Honor Your Favorite Ticker!

It’s hard to believe that in two days February will come to a quick end.

It’s fun to look forward to two months from now, on Saturday, April 26th, it will be time for the Adult Congenital Heart Association Congenital Heart Walk 2014!

I invite you to join my family and me in walking with all of the cute kids as living proof that “they will grow up, they will grow up!”  
Thriving at 29 years strong in 2014, I’m excited to participate again.  As a nod to 29 years, I donated $29 to myself to kick start my fundraising campaign!

Give whatever amount you would like (it’s tax-deductible) or just join us the day of the walk at the beautiful Wheaton Regional Park on Saturday morning, April 26, 2014! (It’s really not that far away and a great way to start the weekend.)

I had a pretty uneventful 2013 all things considered and it’s because of the support from the Adult Congenital Heart Association, Children’s National Medical Center and my terrific doctors and specialists that make it all possible.  They all need your support!  Please & Thank you.

My Fundraising Page is here: http://bit.ly/1dIQwkF

Thank You & Happy Heart Month – Go Call Your Cardiologist, and tell them a success story sent you!

Here are two cute success stories to keep you focused on the reason behind why we do this!

AGC was born with Hypoplastic Right Ventricle & Tricuspid Atresia in 2011.

LES was born with Atrial Septal Defect in 1977.

LES with AGC  & her mommy!

LES, AGC
& her mommy!

These girls are all heart!

AGC’s mom pushed her in her stroller & LES’s mom doubled as photographer.

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The Mystery of “Why?”

Good People:

Ken
Laura
Kelley
Schuyler
Judy
Larry
Kevin
Vola
Ricky
Carole
Julian
Joshua
Gus
Nancy
Ronald, and now

      Ruthanne

Bad Things: 

Cancer
Heart Attack
Unknown reasons
On-the-job Accidents
Suicide
Old Age
Heart failure
Car Accidents
Overdose, and too frequently

      Murder

One Question:  Why?

Why do bad things happen to good people?  In Alexandria?  In Bath County?  In Aurora?  At Sandy Hook?  At Columbine?  Anywhere?  Why?

Ladies & Gentlemen, Friends, Neighbors, Alexandrians, Americans,

I ask you:  Why?

This City has lost way too many of “the good ones” for all the wrong reasons and much too soon.  Some lose battles to cancer, some in car accidents, some for reasons we will never know, but all for reasons we do not understand.

The names I’ve mentioned above belong to people we know and love throughout our “fair” City.  However, the reasons behind their deaths quite literally are just not fair.  Period.  Over two dozen people gone too soon.  Young.  Old.  Black.  White.  

What is the world coming to?  Think about it? 

That whole adage:  everything happens for a reason.  Really?

Why do bad things happen to good people?  Good question!

Still very much trying to “wrap my brain around” the events of Thursday in our quiet neighborhood, I struggle to truly comprehend just how many lives were changed with the simple “ding dong” of a residential doorbell being answered.  Simply awful.  Ruthanne is the mom of 3 daughters, all not far from my age, but was also the music teacher to probably 3,000+ children in Northern Virginia.  While I understand this is in no way about me, there are ties that bind.

I had “Mrs. Lodato” for music class when I attended Blessed Sacrament School for 7th and 8th grade.  I had her sister “Mrs. G” (-iammittorio, which I know how to spell by singing a song!) for Science class.  Lucky for me, I had her nephew, Danny, in my classes and still call him a friend and we keep in touch to this day.

I babysat for most of my adult life (starting as a teenager) and in that capacity I continued to see “Ruthanne” (no longer “allowed” to call her Mrs. Lodato, guess I was too “old!”) when I would take “my kids” to Music Together at Del Ray United Methodist Church or to her home for private piano lessons.  Whenever she saw me she oozed love of life and zeal for music.  Conversations flowed naturally as we would always pick up right where we left off.  Not sure when I saw her last, but am certain I would never ever have thought that that time would have been my last.

Thursday happened while I was out of town for work.  I was in New York City and saw a musical on Broadway and a concert at Carnegie Hall yesterday.  I shared with Danny that I was doing so and he responded: “Ruthanne would be happy that you were celebrating music.”  I hate that I am so far away, but it helps to know it would make her happy and that I am celebrating something.  Returning home will not feel the same.  For many, our lives will never ever be the same.

IMG_1975

Packing Up

Flat Stanley and I are packing up and heading South but not before packing in a fun Saturday in Manhattan.

Times Square was gorgeously sunny, but don’t let that fool you, it was freezing!  Not too cold for the Naked Cowboy, tho!  I covered Stanley’s eyes, but had to snap a few pics myself!

We went to see the matinée of Once, the Tony award-winning best musical of 2013, complete with the bar on the stage pre-show!  Very cool.  Yep, took Stanley onto the Broadway stage, but…alas, no cameras allowed. 😦  I tried!  We sat in the last row of the theater, but were in the very center, so the view was great and the music even better!

Next up, Stanley and I both went to Carnegie Hall for the first time this evening.  It was a beautiful concert in a more than gorgeous venue.

Enjoy the last of the pics of the Big Apple: cowboy, snow, trash & all.

Still Getting Along Fine!

Good news! Stanley and I are still getting along, finding we share more and more in common every day.

Today I showed him Manhattan from the Top of The Rock (Rockefeller Center) from 67 stories up in just a 43 second elevator ride.  Luckily his ears didn’t pop, but mine sure did!  We had to hit Radio City Music Hall & NBC studios in honor of the last night of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!  Then, tonight he took me to a Broadway show!  We went to see the Bridges of Madison County with Kelli O’Hara and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Stanley didn’t love all of the chaos that was Times Square, I don’t think, but we took some pics there anyway!

Stanley took a ride in a NYC taxicab today and couldn’t wear a seatbelt, but he held on to it for dear life!  We also rode the bus, but it was too crowded and we had one of my clients in a dog carrier so a photo op just wasn’t possible.  He’s becoming a dog lover, that Stanley, but…one thing at a time!

There’s Someone I’d Like You To Meet…

Ladies & Gentleman, Friends & Family, Blog Readers, Facebook friends, it’s official:  there’s a new man in my life.

He’s everything I ever dreamed of.  Photogenic, forgiving, always there and always up for a good time out on the town.

But…going in, I should tell you, it’s temporary.

I left him behind yesterday and he patiently waited for me right where I left him.  He didn’t care.  He knew I’d be back for him.  I dare say, he’s the best boyfriend ever so far!!!!

…He’s Flat Stanley!

Taa-Daa!

Taa-Daa!

My new best friend and great to have around for my adventures in NYC this week while I’m here “for work.”  He loves that he even gets to go on business trips with Do More with LES!

He’s a fun colorful guy who is “just my size” and fits in my purse.  He must get folded and stored in a Ziploc bag, but he travels nicely.  Doesn’t come with much “baggage” if you will!

See, no baggage!

See, no baggage!

You see, Flat Stanley belongs to a student, Maggie, in Mrs. G’s classroom at a school in Massachusetts.  (That student’s name has been changed for internet-safety purposes.)  Maggie colored and cut out Flat Stanley and made him her very own.  He can dress, too, another perk!  He’s sporting a v-neck sweater, which I think sometimes looks like a ribbon holding what could be a gold medal.  (We’re so ready for Sochi!)  He’s an award-winner all right and a very good sport!

My assignment from Maggie was to show Stanley a good time!  I have done just that and I’m not finished yet, but again, I’ll spare you an onslaught for the duration of our time together.  Here are just some fun pictures (with explanations of where we are) of our adventures together.  (click on one to see & read them all)

I’ve had so much fun introducing everyone to the new man in my life, especially the NYPD Officer!  Hope you approve of him, but rest assured, this too shall pass, just like all the rest…

A Snow White Week in New York City!

Oh sure, my friends on the Upper East Side go on vacation in the Dominican Republic and what do I get?

Fabulous down time.  Two cute puppies.  A condo to myself, complete with AppleTV.  And…..a forecast complete with back-to-back snowstorms!

I arrived Saturday and stayed in the heart of Times Square, walked to yoga on the Upper West Side on Sunday morning with no coat on, and then…insert Monday’s beautiful splendor courtesy of the great Mother Nature!  It literally snowed all day and was just absolutely amazing!

Here are a few fun pictures.  I especially like the snowman across the street in the churchyard spinning a basketball on its head!  It was decent today so I went and took some shots around Manhattan.

Enjoy…more “weather” coming tonight and tomorrow, too.  I’ll try to spare you.