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Blossom Walk Update

This gallery contains 19 photos.

As many of you who follow my blog know, I set some goals for myself this spring. Two of those goals were to walk around the Tidal Basin and to attend the Cherry Blossom Parade. I walked around the Tidal … Continue reading

Another NSV Victory – Spring Goals Accomplished!

I had a major non-scale victory today. I walked around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms.

This is the route I took. I parked on Jefferson just before the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC. I marked my starting point as 1400 Independence Avenue, which is just a block away.

Along the way, I saw the Jefferson Memorial, The George Mason Memorial, The FDR Memorial and the MLK Memorial.

This morning was a gloriously beautiful morning. Chilly and windy, especially along the water, but beautiful. I am planning on going to the Cherry Blossom parade next week, so I will do this again. Hopefully by then, the Cherry Blossoms will be at the peak bloom. I cannot wait to see those pictures.

In the meantime, Enjoy these pictures! Some facts first though:

  • Before today, I had never walked around the Tidal Basin before.
  • I had never seen the MLK memorial or the Jefferson Memorial.
  • The walk from where I parked and back again was about 2.5 miles.
  • I am exhausted and need a nap.

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Springing Forward With Panache! (Good-bye Winter!)

This winter was rough. I am using the past tense because I really want to put this winter in the past. I know technically, it is in the past and already spring as March 21 was the official first day, but it has still been cold and snowy here. We even had some flurries yesterday, in fact.

Spring keeps threatening to pop up, but winter just won’t let go. Here is a picture I took the other day of Cherry Blossoms trying to bloom.

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A few posts ago, I gave myself a list of things to accomplish this spring. Stuff that I could not do before  the weight loss that I can do now.  I have some dates picked out for these events. I even bought some new ponchos for all of my walking events, so I’m totally prepared!  (I love ponchos and have very fond childhood memories of wearing the ones my mother made for me. Regrettably, I have no talent with knitting needles and crochet hooks, but I’m glad she did.)

April 5 – Walk around the Tidal Basin, see Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the MLK Memorial.

April 12 – Attend Cherry Blossom Parade. The kite festival was supposed to be Sunday, March 30, but was cancelled due to inclement weather. Hopefully, that will be re-scheduled for this weekend.

June 4-6 ish – Lots of DC touristy type stuff that will include a lot of walking. I might try to put my walk to Roosevelt Island during this time frame. A friend of mine is bringing her family to DC and they want to be, in her words, “complete tourists”. I will join them. I am so happy they chose now to visit so that I can show them the city.

I am now officially adding one more thing to my list. (insert drum-roll here)

My friend Sushmita, who owns Studio Pause, is a graduate of Empowered Women International.  Their motto is “Helping Immigrant, Refugee, and Low Income Women Create Sustainable Livelihoods.” They basically teach them to run a business, mostly around arts, crafts, cooking, something they are good at, passionate about, and turn it into a business that can sustain them and their families.

Sunday, April 6, 2014, Sushmita is hosting a fundraiser at her studio, Studio Pause, and I’m helping. We are going to cook Indian food, and serve meals to our friends and family in an effort to raise money for their scholarship program. I will be making my famous chicken saag, (recipe on this blog). And I might also make my curry chicken salad with mango chutney if the mood strikes me, which if I know me, it will.

Here is the Facebook page for the event.

If you’re in the DC area, and wish to attend, please do! It should be fun!

I Have Always Wanted To Do That

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I have had a rough winter, physically, emotionally, food-wise. I have just been making myself crazy. Like most people in the US, I will be so happy to put this winter behind me.

With spring making an appearance in the DC area today, I feel inspired. I got up early this am and went to a Women’s Day luncheon for Empowered Women International. My good friend Sush took part in their program and now has her own art studio.

When I woke up this am, I was not feeling well. I had a bit of constipation, which is quite painful. I had to pick up my friend at 10am, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it. I forced myself to deal with it and just go.  I am so glad that I did. I had a great time. I also came away from the event inspired.

I also started thinking about all of the things that I never did because of my weight and all of the health problems that I had. I had trouble walking and breathing. I felt that I could not fully participate in events because of that. Or I was depressed because of my weight and health problems, so I did not even try.

One of my biggest fears, now that I have lost 127 pounds and can do so much more, is going backwards. I do not ever want to find myself in that place again. So, when I got up this am not feeling well, it was tempting to just say home under the covers and whine about not feeling well. I probably would have too if Sush had not called me.

I dragged myself off the couch, took a shower, put on a pretty dress, styled my hair, and left the house. As Sush would say, “The New Colleen goes out!” I did. And I’m glad for it.

So, I decided I would make some goals for myself this spring. There are all kinds of things that I never did that I really want to do. Here are 5 things I have never done that I am going to make myself do this spring.

So, we’ll see how much I get done. I have to do the Tidal Basin walk and Cherry Blossom parade at particular times, obviously, but the rest I will give myself until the first day of summer to complete.

I want to kick off the warm weather season right. I need to dust off the funk from this winter. I think getting out and doing stuff I have never done before I a great way to jump into spring!

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I survived!

No, I did not have to be rushed to the hospital for anxiety because I had a public speaking gig on Wednesday.  I survived it and it actually went pretty well.  I did nervously race through all of my remarks in about 20 minutes, which was kind of hilarious.  The leader of the writing group did notice that too.  He just smiled at me and he and another writer actually helped me out by starting a very detailed and lively discussion about my writing “process.”  Everyone asked me a lot of questions as if I am some kind of expert.  Ha! I was actually very comfortable with answering questions, so that went very well. 

The workshop was called From Real Life to Fiction.  I have taken a lot of my own real life events and then fictionalized them, often creating completely different stories.  Some have been pretty good and others not so much.  One story actually received honorable mention in a contest, so I guess that’s something. 

But enough about writing…onto weight loss.

I am down to 201.  That’s a total of 97 pounds.  I am surprised that I lost anything at all this week, I have been very bad food-wise.  One day I actually ate quite a lot, which is not good.  I have also had trouble keeping myself on a normal eating schedule.  I’ve just been so busy.  Plus I have been feeling very bloated.  But on the flip side, the chronic constipation has abated.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep that at bay. 

I am kind of excited about the 201 mark.  In just 2 pounds, I will be in territory I have not seen in more than 20 years…below the 200 mark!  It’s kind of a big deal.  Ok, let me be honest here…it’s more than kind of a big deal…it’s a ginormous deal!  I am also freaking out just a little bit, too.  Dropping below the 200 pound mark somehow makes it all seem like this is all really going to happen.  I am really finally going to be thin, whatever that means.  I have not been “thin” since my early 20s. 

It’s weird, because I never thought of myself as thin when I was younger.  In high school, I weighed about 125-128-ish.  College, my weight went up to about 130-140-ish.  At 140, I may have been a little bit chubby, but I certainly was not fat.  I certainly thought I was, however. 

Self image is a strange thing.  I guess sometimes it is easier to believe the negative stuff.  I know I did for a long time.  I am trying to change that, though.  I still struggle with it, but I try to keep telling myself over and over again all of the things that I want to be as if they are true.  I am thin.  I am beautiful.  I am healthy.  I am smart.  I am a good writer.  I am successful.  I am loveable.  I am confident.

I don’t always feel these things, but I try.  Maybe if I keep telling myself this, I will truly begin to believe them.  Maybe if I keep it up long enough, they will all one day be true.

Enjoy some cherry blossoms.  It rained today, so they are all most likely gone already. 

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms At Last!

Every spring, the DC area has a Cherry Blossom Festival.  I have never gone.  In recent years, I did not go because I could not do the walking.  I did not really go to the festival this year, either, but I did make it down to  a small part of the Tidal Basin in an attempt to see some blossoms.  I will probably try to make my way down there later this week once they are in full bloom.  The blossoms are late this year as the we has been so cold this March.  Nonetheless, today the sun was shining and the temperature finally made it over 60 degrees.

Me and Blossoms

Today is my friend Andy’s birthday.  He wanted to celebrate by going down to see the Cherry Blossoms.  There were not many Cherry Blossoms out.  They were just beginning to bloom today.  We found one branch that was in full bloom.  We sat under the tree with some of his friends, drank some Japanese tea, ate some Japanese snacks, and read Cherry Blossom haiku.  Then we went to an Indian restaurant for lunch where we met my brother and his wife.

My brother and I went to high school with Andy.  In a previous post, I mentioned my brother’s best friend with whom I went to the homecoming dance my junior year.  Yeah, that’s him.

I had really great time.  It also felt great to not be restricted by my health.  I was able to walk all over the place with them.  My only restriction is that I have short legs and I walk a little more slowly than taller people.  Other than that, I had no problems. It was wonderful.

If we had not been meeting my brother for lunch, I would have loved to have walked around the Tidal Basin a little bit more.  The only problem with these darn Cherry Blossoms is that they will most likely be gone by next weekend.  They are very fragile.  They really do not last more than a week or so.  A strong windstorm or rainstorm can wash them away in a few minutes.  But, while they are here, they are a very beautiful herald of a much welcomed spring and rebirth.