On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My new thing

I never have a shortage of new enthusiasms, I'm fortunate that way.

For three years Steve and I have maintained one city block of our community's bike path. It entailed a lot of work -- mowing, litter abatement (including poop patrol for other people's dogs), reporting gang graffiti, pulling weeds and protecting the wildflowers. We finally decided to give the task back to the city so someone else can have the pleasure.

And it was pleasurable, we got to greet lots of joggers, moms with strollers, dog walkers and others. But I just don't have that level of stamina right now so have traded that job for something else.

My new something is to be a park monitor a few blocks from home. It will require many more hours, but will be much gentler. I am expected to walk my dog (or Steve!) on any of the trails, notice and report what I see, take photos, pick up litter if I want to. It's primarily a notice & report sort of volunteering.

I took Brix for an hour walk today on one of the trails. He, of course, loved it and so did I. Because my job was to be alert to my surroundings, I found I was, more so than if I had just taken a walk on my own. I scribbled a few notes and later wrote up the report. I took photos and began my own field journal.

The park is 44 acres - not huge, but large enough that it will take me many trail walking sessions before I know if as well as, say that one block of bike path.


  1. That's a lot of park to monitor, but what a great task! I love your notebook/park journal. It will be fun to keep track of the park through the seasons and be able to look back at your record. I imagine tucking leaves, feathers and flower petals, candy wrappers and other funky finds within it's pages along the way!!
    wishing you well, Karin

  2. I just saw that this park is 44 acres. I live on 40 acres but with desert we can see the whole thing at once. I was thinking of the gangs or mountain lion and you walking in the wilds and I bet it seems that way. What a difference when you can see it all at once versus not. It does sound like less work than the other job you were doing.

  3. You find more ways to stay active! Never heard of this type of job before. Neat way to get out and also give back. Nature sketching has always appealed to me, too. Nice work.


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