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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Newark Rotary- Speaker Inspires and Delights- join me on a Tuesday!

I love Newark-Rotary.  When I made the work move back to Denison I thought I'd change Rotaries.  I  have not been able to leave this quality group of individuals, the local or international organization.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to connect on the Tuesdays at noon that work in my schedule with wonderful community members, friends and honestly the downtown Newark environment. It is good to get off the hill- although I'm always disappointed to be missing something at DU, this summer noon yoga.  And we truly have fantastic speakers!  Yesterday was one to share!

David Sabgir- cardiologist and founder of Walk with a Doc- a grassroots efforts that is expanding and doing amazing things for people.  Walking his talk literally- getting the word about not just about exercise and movement but why AND lots of other cool health tips that we all loved to learn about yesterday.  His blog was recommended as well- I'll be checking it out and following the good Dr's advice with water, chocolate, exercise and my cocktail in my life on NG Road.

http://walkwithadoc.org/who-we-are/ 

If you have any interest in joining me at Rotary- please let me know!  https://www.rotary.org
Amazing things happen locally and around the world because of Rotarians.  I'm not as active as I'd like to be, but I can help spread the word and encourage our growth.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Back to the Hills from NG Road


When Joe and I found our happy escape this summer we knew we wanted to share our find with our kids.  So when plans we thought we had changed, we jumped at the chance to execute!  Last night we went camping in the Hocking Hills- tent camping, all five of us!  Here are some moments that made me smile.

1st- we really did this on the fly.  When Joe and I were there we revisited the State Park primitive camp and found the correct site number that we had loved years and years ago.  We agreed this could easily be part of the plan to bring the kids back.  Well- today's reservations on line make being in the moment and finding a place to settle in when you arrive more challenging.  The night before we left, 9:30 pm there were were around the table, on the PC......we went back and forth about changing the plans- we thoughts about a cabin, even a hotel......but after 30 minutes we found the simple and easy and quite the bargain- riverside campsites.  Reservation secured and departure plans could be set!

2nd- We pulled out of town at 12:20- little later than I thought but not back. I was happy that thanks to a reservation and a new plan- I could enjoy my Saturday yoga, coffee shop, farmers market, day of planning for the camp fire meal!  We laughed at the fact- new Martha was packed tighter than we left to take three kids to summer camps for three weeks- were going overnight an hour away?

3rd.   The lesson of expectations low is a good thing, but visualizing does help.   When you think of an ideal camp site what comes to your mind?  For us it is shade, a little privacy, a good fire ring and picnic table.  As we approached our camp ground I had to warn everyone - as much for me and I said that out loud- it is only one night and we'll be find.  The camp ground was spacious with beautiful trees and green space - phew.  Most river front- where I thought I'd want to be- were taken but it felt like there were options.  We checked-in at a center down the road, returned and circled- the kids found it- number 140 was perfect for us!  
 

4th camp set up made me smile. Although the kids were not overly thrilled about this idea, they found their ways to make it fun.  Clare immediately declared "I will go if I get my own tent".  She knows the tent inventory and that this could work.  She was the most prepared for the trip as secured and erected our three tents.  Her tent's poles were missing but thanks to Barbara's return- poles uncovered- the plan could work.  Clare took it to the extreme with her own tent and set her tent up in the "back forty" of our site. Probably not really our site- but it worked.  Sally and Peter took the BIG tent and declared sides.  Joe and I cuddled up in the original tent we've always used.  The kids can't believe it has held Joe and two friends on white water rafting trips.    I stepped back and watched it all play out.  Clare is so much like her father- each took to action and independently, quietly executed.   Sally's bossy side (okay note lunch was delayed and she was hungry, maybe hangry) had her leading the way, Peter following orders.  Joe joined and the tent was quickly ready-to-go.  We made the call of skipping the hike picnic and at our lunch at the table.  I had the table set and supplies organized to make this an easy call.

5th A hiking we will go! Joe and I had not been able to fit  in the visit to Rock House. We agreed this was good as it would pull us back to Hocking Hills sooner than later. Voila- there we were just over a month later with the kids.  Short, beautiful hike to an amazing Ohio wonder.  We all enjoyed this trek.  Not ready to be done we took the kids to see Whispering Cave and the new trail and bridge. They complained a bit but embraced the activity- adding an extra mile to Old Man's Cave- with the promise of ice cream!

6th Back to the campsite to enjoy cocktail time, fire, mountain pie dinner and all that comes with just hanging-out, outside.  I loved it.  It was a wonderful Saturday night for the Leithauser off of NG Road!  A bonus was fireworks someone decided to set off- the only real noise of the large camp ground.  The full location provided entertainment as we took in the neighbors- a couple on a motorcycle, a group of college women, a family with young kids and bikes, a family with a beautiful dog, groups of friends.  We could write a story, a screen play about it all.    Campfire time was family time and I loved it.

7th  We all slept as well as expected- some wake ups due to rocks.  We agree it is time to do air mattresses vs. egg crates.  The air was the perfect tent camping temperature which helped.  The rain in the morning was soothing and Joe was the hero to put every one's cover as we had loved our starry views at bed time.  We were a little stiff and feeling our age of close to 50 but pleased we did it, the discomfort is worth the opportunity to be in the great outdoors.

8th-home again home agin, jiggidy-jig!  Hocking Hills is so close!  We stopped in Lancaster for diner breakfast and were so pleased and delighted with all menu items- there was something for everyone.  A bit too much potty talk- do I live with 4 year olds- sometimes yes- but we did take them primitive camping so it was bound to be discussed.

The car is unloaded, the laundry started and everyone has showered. The day away was a treat for me and my life on NG Road.



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Camp Pick-up 2017- another summer highlight and why...

Trying to get caught up on blog topics....summer provides so much fodder! I documented about our  Beach Week- timed well as I hear all about camp - camp Alleghany and camp Nana this year.   I shared what  Joe and I did while they were gone, what about the kids?  So here I am ready to  document for the record books Camp 2017 and the highlight- pick-up!

I love that this year's reality was hatched from a cocktail hour of a past beach trip. This year Louisa, Clare and Sally were all ghany girls!  Want to know more about Camp Alleghany- visit:  http://campalleghanyforgirls.com We have a nice Granville group and I can sing the praises of what camp provides for girls of today- the time alone without electronics is worth every penny!  Clare is always sad to leave, but this year- whoa.  She was devastated, we love the relationships that have blossomed.  She was set that this would be her last year, but now she isn't so sure.  As of today she will plan to apply to be a junior counselor.  Future blog material, fingers crossed from this Ghany camper.

One of my favorite traditions of pick-up is breakfast! 
What fun to have Sarah and Greg with us.  We've made it the plan since the first pick-up to camp and return to the hotel for showers and breakfast before departing for the beach vacation.  This started just to show Clare the Greenbrier and now is a required part of the process.  Clare didn't need the shower this year but was excited for our breakfast.  Sally took the full package. The past three years we've loved being at the Lewisburg Inn.  We returned to the porch for brunch and had Sarah, Greg and Louisa with us- heaven. I was in absolute heaven.  Family united (missing Peter though), beloved and connected around the beautiful table with delicious food- what isn't to love!

Reuniting with Peter was wonderful too- we rolled into the beach house parking late and there was Peter-first to see us and greet us with a hug.  I love the happy, proud stories from my parents about his activities in Maryland. I'm grateful and pleased with all three of them- 15 year old boys don't always love grandparent time.  Grandparents don't always want three weeks with 15 year old boys.

Back to Greenbrier County- we also took full advantage of the last night without kids and celebrated with others in our situation. Lewisburg area has become a special reunion place as we've enjoyed seeing old friends from high school that send their daugther(s) to camp and new friends we've made through the old friends!  This year was quite the gathering in the lobby of the Inn, wide range of connections- all ghany parents. Cocktails and dinner gives us great place to pass the time as we're all excited to get to camp.  What a treat to enjoy a delicous meal at a fabulous restaurant with good good people.

Pick up morning brings giggles and smiles- executing strategy to get to camp on time- follow the instructions of waiting for the bus, but be poised to make the first barge! Compairing notes about how and where our girls will greet us.  Clare ignores us- always has- this year no different and she even sent us away- "can you get sally now, come back for me" she said choking back the tears.  Sally was our Sally happy to see us and be in the moment and ready for the beach.  I love supporting and sharing these emotional transitions with my girls.

Next year will be different, I'm stating the obvious.  Last year was different- oh was it with the floods!  I'm grateful to those that have included us in special outings, helped with reservations, shared  memorable family moments- camp allehgany family extends beyond the river and the girls.  A big shout out to the camp staff that execute incredible opportunity for our girls and us! Life on Newark-Granville Road is very grateful and treasures these trips to Greenbrier County.  Sally is signed up for 2018 Camp- she moves to senior camp, happy to say Louisa returns to junior camp and Clare....stay tuned!

 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Green in Granville- Pelotonia Week!

http://pelotonia.org  I'm not riding, nor volunteering, but we do support. We are grateful for all those that work to achieve the goal of Pelotonia- End Cancer.   And we're proud of Granville and Denison's involvement!  We've all been touched, some of us more closely that others, some of us more recently.  Life on Newark-Granville Road admires all those engaged and making this impressive and amazing effort such a success.  Life on Newark-Granville Road participates as we are able and one way is spreading the word and join us in making a donation.

It seems hard to believe anyone in the world would not know about Pelotonia but if you don't- please visit the website and learn more.  If you are in the Granville area and want to see it, feel it, be touched and inspired- be on Broadway to cheer for the riders on Saturday, August 5th**.  Want to join me - email, call or text and I'll share the details of where we cheer. Riders turn on Pearl St. to head toward Gambier and a rest stop hosted in Granville!  Routes are on the website- riders choose a distance and commit to that plan/ level. So many amazing efforts unite within our community to make it all work.   Lots of events have been leading up to the big ride to help riders and pelatons with their financial commitment.  This is all to raise money for funding, 100% of every dollar raised goes to research- incredible strides have been made in this fight, their is more to do.  I hope you'll find a rider or two or three, or a peloton, respond to the request sent to you by the neighbor, colleague, friend.

We can't support them all but we appreciated being asked. We love knowing what friends are riding and volunteering and being philanthropic!!  It also helps us acknowledge and remember those cancer has taken too soon and those fighting now. We're also inspired by the incredible fights those cancer have made. We know and respect all the other cancer related charities in our world-you can't help but feel good about the world and the desire to help individuals, find cures and prevention.  We made our gift and will make more on August 5th at an event hosted by friends to watch and cheer.

An event new to me is happening tomorrow, Sunday- July 30th 7 pm at Denison, Swasey Chapel. It is the Blessing of the Bikes and Go Green for Pelotonia. Swasey Chapel will have a green light this week. I will join this effort and say add my prayers.  My life wouldn't be the same if had not been for an amazing fight and incredible medical efforts for my sister. Sarah's diagnosis almost nine years ago still brings me to tears when I think about it. If you search "Cancer" on this blog you can read more about the why.

Congratulations to all involved in all the good work to get you to this point. Enjoy your rides, your journey, your good fights- it is working and we're gratefully green on Newark-Granville Road.

**there are other places in central ohio to see riders, share and support this cause...I just think Granville does it the best- pretty proud of our village!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beach Week, family traditions- 2017- presented with one commercial.

We're home, back on Newark-Granville Road, after our annual trek to the Outer Banks, NC.  For nine years we're made this our summer vacation.  A true vacation, even with young kids, as we travel with my family and everyone helps so we do relax!  It started in Nags Head with my parents, then Sarah and Greg joined us with baby Louisa.  Greg the surfer helped set the location.  Matt and Dawn joined on year three.  One key component is cocktail hour during these respites and I think back on the conversations that hatched plans.

The first year it was how to make the family fit in the first amazing rental.  The next year Matt and Dawn committed so that year the 5 pm activity became house searches.  Or how to fit our group of 14 under one roof in a house that is beachy and has a big table, and kitchen for cooking.  The point of our time together is just that- time together on the beach, around the table, on the porch. If you ask the kids- they'll tell you putting on the Cousin Show and swimming.  We've added activities that are now tradition- climbing the Hatteras Lighthouse- yay Matt and Dawn, taking the ferry to Okracoke for the trip to the book store and a seafood lunch, and visiting certain galleries/ shops.   Over the past seven years we've found two abodes to make it all work and found our home away from homes. Life on Newark-Granville Road loves beach week.

Commercial Break- shout-out to to Maximum Fitness.  I've recently returned to this gym and oh am I glad I did.  The hours are fantastic- no reason to miss my goal of four visits a week.  I get my cardio and strength training in on the various machines.  My inspiration is rehab for the ankle, but it feels great to be back in the groove.  I mentioned this to someone and they commented that Maximum didn't have air conditioning.  I disagree- they do.  It is a big space and some days it gets hot in there, but fans keep air moving. Today's temp was cool.  I realize I don't mind warmer rooms- beach week story below!  Staff are friendly, range of work-out types- serious body work happening, but then all ages doing what I'm doing- doing our best and being active.  I'm not overly interested in classes right now but enjoyed the ones I took in the past.  I love the music and machines with closed caption TV, add the prevor ap to track my goals and share past data makes it a great fit for me.  Consider joining me!

Back to Beach Week!  Here is the scoop and highlights for the record book or the "why" I love life at the beach with my family!  That is the secret right- family. How lucky am I that my siblings and their families all enjoy being with my family.  We love one another and enjoy the time to catch-up, get to know one another, make memories. Oh the memories we made this year!  It isn't always perfect.  Our idiosyncrasies annoy one another and some times we roll with it and some times we don't. We bring baggage beyond the suitcases packed with opinions and conflicts. We're all human and have challenges within our families. Some of us, present company in particular, don't do as well of sitting loosely at times.  But we forgive and find the positive, put in some rules to help make sure everyone enjoys their vacation. 

Dinner is a highlight and each family takes a meal.  This year Sunshine Stoners returned with the beloved and requested Mexican night- chicken enchiladas and fried ice cream.  It is divine.  Leithausers brought a dinner club favorite- grilled lamb- Betsy Mattimoe's coaching had to be shared.  The Christophers did double duty! The scheduled night was a classic marinaded steak and kicking us off before the the group allergic to fish arrived she blinked and had crab cakes!  Sarah can cook - what a treat. We wrapped up the week with fresh caught steamed shrimp.  An Italian pizza night bridged the gap.  Nana coordinated breakfasts, one morning making over 60 Nana cakes- no one missed breakfast that day.  Lunches are prepare your own with a plethora of delights including Mom's prepared treats like sloppy joe's and beef brisket.  Beloved favorites are procured as well- liverwurst, tuna, and of course- mac n cheese.

Mother nature was good to us this beach week. I swam every day, most days twice a day. The ocean temps were perfect- refreshingly cool when you entered, but ideal for spending time and waves were fun.  The kids were in multiple times- back and forth- making the path.  Greg and Matt our heroes for setting our camp. Getting in and out of the water and walking on the sand was more uncomfortable than I anticipated- but so worth the effort.  I finished a good book and started an incredible read, wrapping it up on the drive home.  The cousin show of lip syncing with an incredible new addition- live music with Grace's ukulele!! Sarah made the annual charades game one for the record books.....you'll have to ask her for the details.   We all get to know one another, I don't know what life would be without these trips and this time.  Little things- the top level where Mom and Dad stay and we gather- ac temps are high so it is warm, plus heat rises.  The lower levels thanks to Sarah- cool, very cool.  You learn about your self as you witness what you can go with the flow on, what you like and don't like when.

We all know the time for all fourteen of us to be together won't last forever.  Clare hopes to be a counselor at camp (new news- future blog material) and that would mean no beach week and of course life happens.  I'm grateful for 2017 and all the made it possible. I love each of my family members so very much.  Life on Newark-Granville road loves sandy toes, salty kisses, vitamin sea and being under one roof with the Stoners.  A trip to the beach is good for my soul.


Nana with her grands.

 

Pap with Okacoke crew.

Matt gets his soft shell!

Clare with Aunt Dawn

Friday, July 14, 2017

Real Life while kids are gone....

This really has been something new in my life on Newark-Granville Road.  To be in this house without kids for a whole week.  Last year when all three were at camp it was wonky with travel and delays.  And when the girls went to camp and Peter stayed here it was different.  All good, and to be honest when all three are here it is GREAT- I miss them.  But I'll take this time and of course I'll share the why on the blog!

Why is it nice to have the break.  Believe it or not the house is clean, really clean. Even the dog went to camp for a few days. The cleaning team was in disbelief how tidy everything was and thanked me- so easier to do our job- they said with great enthusiasm.  Hmmmmm- cleaning for the cleaning people, we will return to that this year.

I've had a chance to focus on work and the timing was great.  In my work with have cycles and the cycle right now is gear-up, get ready, reach out.  I get to take my vacation having things organized, launched and in progress. This is happening because of amazing partnerships and fabulous colleagues and planning. It feels good.  I care a lot about my work and value the time to give it attention.  I also value the flexibility my role has to juggle being a working Mom of three.

Joe and Susan time and time for Susan has been great. As you read in our camping adventure we found our "us" time. Finding that balance can be hard during the year with work, kids and community commitments.  This week we've been a bit more individual time - very important too!  Joe had a work trip to Boston.  I made exercise a priority for me and even went shopping, for a bathing suit.  Being alone in my house- ahhhhhh- reset time.

We didn't get to do all the things we wanted or dreamt about- dinners in Columbus, meeting at the pub for a day end drink.  We did get two mini projects done- art is hanging and the Derby decor is away...restated- the Triple Crown Horse decor is away (that ended in June by the way.) We also missed our kids- really missed them.  Joe said this after a great catch-up call with him talking sports.  The girls letters make me want to know more, hear their voices. YES we missed them AND we can't wait to hear all about their time being off of Newark-Granville Road while our lives continued here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Grown Up Camp Time in the Hocking Hills!

I didn't know how much I needed our Hocking Hills adventure until I was there.  Although many friends might disagree based on how much I talked about it- I was certainly looking forward to the plans we made!  And I'm pleased to report- nothing disappointed.  I'm also happy to say my desire for a camp fix was met thanks to our journey south to one of Ohio's treasures.

-The Hocking Hills region is so close- we need to go more often and will return with the kids for day hikes.  We left Granville later than anticipated with loaded car- amazing how much we took for two people for two days....and no tent required.
 Although we used a spread sheet to collect said supplies we didn't have an exact itinerary planned. We had options noted with addresses as we tried to go old school with maps and really put the phones away- I give us a B plus for this activity.  Reality is that GPS came in handy down there.  We had to stop and buy a map and it was not detailed enough.  Advice- stop at the Welcome to the Hocking Hills Visitor center and get detailed maps.  Service is spotty and it came in handy once we had the region's magazine with map.

We made the call to hike closer to our tipi site due to check-in timing.  We found the sign for Whispering Cave- Joe did, I was looking for the Restaurant sign.  The burned remains and stone foundation of the restaurant are interesting.  The new hike takes you into beautiful woods and descends offering easy to traverse steps.  We passed a ranger who shared Whispering Cave is special and make sure to take the spur there.  She was correct- peaceful, cool with modest effort- our perfect picnic stop.  Then we took the new trail further south to experience the new hickory bridge- again only seeing few people along the way.  Fun to cross we had time to keep going and made the call to join the multitudes and head to Old Man's Cave.  This turned into the most challenging part of the hike due to wear and tear and water- the uneven ground, exposed roots and rocks gave my ankle a workout.  I'm pleased for the opportunity to develop those muscles and increase my flexibility.  Total was 5 miles of activity in beautiful terrain.

The timing worked and we found our way to http://www.secludedsanctuaries.com  thanks to GPS even with no Internet service, but I had the address and an Okay map that helped.  We chose a Tipi- or I talked Joe into the tipi to get my platform tent fix.  Last year when researching places to stay around Estes Park I stumbled on tipis and yurts and regretted not making that happen for us.  Joe regrets not staying at the Stanley.  (Note all worked out for us last year and we loved being in that amazing part of the country. In fact the whole Hocking Hills trip was inspired by the western hiking and fresh air. Another part of our story and orgin goes back to when we were dating and a special weekend without reservation that took us to walk-in camping at the park.

I will admit I was worried- the price was right for our tipi, but it looked like a great fall overnight spot- it had a stove inside?  Were we headed to a sweat lodge if the weather was hot? Oh well, we could always return home if not satisfied.

Our tipi and camp site were simple and perfect.  Joe and I loaded the cart and walked the short distance to our home away from home.  It was warm and a bit muggy but once we unloaded and set up camp were able to relax.  Being completely surrounded by nature, in an off the beaten path local, within a forest is a great way to unwind.  The tipi was spacious and had a very comfortable air mattress.  I brought my usual camp roll - egg crate foam, sheets and comforter.  Three cheers for Joe added four pillows to complete our nest.   The wood floor and mattress gave me my Camp Alleghany platform tent feel and I was satisfied.  We also loved having fire pit with solid grate to execute the dinner plan. If needed we were prepared to scout a different dinner site. I'm so pleased stayed put.  Joe builds a fabulous fire and soon dinner was cooking and cocktail hour enjoyed.
The canopy of trees made for a cool setting- literally and figuratively.  The tipi's smoke flaps gave a beautiful view, to understand the beauty of our surroundings, you have to know the birds were  wonderful company.  As the sun set it was an orchestra of calls.  Once it was dark there was a deep quiet that isn't easy to find in our world. It was easy to wake up at our usual time but we had the luxury to roll over to sleep-in.  Day one of grown-up camp- success!
 

Once up on day two we high tailed it out anxious for running water and made way to a recommended diner for breakfast.  Part of our adventure is getting a sense of the local experience and time in Laurelville didn't disappoint.  Tuesday's dinner time activity South Bloomingville provided the same energy and input- sitting at the bar with locals proved quite interesting. We even were able to enjoy a dance and great music sitting outside at an extended 4th of July party.  To round out the camp experience we had booked time in a canoe on the river.  We opted for the longer journey so we could hike into see the Rock Bridge.  We could of been better prepared to blend in with the locals by packing a cooler and enjoying sandbar time.  Other's actions reminded me of the fun back in the day on the Niabra river in Nebraska!  But our trip worked for us- the scenery and modest exercise- made for a great way to spend the afternoon.  The dark cloud that lingered opened up as we unloaded so we could keep our towels dry.  The rain was refreshing and provided a wonderful shower.  Dancing in the rain has been part of many a date for Joe and me.  It almost seemed planned and the timing was perfect.    Bonus- we took a walk and found our dating time camp site!  It was number 6- not 4 or 7 or 9......good to have the known.  Another fire, another great night's sleep and time to linger in the woods wrapped up our hocking hills time. We didn't get to all the hikes we had planned, but happy to look forward to Rock House with the kids.

Life on Newark-Granville Road loves adventure, hiking, exploring and relaxing and camping in Hocking Hills.  Joe and I are pleased we can get lost- leave our phones, skip a shower and just be together.  It is what we give our kids when we send them to camp, we deserved it too!

Note- limited pictures due to cell phone put-a-way and to see the outside of the tipi- follow the link to Secluded Santuary!