Happy Birthday, Gram L!

Happy Birthday to the coolest 86-year-old on the planet!

Here is why we should celebrate her amazing life:

  • She is a world traveler.  She’s been all over Europe.  She just went to Paris just a few months ago, but all her loyalties lie in Italy.  If only she would come to Vermont… 😉
  • She is a grandmother of three.  Gram L has lived with me since the day I was brought home from the hospital.  As I mentioned in my Mother’s Day post, she has cared for my like a mother my whole life.

  • She is a loud, sassy, zesty Italian woman.  She doesn’t take crap from no one (she has taught me all the Italian swear words, shhhh), but she’s also the star of every room she’s in.
  • She has cared for my Aunt every day of her life.  And my mom, too, but I don’t think she gave her as much trouble as Paula… 😉

  • She is a total foodie. (Italian is her favorite, of course.) I get that from her, too!  I wish I was having an Angel Food Cake with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit – her typical birthday treat.
  • She is a coffee connoisseur.  She goes to Starbuck’s every morning and knows everyone’s name.

  • She walks every morning to and from church!  She is more active before 7:30am than many people are all day.
  • She laughs the most joyful cackle you will ever hear.  Every night as she watched Seinfeild or America’s Home Videos in her little cave, we can hear her laughing from the other side of the house!

  • She makes friends everywhere she goes.  I admire her friendliness and contagiously fun personality.
  • She is so stylish!  Chico’s is her favorite store, and she’s also a great bargain-hunter, too!

  • She sends me the best chain emails.  She has a Facebook.  She comments on my blog.  She Skypes with me.  For someone who was alive in the ’20s, she’s very modern!
  • She knows how to party!  She’s always celebrating something with her lady-friends, and wouldn’t say no to a glass of wine…

  • She is a church lady.  She goes to Catholic mass every morning at 6:30am (and again on Saturday afternoons), but actually she doesn’t go on Sundays.  It’s too crowded.  But hey, she does her time!
  • She loves her pup!

  • SHE IS SANTA CLAUS!!! The secret is out.  I think she might be the Easter Bunny, too!
  • She shares all her food with me, including the “good eggs” that she buys.  She also makes an excellent bowl of oatmeal!

  • She has lived an incredible life.  She has survived the Great Depression, went against the norm to become a working woman, fell in love with a Navy boy that I’m sad I never got to meet, raised a daughter (or two ;)) with special needs, cared for her grandchildren when her daughter needed it most, and traveled the world…in her 70s.
  • I admire her so much and I am thankful that I have inherited so many of her sparkling qualities.

I love you, Gram L!  I hope you have a fabulous birthday! 


This morning, before my run (read about my tips on how to become a runner!), I had two dates slathered in peanut butter.

I usually get digestive stomach cramps when I eat right before a run, or I get hungry tummy rumbles by the 20th stride if I go on an empty stomach, so I have been on the lookout for the perfect pre-running snack.  I have read about eating dates on a couple of blogs, and it seemed like they are energizing, but still light.  I have been on the lookout, but I haven’t seen them in the grocery store until this past Thursday!  Added bonus?  They are a product of USA (scratch that, it’s actually a big shame…thinking of all the greenhouse gasses that were released to transport it!)

The verdict?  They were PERFECT!!!  No hunger and no cramps!  Me likey!  I ran for about 30 minutes mostly because I was running (ha!) a bit late.  I was feeling really energized and strong, though!  When I got home, I did some yoga in the form of downward dog, pigeon, and forward fold before quickly showering, panicking about failing to correctly submit a paper (FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!!  Thank God I don’t really go to this school), and eating brekkie:

Instant coffee w/soymilk and a microwaved egg w/ S&P on Italian Herb Paste-slathered toast.  Plus, vampire toast made an appearance.  Apparently, I have recently become a vampire and need my daily does of blood-on-toast to survive.  (Is this little bit getting too gross?)

Then it was off to the Farmer’s Market for our weekly produce supply!  Last week, we bought a bag of mandarin oranges (because the teller at the convenience store told us they were in season) and half the bag was moldy.  😦  Boo!  So today, I bravely yet respectfully confronted the produce man we’d bought them from, and he offered to give us a free bag of them if we bought 2 kilos of apples.  Very fair.

Sold!  Except now we have A TON of apples because my teacher gave me some yesterday, too lol

For lunch, I made a grand ol’ salad:

Salad greens with raw carrots and green beans.  Dressed in lime juice, S&P, and pumpkin-kumara hummus.  Bit of a rando combo but it rocked!

I snaked on a mandarin orange and p’nut butt- with a side of sliced apple (and a few crackers!)

Our friend had asked Hannah and I to help her with one of her photography projects this afternoon.  We were models!

Hannah with another "model" on the "set"

I had to hold a sad face for a long time, not easy for silly me!

Dinner was another simple one.  I have been totally lazy today in so many respects.  Another frozen pizza.  This one was only nz$3!!! It was tasty (BBQ chicken with tomato chunks pizza)

But def not as good as the Spicy Vegetarian we usually get….

Is your grandma awesome, too?



Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, Running

2 responses to “Happy Birthday, Gram L!

  1. Becca

    Happy birthday Gram L!!!! (either you wrote about this upcoming event recently, or I’m psychic because Gram L and Paula were in my dream last night!

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