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In the spring I set a goal for myself…I wanted to walk 1,000 miles by December 30th. Well, after some calculating, it seems as if that goal will not be reached.

I’d have to walk 136 miles before New Year’s Eve, and I’m fairly certain that ain’t gonna happen. I know that because I walked 100 miles in April and it meant never skipping a day and going out for 4 walks a day towards the end.

December is a super busy month, and although I will probably walk every day, I doubt I can do the required 4.53 miles per day to make my goal. Too bad I can’t measure all the steps I’ll take to do my Christmas shopping. That just might send me over…

But you know, I’m not giving up. Knowing I won’t acheive this goal could make it easy for me to sleep late in the mornings rather than bundling up and heading out in the dark at 6:10 am to put in a mile or two.

But I still get up at 5:00 am, and still bundle up at 6:00 because I want to see how close I can get. Plus, the walking is really good for my blood pressure, and at least I’m out doing something physical almost every day. I may not eat right all the time, but dammit I have the exercise thing down pat.

I’m at 867.5 miles so far in 2015…that’s more than double of what I walked all last year. I’ll be curious to see what I can do in 2016.



It’s been pretty cold the past few days, but I haven’t minded at all. You see, cool to cold weather is my favorite climate to walk in. Here’s why…

  1. Being hot sucks. Unless you are at the beach with a cooler full of beer, being hot just plain sucks.
  2. I always have pockets. When I walk in the warmer weather, I don’t always wear clothing that has pockets. This means I have to hold my phone and my iPod while walking 3 miles…not fun. Or worse yet, I have to shove them in my sports bra, which I’ve heard can be hazardous to your health.
  3. Disrobing is an option. If for some reason while walking I begin to feel warm, I can take my jacket off and tie it around my waist. Let’s face it…in the summer whipping off my T-shirt isn’t a viable option.
  4. It’s Refreshing! There’s something about feeling that chilled air on my cheeks that is truly invigorating! Plus, taking a deep breath is so cleansing…unlike when it’s hot and muggy.

I’ll admit, walking in the cold isn’t all moonlight and magnolias. If you head out ill prepared, it can really suck. For example, the other morning I started my walk before the sun came up, and it was cold. I had gloves on, but they weren’t the greatest. My poor fingers were frozen a mile in…even shucking them up my sleeves didn’t help.

So even it means bundling up like Nanook of the North, as long as it’s below 55°, I’ll be out there pounding the pavement.



A few years back my girls and I were heading into a Walmart in Richmond, Va when I spotted what looked like a boy’s wallet in the parking lot. The reason why I figured it was a boy’s wallet was because it had a giant Dallas Cowboys logo on it, and come on…what self respecting grown man would have that kind of wallet?

I picked it up and looked inside and was flabbergasted to see it jam-packed with money. After quick look, I figured there was at least $400 in there. Wow…if I had lost a wallet with that much money, I’d want to blow my brains out. Lucky for this dude, I was the one who found it.

I went into the store and asked for the manager. I wanted to leave the wallet there because I figured that would be the first place the frantic wallet owner would call, hoping that some good samaritan, me, had turned it in.

But I have to be honest…I didn’t like the looks of the gal who approached me saying she was the manager. She looked kind of shifty, and I had visions of her pocketing the money on the sly.

How in the world was I ever going to know if this wallet was returned to it’s rightful owner? The only thing I could think to do before handing the wallet over to this less-than-reputable-looking manager, was to take a photo of the driver’s license in the wallet. And in the weeks that followed I tried to call this person, but they had a block on their phone that did not allow unknown numbers to go through.


I also tried to find him via social networks, but again I came up with a series of dead ends. So I never knew if he got his wallet and his money back. That was a bummer.

So I’ll put it out there now…all the info I remember on this guy. If you lost a cash-filled Dallas Cowboys wallet in the parking lot of the Walmart at Short Pump in Richmond, and you live in Manakin Sabot, your wallet was returned with every red cent still in there.



Blogger’s Note: photos shown are ones my brother took while visiting Czechoslovakia the ’70s, but they reflect the same customs of the wedding I attended.

Back in the early summer of 1984 I spent 3 weeks visiting my relatives in what was then Czechoslovakia. The trip was a scary one for me because I was there alone…I had no father to translate, no sisters to commiserate and joke with…it was just me and a very large language barrier.

During that three weeks I had the priveledge of attending a wedding with my cousin Jozef. Having been to a bunch of weddings in the states, I thought I knew what to expect.

How do you say “Puhleeez!” in Slovak? I would discover over the course of the unfolding hours, that a Slovak wedding is almost nothing like an American wedding.

First off, the day of the wedding was unseasonably cold for late June. It was overcast, damp, and chilly, and I had nothing fancy that would fit the bill for a wedding that was also warm. Figuring our time spent outside would be limited, I ignored the elements and wore a light knee-length dress, with short sleeves and my best pair of pumps.

I was expecting to start our wedding adventure at the church, but instead we walked to the groom’s house where we waited around with the gathering crowd until he was ready. Then, with 2/3 of the village and an oompah-pah band in tow, we marched to the bride’s house.

Wedding 3

Wedding 4

By now I’m not really cold, because we are doing so much walking…but my feet are beginning to hurt just a little having walked a mile or more in pumps. Oh well, I can sit at the reception. On we go!

Side note…If you’ve ever seen the Godfather, this was very reminiscent of Michael’s wedding scene in Italy.

Wedding 2

Once at the bride’s house we then marched to what I figured would be the church. Wrong again! We had to keep on truckin’!

Wedding 6

At this point we march to the town hall which is where they did the civil ceremony, which I think had something to do with the fact that it was still a communist country when I was there. By this time I had been on my feet for at least 90 minutes and I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to sit down.

Wedding 5

Once the civil ceremony was completed, it was off to the the church ceremony. I was blissfully thankful to be sitting in a pew, but I have to tell you, that church was cold and damp. I was sitting, but I was freezing! I was looking forward to the reception, some hot soup and a shot of booze!

The reception took place in the village’s community center where rows and rows of tables and chairs were set up. I was poured wine and served a dish of hot soup, both of which I devoured within minutes (*burp*). The band started to play, and after another shot, Jozef and I danced to a polka.

When I returned to my seat, I was served a plate of pork roast, cabbage and potatoes. Yeeyum! Having downed that plate of food after the bowl of soup, I was feeling fine. My belly was full and my feet were starting to recover. More wine, a few more polkas….this wedding was awesome!

Then came the plate of Keilbasa. What the hell? How much am I expected to eat? I figured I’d pick at it…I needed to keep a full stomach to help me from getting too tipsy.

Word had spread throughout the wedding guests that I was the “visting American girl” and before long every Tomas, Dalek and Havel was asking me to dance. The next 2 hours was a constant whir of polkas, booze and endless plates of food. The food just never stopped coming…chicken, beefsteak, fish, more soup, pastries. This put the American wedding of “will you be having the chicken or fish?” to absolute shame.

I was monumentally thankful for every break the band took, because it meant I could relax for a few minutes. As the night was nearing what I thought HAD to be the end, I took my shoes off and rubbed my now swollen feet. I groaned as I saw the band head back to their places, ready to start a new set.

I don’t know if you’ve ever danced the Polka, dear reader. It’s a load of fun, but it’s taxing for a beginner with a full stomach. There’s lots of spinning, lots of footwork, and lots of twirling. In short, it’s exhausting, especially when you can’t even communicate with the dude you’re dancing with.

So when the father of the bride came up to Jozef and asked if I would dance with him, I jammed my puffy feet back into my now too-small pumps and danced two polkas with him. After that I smiled, put my hands up and said, “Thank you so much, but I need to sit down. My feet really hurt!”

What happened next occured so fast that I wasn’t sure it was really happening. A red-faced father of the bride was toe to toe screaming at my cousin Jozef and gesturing at me wildly. When Jozef came back I tried to ask him what was wrong, through the use of my Slovak/English dictionary, but he waved it off, took a last swig of beer and ushered me to the door.

We slowly walked home – me on very tender, very cold, bare feet. I could not get my size 9 shoes on at all because my feet were now size 101/2.

I didn’t know this until the next day, but apparently the father of the bride was highly insulted that I only danced 2 polkas with him as opposed to the entire set of 5 or 6. I guess it’s a huge honor to be asked for a dance by someone so important to the celebration.

On the one hand I was mortified…unbeknownst to me I’d acted poorly and made my relatives look bad. But on the other hand I was annoyed. Couldn’t this man see that I am obviously not aware of all their customs? Was he also blithely unaware that I had been dancing the entire night and was close to crippled when he asked me to dance?

My feet didn’t get back to normal for a few days after that. And I didn’t want to polka any time soon either. But I have to tell you, I could polka much better than I did before that wedding.


Out of all of my siblings, I was the one, by far, who wound up in the hospital the most. I’m actually curious as to what the final tally of my trips to the ER were…so here goes. Let’s list ’em!

Losing My Two Front Teeth – an unfortunate accident on my tricycle resulted in my teeth hitting the pavement and breaking them both into pieces. I was rushed up the street to the dentist on the corner where what chunks were remaining were pulled. I spoke with a lisp until my teeth grew back in, and even then had to go to a speech therapist at school. This calls for a Brady Bunch reference; “Baby Talk, Baby Talk, it’s a wonder you can walk.”

Stuffing a Shell Up My Nose – One day when I was obviously very bored, I decided it would be fun to take a small shell, that had come from a broken bracelet, and shove it up my nose and blow it out again. I did this repeatedly until I shoved it up too far…no amount of blowing could get it out. I had to be taken to the ER where I kicked and screamed on the table while a doctor attempted to pluck it out with some sort of tweezer.

No clever Brady Bunch reference for that embarassing tale….

Cat Scratch Stitches – I’ve written about this incident before. I was afraid to tell my mother that I’d picked up a stray cat who then used my forehead as a springboard to make his escape. His back claws had left a few serious gashes by my scalp, but I lied and told her I’d fallen down. I needed stiches and had very swollen eyes for a few days.

The Broken Fingers – When our neighbors got a new refridgerator, we used the box in as many creative ways as possible. First it was a club house. Then we used it to climb inside and roll down the hill in their backyard. Once it really fell apart we opened it all the way up and used it as a slide. We’d run down the hill and slide on top of the box. But when I did this my hand got caught in one of the many tears along the side, so as my body was headed down the hill, my hand wasn’t.

My three middle fingers swelled up at an amazing rate…all I had to do was race in the back door, show my mom, and she was grabbing her car keys and her insurance card. I had a cast on my right hand for more than a month, and had to learn how to sort of write left-handed in order to do homework.

Stitches on my Knee – while playing Eeyore in a improv production, I donkey-kicked my legs in the air and my knee came down on a nail that was sticking out of the stage. My pale grey pants were soon turning red, so I improv-ed my exit stage left. I got four stitches and very painful tetanus shot.

Apendix – I was a 7th grader on my first real date – we went to carnival up in Fort Lee, NJ and what do I do? I get sick on a ride. After throwing up all over myself, and collapsing behind the goldfish toss tent, my date and my friends called over the paramedics who loaded me into an ambulance. By that evening I was sans my appendix, but had upped my stuffed animal collection considerably.

Complications Follwing Appendectomy – Something went wrong a few days after I got home from the hospital. I had horrible stomach cramps and a fever, so back to the hospital I went.After a thoroughly embarassing rectal exam, they determined my intestines weren’t functioning properly. So they had to snake a tube up my nose and down my throat to pump out all the rotting food in my stomach that wasn’t going anywhere. I was stuck in the hospital for at least a week, and couldn’t go home until I took a proper shit.

Ovarian Cyst – I was diagnosed as having an ovarian cyst when I was a sophomore in high school. The cyst, which was the size of a grapefruit with hair, was removed, but thankfully I was able to keep my ovary. It left me with a horizontal scar from hip bone to hip bone, but thankfully fell right below the bikini line. Cause you know, I could still wear a bikini in those days.

That concludes my list of childhood maladies resulting in trips to the hospital. While it might not be impressive to some, this list far outweighs anything my siblings went through combined, although I have to say, my sister Judy had a few major accidents of her own.

And I wasn’t even a dare-devil. I was just a normal kid doing normal things, and somehow it resulted in 8 trips to the hospital. I don’t know how my mom did it. My kids are 20 and 13 and once my oldest daughter needed stitches. That’s it.

Wow…I guess I should consider myself lucky!


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question” which asked, “Why do you blog?”

Back in January of 2010, I was forced by my former boss to come up with my annual set of goals for the year. I always hated this particular task, mainly because it was the same crap every year. So I decided to get creative. I made starting a blog my main goal for 2010.

And here I am six years later.

What gave me the idea to blog was actually my mom. She died back in 1994, and as I thought back about her, I realized that there was very little I knew about her life. I only knew her as my mom…cooking, sewing, working at the school. But I never knew who her first boyfriend was, or if she had any dreams about what she wanted to be. I don’t think I knew what her favorite subject was in school, or where she went on vacation in the summer.

I might have asked her these questions when I was a kid, but if I did, I surely don’t remember the answers.

All of this made me sort of sad…I mean, with the exception of my memories of her as my mom, it’s like her life has been forgotten. There’s no journals or letters. I barely have any photos of her before she married my dad. It sucks.

And I realized I didn’t want that for my girls. So I began to write about things that happened to me growing up; the house I lived in, the places we went, and my many misadventures that are so typical of Tracy. I also journal things we do as a family, so they can look back at that as well.

All of this may hold zero interest to the average reader, but hell, the stories aren’t really for them, are they? Yet folks seem to like it. I have over 500 followers, which to some may seem laughable, but I’m pretty proud of it.

And these stories will be here forever. I love that. I love that after I’m gone my girls can read about how I got lost in Bratislava or how I fell during a high school track meet, or how I think Scrapple is disgusting. Even more, I love that some random person trolling the internet can read about how I used to love watching Shirley Temple movies on Saturday mornings, or about how I used to go to a nude beach (which, by the way, is by FAR my most popular blog post).

This is my biography, online and open to the world. To date I’ve written 430 Typical Tracy blog posts; this will be 431. And I’ve still got tons of stories to tell.


When I was in high school, at least one Friday of every month was spent doing the Time Warp and screaming “Where’s your fucking neck” at a movie screen. I hadn’t seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in the theaters in probably 20 years.

I’d seen it numerous times, though. My girls and I would watch it on DVD, but it’s just not the same. The closest place to see it in the theaters is in Richmond, VA – but the thought of driving an hour for an 11:30 pm show is not what I would call a “can do” outing.

So when I saw it was playing on the night before Halloween at a theater right here in Charlottesville, it was a no duh. I was finally going to take my daughter to see Rocky Horror as it was meant to be seen…with a live audience. Sasha, a Rocky Horror fan from way back, was super excited to be going.

But it’s so cute…she was also worried. She knew that seeing Rocky Horror was a thing I shared with my friend John, and she was afraid that by our going, it was somehow going to sully those memories I shared with my best friend. Isn’t she a doll?

I was worried too. I wasn’t sure what kind of a crowd we were going to get here in Charlottesville. I mean, this is a cool town and all, but sometimes its residents can be a little stuffy and highbrow. But on the other hand, it’s also a major college town, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

When we got to the theater, there was a HUGE crowd outside, and then I knew we were in for a halfway decent show. Sasha and I filled our water pistols in the bathroom, and found ourselves aisle seats. We had all the props needed in our bag, sans rice for the wedding, which is rarely allowed anymore.

Once the movie started, I knew it was going to be a fun show….people were yelling like crazy. But they were yelling lots of stuff I don’t remember. I guess there have been developments in the Rocky Horror audience script in the past 20 years. Rather than trying to keep up, I enjoyed being somewhat of a “virgin”, like my daughter was as a first time audience participant. I just listened and laughed my ass off.

What was cool was some of the shout outs were regional – folks would crack a joke about a neighboring town that fit right into the movie script. And there were a lot of Justin Beiber jokes…something we certainly didn’t do back in the 80’s. There were many times I yelled stuff and was the only one yelling…I got a decent laugh from the crowd after one too.

But the one bummer was the Time Warp. When I used to go you would stand in a line right in front of the first row and do the dance. At this theater all you could do was stand up and do it in front of your seat, which really sucked. The other bummer was the asshole dressed as Dracula and his girlfriend sitting a few seats down from us. They must have gotten up to go to the bathroom (or the bar) at least 5 times, making us get up every time in the bargain.

But aside from those inconveniences, it was a perfect night. We wore our newspapers, squirted our water pistols, and threw toilet paper, playing cards, and sponges. It was just so much fun. It made me realize how much I missed this Friday night phenomenon, and I vowed to do it again.

But first…I need to learn more lines.

Me and cousin Stello, sophomore year, holding Little Bear Foot. Uff da, those posters alone are worth a blog post.

When I was a teenager, I snuck into New York City to go see Cheap Trick. We missed the last bus back to New Jersey and I was very, very late getting home. My father was so pissed at me that not only did he ground me, but he forbade me from participating in the school talent show.

But his punishment was all for naught. I wound up getting very sick and would’ve missed the show anyway. I think he felt really bad, because I woke up the next morning to find the most adorable bear I’d ever seen in bed a long with me – a bear mom said daddy had bought just for me.

The name on his tag read “Little Bear Foot” and I thought it was such a delightful name that I never changed it. I don’t know why, as a teenager, I would form such a strong attachment to a stuffed animal, but Little Bear Foot and I never parted ways.

He came to college with me, where in the fall of my sophomore year his nose fell off – fell off and disappeared. I searched my room for it, but that black plastic bear nose never turned up. So, not liking that Little Bear Foot could not smell, I sewed a button on in its place.

In the spring of that same sophomore year, Little Bear Foot travelled to Vienna with me. He sat on my bed at Pension Pertschy that whole semester, with the exception of when I spent spring break in Basel, Switzerland…then he was jammed into my backpack, his head sticking out through the zipper.

Yeah, that got me lots of looks and giggles at the train station.

At one point during my Vienna semester my roommates, pack of bitches that they were, kidnapped him for a few days. I mean, who does that? Ugh, I shudder to think of what vile things those girls did to him when I wasn’t around.

He then went to Czechoslovakia with me, back to Basel, and then to Luxembourg, where I flew back home to JFK.

And now he sits in my daughter’s bedroom. I’ve told them that is he belongs to me…he’s my bear, but they can let him hang with their stuffed animals. He’s matted and old – hell, so am I – but that bear and I went through a lot together. I hope he never gets thrown out or given away. I hope that one day some grandchild will hold and love just as I did – and maybe take him on a couple more adventures.


My doctor at the free clinic suggested to me that I visit their nutritionist. I was hesitant, only because the last nutritionist I visited years ago was a real bitch.

She was the type who no matter how much weight you lost or no matter how improved your numbers were, it just wasn’t good enough. She never rewarded you with a “job well done!” It was always, “you need to do better” or “You’re not out of the woods.”

Not very motivating, to say the least.

Yesterday’s appointment was very different, but not in a good/improved way. It was just weird.

First off, she was fat, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m not saying that fat people can’t know the basics of healthy eating, but if they can’t practice what they preach, it makes you wonder.

She assumed a lot. I mean a lot. At one point she said, “well I know you don’t like fruit” to which I replied, “I actually like a lot of fruits.” I mean what was her thought process? Was it along the lines of, “gee, this broad’s a fat-ass so I’m guessing she doesn’t like fruit.”

She also assumed that when I made chicken soup from scratch that I used rotissere chicken and canned vegetables. WTF? Do I have “hillbilly” stenciled on my forehead?

She also seemed singularly unimpressed with the fact that I’ve walked over 750 miles so far this year. Usually the doctors are like, “wow, that’s impressive!” Maybe she just assumed I logged all the miles at the Chinese Buffet lines.

She also got annoyed with me. She asked what I weighed when I was 25. I told her I couldn’t remember…maybe 130? Not satisfied, she asked me what size my wedding dress was. Who the hell remembers that? Then she mentioned to her assistant that I might be in denial because EVERYONE knows what size their wedding dress was. Sorry honey, that was over 20 years ago…I just know I don’t fit in it now.

I also got lectured for not having been administered a gestational diabetes test when I was pregnant – exsqueezeme? That was 13 years ago!

What a nut!

And her eating advice? I found it to be suspect, to say the least. She wanted me to eat “diet” versions of everything….yogurt, bread…isn’t that stuff supposed to be worse for you? She actually suggested that eating Mrs. Paul’s breaded fish filets was a good choice for dinner. She also mentioned little to nothing about exercise.

The only advice I’m going to heed from her is to cut down my salt intake. The rest of it, I know how to do with one hand tied. I just have a hard time doing it for longer than a few months, especially when you stop seeing results.

I’m still trying to reach my goal of 1,000 miles walked by December 31st, 2015 – but now I’m adding dropping some more lbs into the mix.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Can’t Drive 55.” Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

Dog listen to music with a music player

I really listen to very little music. Why? Because the radio where I live in Central Virginia SUCKS. That includes both AM and FM. It all sucks.

The FM stations are super repetitive…The pop station is all Taylor Swift and Maroon 5. The rock station plays nothing but southern rock and Journey, and country music is totally out cause it’s just awful.

Don’t get me started on AM radio…it’s all right wing – I don’t even bother.

CD’s are no use to me either. My car, which is very old, only has a tape deck and even that doesn’t work.

My husband has Sirius in his car. He can listen to Howard Stern, but also has about a billion stations from news to comedy to music that he can listen to. But you know, even Sirius can get repetitive. There are certain music stations he has programmed, and I have to say, I’ve heard “Pulling Mussels from a Shell” and “My Sweet Lord” more in his car than any other place combined.

So, I’m an iPod girl. But just like my wheels, it’s old. Nano 5th generation – my daughter’s throw away when we bought her an iPod touch. It was a step up from my shuffle. Nothing but the best for mom, ha ha ha.

I have about 150 songs loaded on there, but I’ll be honest, they can become tiresome. So I listen to audio books and podcasts. They keep me wonderfully entertained while I walk each morning, and during my drive to and from work.

But for the record, the last song I heard was my daughter singing The Beatles’ “From Me To You” in the shower. Yeah, we are bringing her up on real music. And the third line, (if you skip the da da da da da dum dum dah’s), is “Just call on me and I’ll send it along with love from me to you.”

Which is pretty much a mother’s motto.


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