Tag Archives: pet therapy

Today: The weekend according to Instagram X.

The theme of this weekend was finding peace in the routine.  And feeling as grateful as ever.

The weekend according to Instagram X

  1. Words fail to describe Friday in Boston and neighboring cities and towns.  I am proud of our leadership, our law enforcement, and our fellow citizens.  And I never, ever want to see another day like that.  At a loss for words, I offered a hand to hold.  
  2. With the “shelter in place” order lifted, one suspect dead and another in custody, it felt important to get out of our condo and try to restore some semblance of normalcy.  Our box, CrossFit Southie, was hosting a special Marathon Monday workout and fundraiser for the Richard family.  The WOD (with a rep scheme of 4-15-13 followed by a half mile sprint) was sent to boxes across the country.  Feeling flat out exhausted, I choked up multiple times during the workout, just trying to wrap by head around the week.
  3. We are just so lucky to be safe and sound.
  4. The three of us headed out for some fresh, ocean air.  I love this little fishing boat (it’s named Success), and living so close to the water.  Clark and I went straight for the shoreline, and he took his first dip of the season.
  5. A good workout, some fresh air… and some sparkle.  I wore these flats on my wedding day, and love breaking them out on a regular ol’ Saturday.
  6. After a week of waffling between emotional eating giant bowls of popcorn and forgetting to eat altogether, we showed up for a verrrrrrrry early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Franklin Cafe, before they even had a chance to unlock their door.  I felt like one of those people who shows up for door buster sales.  Or a very elderly person.  I would have been embarrassed  but I was too hungry for that.
  7. If you’re wondering who the biggest goofball on the planet is, look no further.  How did I possibly manage to hit myself in the head with a loaded barbell on Sunday morning and still get a 10 lb PR on the snatch?  Sometimes I think I should be monitored by scientists, or something.
  8. After CrossFit (and a shower, obvi), I scooped up the Frenchie and headed to the hospital for pet therapy.  Clark cannot get into the car fast enough once he has that vest on.  We spent a little over an hour hanging out with the kids and when we left, my heart and head felt a million pounds lighter.  Clark, on the other hand, felt six pounds heavier.  He can’t say no to treats.
  9. We rounded out the weekend with a beautiful Mass at St. Cecilia.  As we listened to Fr. Unni’s sermon, I knew that I was hearing what I needed to hear.   We need to be gentle with ourselves, and with one another.  There will always be more light than darkness.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you looking forward to this week?

Today: #elf4health Round 2, Week 1

As with most important things in life (Harry Potter, eyebrow waxing, disco nails), I was a little tardy for the Elf for Health party.  A six week holiday season challenge started by Lindsey and Elle, Elf for Health includes partner pairings (I am paired up with Arielle, who just registered for her first half marathon… w00!).  If you’re interested in joining in, you have until December 22nd to sign up.  This week’s challenges were motivating and helped to shake up my usual routine a bit.

Elf for Health Round 2, Week 1

  • Monday: Track your water intake; aim to drink your body weight in ounces.  I always have one, if not three, water bottles at my desk, in my car, in my bag, and about the condo.  Having made real progress in my battle with Diet Coke (to quote Boyz II Men, “It’s so haaaaarrd to say say goodbye…“), a tall glass of water with a bit of lemon is my go-to.
  • Tuesday: Clean out your fridge and pantry; get rid of expired and unhealthy items.  This was quick and painless, but hugely needed.  Being a little shorty, I had no idea what was up on our top shelves.  Gluten free banana bread mix that expired in October?  Hmm.  I bagged up a number of (non-expired, obviously) items for the can drive in our office building and made room on our cabinet and refrigerator shelves for the week’s meals.
  • Wednesday: Work veggies into breakfast and lunch.   I love fresh green juice at the start of the day (the usual mix: carrots, spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery, apples, lemons and ginger) and a big salad for lunch.  I snack loudly on carrots and cucumbers throughout the day.  Dinner is usually less colorful for me, however, and Wednesday was no different.  Perhaps that should be my new challenge.
  • Thursday: Buy coffee for the person behind you.  Real talk: I was thiiiis close to buying coffee for the man behind me in line at the Dunkin’ drive through, but I chickened out for the following reasons imaginations: What if he thought I was hitting on him?  What if he followed me?  What if he accidentally spilled the gifted coffee, got burned, and then sued me?  I decided to forgo the coffee and handed out mandarins to co-workers instead.
  • Friday: Workout with a buddy.  I worked out solo on Friday, with plans to hit up Green Tea Yoga with my friend Elizabeth on Sunday.  It always feels so good to share a workout with a friend.  Especially when that workout is immediately followed by a chatty brunch, complete with mimosas.
  • Saturday: Donate to a holiday charity in your area.  Clark and I made a therapy dog visit to BU’s Mugar Library, where students were studying for final exams.  I also boxed up some extra holiday cards, lights, and Christmas decorations, which my mother brought to the local food pantry to be handed out to clients.  Whoever decided it’s better to give than receive was onto something.  Did you know that volunteering helps you stay healthy?  It’s true.

Also On Tap for Today:

Have you ever bought coffee for a stranger?  Was it lovely (I am guessing, yes)?  Teach me your ways.


Today: The importance of being together.

Earlier this fall I responded to a request seeking a visit at a local university during final exams, from our therapy dog organization.  I put the date on my calendar and all but forgot about it.  When the date (Saturday) rolled around, I didn’t want to leave the house.  I wanted to stay inside, thinking and praying and holding on to those I love.  Like everyone, surely, my heart just feels broken.  In seemingly hopeless times, though, I suppose hiding accomplishes very little.  I packed up my little monster and his therapy dog vest (I left his BC blanket at home), and headed to Boston University’s Mugar Library.

In the old days, when hockey rivalries mattered, I would have giggled at the fact that Clark chose to pee directly on the lawn in front of a bright red BU sign.  Having matured (slightly), I looked around sheepishly and hoped we weren’t late. As we entered the school’s library, and students came rushing to see Clark, I felt like we were getting a time out from the world.  I spent a little over an hour sitting cross-legged on a carpet floor while Clark curled up with groups of four or five students at a time.  I chatted with the students about exams, homesickness, and the holidays. All the while, Clark purred and pawed and pranced.

I am not sure how much good we actually accomplished (though I sort of wish we had rooms of puppies to play with when I was in school), but I know exactly how much good I received by being there: a lot.   I was reminded of the power of connectivity, and how important it is to be together (even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, with veritable strangers) when our world feels so fractured.

To quote His Holiness, the Dalai Lama (he says things so much better than I ever could, obvi),

Love and compassion are not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive.

I was reminded of this again this morning during a nearly two hour (yes, really…) yoga class.  My friend Elizabeth and I took a little day trip to Salem and stopped at Green Tea Yoga for a whole lot of om.

Throughout the class, Maggie – our instructor and the studio’s owner – reinforced that we are all loving presences in the world, and that we are bound to take care of one another.  Her thoughtful comments and affirmations made our heart-opening poses all the more… welp… heart-opening.

While I will never begin to understand why or how unbearable tragedies such as Friday’s happen, I know that we are so, so, so fortunate to have one another.  And we must be good to each other.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite way to volunteer?

Today: A festive weekend in Boston.

With our Christmas tree up and decorated (and smelling like heaven), we celebrated quite a festive weekend in Boston.  There is so much to see and do in ye olde Cradle of Liberty this time of year; we’re lucky it’s all just a walk (or Uber ride) away.  We bundled up on Saturday night for dinner, drinks and lots of lights in Faneuil Hall with Tina and Mal.  Our first stop was dinner at Anthem, one of Nick’s favorite lunch spots.  I studied their gluten-free menu online beforehand, which made my dinner choices (a Boston Bibb salad and a side of garlic mashed potatoes) easy and stress-free.

My three dining companions started with the fondue… which for me, was a fondon’t.  Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.  Did anyone else have “fondue day” in their high school French classes?  I think I will forever associate fondue with those awkward chair/desk combinations.  We left the restaurant just in time to catch the tail end of Blink!, a three minute light show set to the music of the Boston Pops.  We ducked into Durgin Park for hard ciders while waiting for the next show to start.  If you’re passing though the area, the quick show is definitely worth checking out.  Here’s a little iPhone/YouTube preview:

If I wasn’t already high on the Christmas spirit, I certainly would have been after Blink.

[For more information about the show, click the image above.]

If you’re in the area and looking to celebrate your own festive weekend in Boston, here are few more ideas:

Because two light and sound extravaganzas are better than one, I met my brother and niece for the tree lighting aboard the U.S.S. Constitution yesterday.  I think we may have been running late (mostly because I wanted to tell the baby all about Christmas in a weird baby voice), since the tree was already lit when we arrived and guests were being ushered off the boat.  Welp, can’t win ’em all.

After walking along the Harbor Walk and admiring all the boats decked out for the holidays, I headed home to light the first candle on our Advent wreath, and whip up a few treats for the week.  My sister-in-law is hosting a cookie swap next weekend and I want to be sure my gluten-free peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies with pretzel bits and sea salt are both edible and palatable.  Hopes are high.  Expectations are slightly lower.

The highlight of my weekend had to have been Clark, wearing his little Santa hat, greeting the patients at the hospital where we do pet therapy.  Needless to say, his chapeau was a hit.  I always leave the hospital with an overflowing heart (and a very sleepy French bulldog), and can think of no better way to kick off the first week of December.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Kicking off week 3 of HBBC with new goals and solid plans
  • Taking Clark for his annual check up and shots (I mostly always almost faint, while he totally plays it cool)
  • Finishing wedding thank you notes and starting Christmas cards
What is your favorite local holiday event or tradition?