Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Exploring Boat Show in West Palm Beach

I went to the Palm Beach International Boat Show thinking I would pick out a yacht to buy -- when my money ship comes in.

But the AquaZone grabbed my attention. It was a 40,000-gallon pool of pure fun on the grounds of the Meyer Amphitheatre in downtown West Palm Beach.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Walking to defeat ALS in Okeeheelee Park

My third time was truly a charm at the Walk to Defeat ALS in Palm Beach County.

Walk Committee Chairwoman Dorothy Bradshaw, whose Daddy died from ALS complications, rallied the forces and raised a boatload of money while creating a fun-filled family day on Saturday, March 21 at Okeeheelee Park.

The SpenWen team was there in memory of Susan Spencer-Wendel. She was a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and courts reporter for the Palm Beach Post. Susan died on June 4, when she was just 47.

The day was full of emotional moments, with remembrances in the form of shoes and signs for those who died from this horrible disease. Inspiration was there, too. Family and friends gathered to honor the legacy of a loved one.

Before The Walk

The day began with the Maureen Corps doing an Irish Stepdancing performance to honor their dance teacher, Maureen Drake, who died 4 years ago from ALS complications. I loved their T-shirts:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bird-watching at Wakodahatchee Wetlands

The chattering of the mating birds was overwhelming Sunday at Wakodahatchee Wetlands.

The birds drew visitors who packed the parking lots heading to the boardwalk while holding digital cameras with gigantic zoom lenses or powerful binoculars or smart phones. I had my trusty iPhone 5S with me.

A woodstork helps to build his nest while sharing the
tree with egrets, anhingas and herons.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Martial arts extravaganza in Lake Clarke Shores

Paying it forward.

That's how In-Nae TaeKwonDo studio owner, Bridget Hammond, lives her life.

In early 2014, after reading Susan Spencer-Wendel's memoir, Until I Say Goodbye, Bridget felt compelled to help Susan who was diagnosed with ALS. Bridget sent a text to Susan: "I'd like to help by walking your dog. I am not a crazy woman, I live in Lake Clarke Shores."

And then she explained how when she was immobile from breast cancer surgery, she came to depend on the kindness of friends. They drove her kids to school and one came weekday mornings to walk her six-month-old Irish setter, Murphy.

Bridget Hammond greets guests at her martial
arts studio, In-Nae TaeKwonDo.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Exploring dog area at Okeeheelee Park

This past week, I cut short my walks with Sadie because I was on deadline. I promised that on Saturday I would take her to the dog area at Okeeheelee Park.

Saturday came and it poured most of the afternoon. We had to wait one more day for her first trip to a dog park. I was glad we did. She found a playmate in 7-month-old Audrey, a mixed-breed that also is a rescue.

Audrey's owners found her on Petfinder, a for dogs, the mom said. "You put in all the characteristics you want in a pet, and it returns a list of potential pets," she said. Sunday was Audrey's first time at a dog park, too!

Sadie, my Cairn-terrier mix, did not know what to make of
 the shih tzu-mix that wanted to sniff her butt.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Walking to Street Painting Festival in Lake Worth

My friends wanted to sell bottled water to benefit ALS at the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival and I wanted to help them. I love that festival, live in Lake Worth and plan to participate in 2015 Walk to Defeat ALS.

Just last June, we lost our mutual friend, Susan Spencer-Wendel, to that awful disease, She wasn't even 50, but she packed a whole lot of living into her 47 years. She was a wife, mother of three, sister, daughter, best-selling writer and a courts reporter for The Palm Beach Post.

We gathered in front of the @The-Hair.Net salon, owned by Kerri Olah-Brennan who was Susan's hairdresser and is a SpenWen Team co-captain along with me and Susan's sister Stephanie Harwood-Parlamento; Kerri's wife, Pamela Olah-Brennan, who is on the 2015 Walk to Defeat ALS committee with Kerri and me; Bridget Hammond, owner of In-Nae Tae Kwon Do studio in Lake Clarke Shores and a SpenWen Team member; and several others who were selling costume jewelry, raffle tickets for a baby doll and hand-made bracelets. We raised more than $1,500 during the festival.

Kerri Olah-Brennan (left) and her wife Pam sell $2 bottled water
for the ALS Walk.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Exploring FreshFest in West Palm Beach

FreshFest made its second appearance in West Palm Beach. The subculture of health- and fitness-nuts thoroughly enjoyed the free event.

The grassy base of the Meyer Amphitheatre was divided into areas with plant names such as Zinnia and Azalea.Various fitness  classes and demonstrations were held there. Vendors circled around the perimeter, just like last year.

Here are some photos from the packed FreshFest event: