WW #17

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New Release ~ My Love Affair with Sicily is now Available

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Great news! It is definitely time to celebrate with some prosecco or vino! Or maybe some Sicilian NERO D’AVOLA!

Prosecco (480x640)As of today My Love Affair with Sicily is  available on Amazon in both editions, the Kindle version as well as the paperback. For my friends in the UK it is also available on Amazon UK and for my friends in Italy, on Amazon.it.

I will also have my own copies if anyone would like an autographed version, please e-mail me and we can make arrangements.

I intend to upload the file to the Barnes and Noble website too, so those readers with a Nook can view it there as well.

Thank you for all of your support during this process. You have helped spur me on to complete this journey. Who knows where it will end?

Grazie a tutti!

Sicilian cookies Sicilian cookies

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Not One Cup

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First, I would like to say that today’s run in Carmel was simply gorgeous and amazing. The 9 mile route was hilly but manageable. And really no one really cared about the hills because the route was so awesome.


Carmel Bay – mile 1-2


About mile three

Second, I would to say that this run was so clean, it was incredible. East coast runners are disgusting! Hahaha! Water spilled, gatorade dumped making a sticky surface, crushed cups everywhere despite the garbage bags or recycle boxes, Gu packs, spit gobs every other step. Not here! You can feel the California pride in having clean communities! There was not a single cup on the ground. No orange peels. No Gu packs. Hardly any spit. It was a miracle! People can run and get the cup in the recycle box! It’s possible!

Most organized!

Most organized!

Third, the Marathon Village was awesome. There was no crowding in the finish area. No lines for food. They gave you a little tray box for your goodies which included oranges, bananas, apples, strawberries, bagels, muffins, cookies, pineapple juice, milk and then outside was the beer tent. Now, I love the Rock n’ Roll events, but Big Sur had them beat! I’ll be back 🙂





West Coast Run

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Well, this weekend is my first west coast run, and I am so excited for it. This one has been a long time coming because I registered and planned this one starting the fall! Yes last fall! I had to get in!

Flew into San Jose last night and driving to Carmel in a couple of hours. Yes, folks. This is the Big Sur run. On the PCH! Ah! I can’t wait. I’m just running the 9 mile, and I plan on stopping to take photos. How could I not?

WW #16

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I subscribed to the feeds of Action for Happiness on Facebook. I enjoy following these kinds of non-profits that promote health, happiness and well-being. They offer insight and validity to life when you need it.

The feed below was posted this morning, and it really caught my attention:

Three fundamental needs for human wellbeing: autonomy (feeling in control), competence (feeling capable) and relatedness (feeling connected).

I completely agree and I never really thought that you could capture your well-being in three words (potentially starting with the same letter)…

When I read that post, at that moment I realized why I need a change.

At home, these fundamental needs for well-being are met.

At work, not. I’m missing one of these fundamental needs. I’ve been searching for what what missing. And now it has a name.

I’m missing the A. I don’t have the autonomy I need to feel fulfilled in my job. The “autonomy” isn’t real.

And the sad part is… is has nothing to do with the kids, the teaching, the standards, the curriculum, the professional development, or even the parents. This has to do with micromanagement. And that, I can’t take anymore. It’s time for a new chapter, one the A.



3 letters no one wants to hear: DNF

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Me and Mo

This is the most painful post I have ever had to write.

I DNF the Donald Half Marathon and it hurts.

So why do I just not ignore it, but instead tell the world about it?

Well… I have always maintained that this forum is for me. It is a record of my achievements and failures. It keeps me accountable and provides an opportunity for growth.

I woke up half marathon morning scared. I mean TERRIFIED. it is something I have never experienced before. I realize now that anxious, nervous and apprehensive are not fear. Fear is a completely different emotion.


I felt out of my element. I was not ready and worst of all, I was going it alone. I didn’t let myself rely on my team or friends.

I walked to the bus pick-up at my resort and boarded the bus with 70 other would be half marathon…

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Keys to Unwinding

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The idea of vacation itself is enough to help us begin to unwind. The fact that you are leaving, detaching from your regular life and daily routines – delicious! Yes, the physicality of removing yourself can be enough at first, but actually, it’s how you spend your time on vacation that is critical to unwinding – I mean really unwinding and unloading your mind.

My mini-vacay to Florida this week served me well in unloading mental stress and refocusing on being mentally clear. I think I was pretty successful at achieving what I went there for.

Here are some keys to unwinding:

1. Go somewhere that forces you to relax. Choose carefully and think about the purpose of your trip (which is probably de-stressing, decompressing, de-elevating, unwinding, searching for mental clarity). Going somewhere that offers tons of activities will keep you too busy. Go to those places when you don’t need to de-stress. Many times people return from vacation saying they need a vacation from the vacation they were just on.

*Note: If you are not able to actually go away-away – by plane, train or car – then find a “redemption place” that is your mental clarity spot. A place you can visit daily if possible.

2. Choose the right amount of time to be away. If you are not away long enough, you will not allow yourself to truly relax.

3. Physically detach from people! Don’t talk to anyone. Seriously, unless you have to. Talking is a really exhausting exercise.

4. Read books unrelated to your job. And read books you’ve had on your shelf for a long time. Let your mind go. Escape into whatever you choose to read.

5. Have a glass or wine, beer, or cocktail a day. One or two – and really enjoy the taste. Enjoy the moments attached – sitting, sipping, not talking, not checking your phone – just being in the moment. Allow yourself to relax with your alcohol instead of getting drunk with it. No hangover this way!

6. Sit. Observe. Try not to judge, but instead, just enjoy watching people. Make up stories about them in your head. Make yourself laugh.

7. Realize when you are ready to participate in interaction again, and do so meaningfully. Say something nice to someone. Offer help. Give up your seat.

Pay attention. Marvel. Savor. This is why you left in the first place. To regain your clarity.

tbt #15 – Old Boarding Passes Make Great Bookmarks

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You already know that I was reading Someone Knows My Name for about three years.

My bookmark was proof it’s been at least that long.

This boarding pass was from my first trip to Orlando in June 2010 with my buddy Alaa.

Eeeeek! 2010? Then it was longer than three years…


I can’t tell you if I started reading the book then, but it’s an indication of the all the journeys this book has been on with me.

Wow! 2010?

Time does go faster as you get older.

Must be all the fun!