when I heard about this race, the 5K on the Runway, I decided to get right back on that horse and try again.  It was a mile and a half straight out and a mile and a half straight back, with just a 60' elevation increase on the was out, and so slightly downhill on the way back.  There were 869 runners, and it was somewhat unnerving to be able to see the finish line for half the race.  The crowd definitely pushed me to run faster and I certainly ran faster than usual the first mile.  At the same time, enough people walked parts to make it tempting to give myself a walking break.  Several times I wanted to slow down and walk, but I talked myself out of it.  "No side stitch, no muscle cramps, no asthma.  Quit yer whining and keep going, Dawn!"
The results have already been posted.  I did it this time in 32:35 -- an improvement of 4:35, which was far more than I had dared hope.  Yay, me!
One more week of bootcamp, and I'm not at all sure that I'm going to meet my weight loss goal, but I am well satisfied with my progress overall.

Supper Club - Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This week we went to a new place (well, new to me anyway) called Mediterraneo out on Pisgah Church Rd. at The Village at North Elm.  They have Lebanese and Italian food, and Tommy & Holly had been there several times.  Their hummus was perhaps the best I've ever tasted, and the spinach pies (not spanikopita, but actually in dough pastry instead of phyllo) were WAY too tasty!
A couple of people ordered pasta, but most ordered Lebanese.  Everyone seemed to really like what they got, especially the Falafel Sandwich.  I tried the Chicken Shawarma, and it was different from any I'd ever tried before -- very tasty indeed.  Thanks for introducing us to Mediterraneo, Tommy -- we'll be back for sure, and I'll probably be back before the next supper club visit!

5K Goal? CHECK.


I did it!  I finished the 5K in 37:10. Yay! My goals were to finish in under 40 minutes, not be last, and not do any walking.  I didn't meet that last goal, but it wasn't as firm as the others.  Plus, I had given myself until the end of June to meet this goal, anyway, so there's still time.  I did wind up walking several of the steepest hills, but it was a very hilly course indeed (as confirmed by some "real" runners who had something to compare to) with some cross-country field running, gravel & muddy bits. Now I kind of want to try a more level 5K to see how much better I can do.

But no, Leigh Pate , I do NOT plan to sign up for any 10Ks any time soon, and I don't think I'll ever be the machine that you are. My ankles and right knee say NO.  Plus, I need to find a better ipod solution. I just have a little ipod Shuffle, which I like because it clips on and weighs next to nothing, but the controller is on the headphone wire, and it did NOT respond well to the environment. I only got about 4 songs out of it and then it went crazy the rest of the way with this woman telling me over and over that I was listening to "Blink One-Hundred-Eighty-Two".
The race was good, though, and I feel a sense of accomplishment.  Thank you, Susan Reinecke, for doing this with me -- it was great having company!  They said that they might get the results up on the North Stokes website, which I'll link to if they do...

Results posted up here.  I was #36 out of 68 participants.  Definitely achieved my goal to "not be last" (with apologies to Ricky Bobby).  I'll take it!

Dawn the Klutz


My name is Dawn, and I am a klutz.  Uncoordinated.  Clumsy.  Always have been.I couldn't say whether I was born that way or if it was a result of not learning any ball sports as a kid.  We lived in Detroit until I was 10 years old, and there was no kids soccer, t-ball for girls, etc.  At least not where we lived.  Maybe that's why I never developed any hand-eye (or otherwise) coordination?  I don't know.When we moved to California during my three years of middle school, I dreaded P.E.  I was the last picked for everything because I didn't know any of those games or sucked at them -- volleyball, softball, soccer, basketball, you name it.  The only sport where I wasn't completely humiliated was swimming, so that's what I did (not that I was ever better than 2nd string there either).  High school was a relief because there was no P.E. requirement.  In fact, when I got to college, there were four semesters of P.E. requirements, so I did the required basic course, then swimming, lifesaving and golf (at which I sucked completely. that dang hand-eye coordination thing again).Anyway, I was a kid klutz who grew up to be an adult klutz.  I seem always to have mysterious bruises from bumping into things, twisted ankles from not watching my footing on the trail or even on the terraces in our back yard.  I guess that I'm always thinking about what's next and not what I'm doing at the time I'm doing it. So all through this boot camp thing, I have been so careful.  Closely watching my steps as I run over curbs & driveways, working on core strength to improve my control.  Trying to be "in the moment" and NOT GET HURT.And this morning, seven weeks in, it all came crashing down.  Literally.  Klutzy Dawn returned.We were divided into two teams this morning.  One person on each team would run down the hill (high-stepping through rings, like tires, but rings), then pick up a hula-hoop and do 20 rotations, and run back up the hill to hand off to the next person.  I was matched up with the fastest runner on the other team, and all I could think about was trying not to lose ground for my team during my turn.  So when I finished with the hula hoop and dropped it, I started running before the hoop was completely at rest, and came crashing down, palms and right knee in the gravel.  OUCH!  I got up as fast as I could to complete my turn, and hung in the rest of the hour.  I thought I had taken on some gravel in my palms, but once I got cleaned up I could see that my palms were just deeply bruised with a little scrape and some blood blisters, and my knee just bruised and scraped.It's a good reminder that Klutzy Dawn is still in there, and I need to be on my guard all the time!This timing is a bummer, because I've signed up to run a 5K up in Danbury tomorrow morning.  Yep, that's right.  Dawn Don't Run is going to do a 5K.  As I mentioned recently, I surprised myself by doing a mile at the end of the first week of boot camp, and then this past Monday on the holiday (it was a boot camp holiday too) I did 2 miles.  Given that, I am hoping I'll be able to do the full 3.1 miles without any walking, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I find I have to walk some of it.  Danbury is a very hilly place, and I'm not sure just how hilly this course will be.  At the [...]

Ginger in the 2010 Transplant Games


In April of 2008, we received the horrifying news that our friend Ginger Curlee had been diagnosed with leukemia (AML).  She underwent two rounds of chemotherapy to get into remission, and in August received a bone marrow/stem cell transplant from a matched unrelated donor through the National Bone Marrow Registry. It has been a long journey but she is doing well with her recovery.

Ginger has now set a goal of participating in the swimming events in the U.S. Transplant Games, representing Team North Carolina July 30-August 4 this summer in Madison, Wisconsin. This four-day Olympic-style competition is held every two years and is sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation. She will be competing with other athletes who have been recipients of lifesaving kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, lung, intestine, or bone marrow/stem cell transplants.  She is hoping to do well enough in those events to qualify for the Transplant Olympics in Sweden in 2011.

Ginger is raising money so that she and Bill and their sons Mitch (9) and Will (4) can make the trip to Madison to help raise awareness and support the cause.

If you would like to help by sponsoring Ginger to be part of this team, you can either donate directly to them (not tax deductible, but drop me an e-mail and I'll get you their address if that's the way you want to go) or make a tax deductible donation on her behalf to the national Kidney Foundation (50% goes to the athlete, 20% goes to the team, 30% to the Kidney Foundation's Give Back program).  Donate online at this link, and be sure to put her name on the donation.

We wish Ginger the best of luck with this exciting challenge!