If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

These are just some of the seascape shots I took, as I love looking at all the creative marine themed ornaments that decorate the yards and homes.

Boat Steering Wheel Entryway

Fence Buoy

Lawn Decorations

Little Lighthouse

Lobster Trap Decorations

Run Aground boat\

Sail Box



Where am I

Click links below to see some video.

Ride along the coast video 1

Ride along the coast video 2


If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.


Hingham through the spokes

If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

It was love at first sight when I met Old Yeller’, which I affectionately named my Cannondale, at Bike Barn in Whitman, MA (which I don’t believe is still in business). I bought her after pulling in money all summer painting fences and cleaning my dad’s bar every morning. I was so excited and proud to have bought my first road bike, and I couldn’t wait to take it on the New York to Boston AIDS Ride, which I was scheduled to do a couple of months later.

As it turns out, the bike ride from Bear Mountain, New York to Boston wasn’t the biggest test Old Yeller’ would face that year. Before my friends and I had pulled out of the driveway to head to Bear Mountain, Old Yeller’ and a couple bicycle friends were seriously injured by a giant oak tree, which was shielded by the driver’s blind spot.  Three bikes were on a rear-mounted bike rack and Old Yeller’ was the last to board…but unfortunately, the first to greet the tree. Less than a month old, my yellow aluminum beauty didn’t have a scratch on it until then. So we got segued in Rhode Island and headed straight to a bike infirmary for some much needed intensive care. Old Yeller’ got two new wheels and some other minor adjustments, and the rest of the bikes were checked out and repaired…and alas, we were off to New York.

I am not sure exactly the time frame of that accident, but I would guess it was at least 15 years ago. Since then, Old Yeller’ has journeyed through many states for lots of different causes, and has never failed me. She has provided me comfort and familiarity, as my home away from home during work trips to Vermont and West Virginia where she brought me much needed mountain solace and incredible exercise. She has been my traveling companion, helping me to navigate my way through unknown streets while on vacation. She has earned me some dough and helped keep me safe when I dodged more than one crazy cab driver while working as a NYC bike messenger.  Most of all, she has been a constant therapeutic companion when I needed to thrash out some frustration or calmly cruise down a country road.

Old yellow checking out the Boston skyline

I would love to upgrade to a titanium Cannondale one day, but like my incredibly loving and loyal dog Hope (who is my “first” dog), there will never be another “first” like Old Yeller.’

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If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.


If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS Fundraiser, click HERE.

Although I had begun riding my bike 8 to 10 miles every couple of days about 3 weeks ago, I can unequivocably say that my TRAINING HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN! How do I know that? Well, ask any muscle in my body, from my “abs” when I do something strenuous like BREATHE…to my “glutes” when I try to sit or walk…to the most angry muscles in my body, my “lats” and “traps,” who are convinced I must be training for Marine Corps Boot Camp rather than a voluntary solo bike ride. I have aches in places I didn’t know I had muscles.

From this description, you might think I have been riding my bike for several hours a day and getting nasty saddle soars. Not the case! While it is possible that a few of the muscle aches could be from my cycling, which capped out at 72.5 miles this week, I have a strong suspicion that the main culprit is O.L.D.

I may have hinted in a previous post that simplicity and I have not met before. So, when presented with two options of roads to take in any given situation…(one short, nicely paved road with no twists or turns and one made of gravel with hair pin turns around a steep cliff lined with gigantic pot holes), I almost exclusively choose the second road because I love a challenge. Allow me to translate this analogy  into the current challenge of getting physically prepared for my Quincy to NYC bike ride. I designed a “Liz simple” workout schedule for me to follow including cycling, cross training, and oh yes…weight training. The weight training portion of my “Liz simple”plan grew rapidly from a handful of weight lifting exercises that I could recall from my soccer and basketball days to designing an elaborate 8 day rotation of exercises divided into muscle groups, from which I choose 10 to 12 exercises a day from the 3 ring binder I put together full of 135 exercises. A sneak peak at the evidence (calendar detailing all my exercises I plan to do for the next three months of training, my 3 ring binder of weight lifting exercises, and a sample of the weight lifting I’ve done over the last couple of days) can be found below. Hopefully this lends creedence to the condition I am beginning to accept that I am inflicted with as of late…O.L.D.

Obsessive Lifting DisorderObsessive Lifting Disorder 3


Barbell trunk rotation 10×3 each @ 20 lbs…heavy on neck (1)
Barbell side bend no weight on bar 3×10 (2)
Dumbbell side bend (5) 3×10 @ 10 lb
Barbell bicep curl (52) 3×10 @ 20 lbs
Barbell bicep curl standing close grip concentrated (55) 1×10 just bar and 2×10@ 10 lbs
One at a time biceps curl (58) 3×10 @ 10 lbs
Seated concentration curl (70) 3×10 with barbell no weights but 4 ends GET 2.5 lb WTS
Barbell bent over row wide grip head supported 3×10 @ 20 lbs HEAD TOO LOW SO 2nd 2 SETS NO HEAD (91)
Barbell good morning (93) 3×10 @  20 lbs
Barbell dead lift (95) 3×10 @ 20 lbs

5/7 CHEST (no bench), Shoulders, & Triceps
Barbell upright row (26) 3×10 @ 20 lb
Military press (27) 3×10 @ 20 lbs
Military press standing behind neck (29) 20 lbs 1×10, 1×9, 1×10
Palms in shoulder press (33) 10 lbs dumbbells 1×8, 1×9, & 1×10

Abs, Back and Biceps
Barbell bicep curl (52) 3×10 @ 20 lbs
Barbell bicep curl standing close grip concentrated (55) 3×10@ 10 lbs
One at a time biceps curl (58) 3×10 each @ 10 lbs
Seated alternating bicep curls (63) 3×10 @ 10 lb dumbells
Barbell bent over row wide grip head supported 3×10 @ 20 lbs HEAD ON BED (91)
Barbell good morning (93) 3×10 @  20 lbs
Barbell dead lift (95) 3×10 @ 20 lbs
Hollow Hold 1 min
Superman 1 min
50 leg lifts
Plank 2×30 sec and 1 min plank
Side plank each side 30 sec…SHOULD DO ON RUG
Sit-ups 3×50
Barbell trunk rotation (1) 3×10 @ 20 lbs

Barbell Squat (110) 3×10 @ 25 lbs
Barbell front squat-heels elevated (113) 3×10 @ 25 lbs…A LIL AWKWARD BUT DOABLE
Barbell hack squat heels elevated (117) 3×10 @ 25 lbs
Barbell front lunge (119) 3×10 each @ 25 lbs
Reverse lunge (124) 3×10 each with 10 lb dumbells in each hand
Dumbbell swing through (127) 10 lbs 3×10
Toe Raise (129) 3×10 with 10 lb dumbbells

Although I can do the math and willingly admit that O.L.D. equals P.A.I.N., I will accept the PAIN any day if it means accomplishing my dreams.

Many thanks for your time and attention!

If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS Fundraiser, click HERE.




To donate to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here

Not much time to write because I have to go make coffee for a few hundred VIPeeps in a little bit, but I have to write quick to express how much I love being up at sunrise and riding up the big hill (which probably has a name) towards Nut Island. I love looking up over the Boston Harbor Islands and dreaming of owning one of those houses one day. Here’s the shots from this morning.


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To donate to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here


If you would like to donate to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to my main training partner, Hope Rice. Although we have not biked together YET, she has been with me during my training every step of the way. She gets me out of the house everyday without fail, be it sunny and 90 degrees or 20 degrees and two feet of snow. She is psyched to be outside, regardless of the conditions. She hangs out and watches me lift weights, and is unfazed by the din coming from the speakers as I blast Pink and Eminem. She jogs with me, speeding up when I am feeling ambitious and in shape…and slowing down when I am feeling tired and out of shape…which happens most often. Most importantly, she has been my most loyal and dedicated friend throughout all of the ups and downs of the infertility, always by my side no matter what mood I was in. I can’t wait for her to meet our future child because I know she will be the best big sister and protector that a dog could be.

The lifestyle changes and training I’ve gone through have benefitted her greatly because she is now getting scraps of lettuce and turkey instead of the junk I used to be eating…and it shows because she has definitely lost more weight and looks more toned than me. Thanks Hope for showing me up!

If you would like to donate to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

Hope on Wollaston


If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build to NBSS Fund, click here.

YES, MY BODY IS OFFICIALLY IN SHOCK! Not the kind when one witnesses some kind of traumatic, earth shattering, or life-threatening event…more the kind of shock your car might go into if you have been filling it for years with el cheapo gas from Paco’s Petroleum Stop and then inject it with Mobile’s high test fuel for a month. The last six weeks or so I have been trying to eat a little better…not a crash diet, but a lifestyle change if you will…the DASH Diet to be more specific. After turning 40, I started counting the years I have left and thinking about the changes I want to make with the time I am allotted…morbid I know. I thought of when I was first diagnosed with hypertension at 15 years old and my doctor recommended I try the DASH diet, a recommendation that was made dozens of times since. Unfortunately, their recommendations fell on deaf ears and I’ve spent years throwing whatever food I craved down my garbage disposal without a care in the world. Over the last two years, as the fertility Gods let us down repeatedly and the stork continued to evade us, I was eating ice cream as if my last breath depended on it. These eating habits with some resulting weight gain and a general lack of exercise, led me to the point I am in now…BODY IN SHOCK! Not only is my body wondering what the foreign green leafy substances are that have been greeting it at least once daily as of late, but it is reading me the riot act for the ambitious weight lifting I started this week. Did I mention that it has been at least two years since I lifted weights and exercised with any degree of consistency?

If you are picturing graceful resistance training with bands or even high-end personal training lifting kettle bells or balancing on yoga balls, that is not what I am doing. I am standing in front of my closet mirrors with my 1980’s barbells and dumbbells at 7:00 a.m. every other morning and doing my best to recall my high school physical education weight training exercises….bent over rows, bicep curls, overhead press, squats, dead lifts…are we done yet? It is a work in progress, as am I. I will add a few more exercises each week, and I will hopefully notice some definition by September 2nd when the NBSS doors open to me. Needless to say, I am not walking quite right this week!


The benefits of having a compulsive personality, even a recovering one, with a side of ADHD, are the enthusiasm and intensity with which I approach any task/challenge I am interested in. In other words, if I am in, I am in WHOLE HOG!For example, once I decided that I will be riding my bicycle to NYC to raise money for both school and charity, I jumped on the computer and downloaded training schedules, mapped out my route electronically and the old fashioned way, made lists of the items I need to bring and those I need to purchase, laid  out my daily exercise plan between now and August 15th when I set off on my journey, joined Adventure Cycling and Map my Ride, had my bike overhauled, signed up for Web Hosting Hub and then Word Press, listed a fundraising page on YouCaring.com, started this blog, and advertised it all on Facebook and email. The bulk of this was done within the first 48 hours because that is how I roll…fast and furious, and the details have continued to be worked out since.

Now that I think of it, my body isn’t the only thing in shock….my mind is as well. Considering for almost three years I have hyperfocused on doing everything in my power to will myself to get pregnant, it is truly SHOCKING for my mind to have been relieved of that obsession. Whether or not I have been relieved of that obsession or have just replaced that with another one…well the jury is still out on that! Happy riding, lifting, and whole hogging it!

If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build to NBSS Fund, click here.

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My overhauled bike overlooking Quincy Bay

Old yellow checking out the Boston skyline

To make a contribution to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

So old yeller (OY) is back, fresh off the repair stand at Bicycle Link, and it is riding fine. One flat tire fixed, two new Bontrager tires, adjusted hand brakes, wheels trued, and the derail, hub and bottom bracket adjusted. Old yeller’ is feeling like a new woman.  I find it a little ironic that the moment my tire went flat and my gears started to skip a bit, I rushed OY into the bike infirmary and got her nursed back to health. My 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe is a different story, as I am probably a couple thousand miles overdue for an oil change, the tire pressure light has been trying to get my attention for a good 9 months now and goes away every 7 to 10 days when I visit the familiar and friendly attendants at Shell and they kindly add air to it AGAIN…and then a friend nicely pointed out yesterday that my car interior looks like a recycling center with all the diet pepsi cans and water bottles. Does this mean my priorities are a little out of whack? OY says not.

So my training started officially today and unofficially yesterday. I dragged my overstuffed body (from a fabulous lunch at Granite Links) and forced myself to put on my cycling gear aimed for winter riding…typical for Massachusetts in late April. The cloud cover was thick, the rain spitting more than I would have liked, and temperature cool…so fortunately the wind was nearly nonexistent. I did my usual short route down along the water through Quincy Center, Merrymount, Adam’s Shore, and Hough’s Neck…only about 10 miles door to door….it was enough to make me feel pumped because the training had begun, but not enough to wipe me out.

Unfortunately, the ease with which I rode yesterday is not so much a result of my tip top, tight cycling physique, but more a result of the knowledge that I am now a blogger on wheels. Knowing now that I am maintaining a blog to track my riding, fundraising, and lots of other quirky unessential aspects of my life has changed the way I ride. When jumping on my bike yesterday, instead of just loading up the essentials (gear to change a tire and liquid to hydrate), I found myself packing my camera and planning where I could stop and take pictures. Stop? I don’t normally stop on a bike ride, unless it is 30 miles or more. Take pictures? A real cyclist who earned her stripes as a New York City bike messenger doesn’t take pictures along the route. I have some internal tapes to change, as you can see…and I will be focusing more on enjoying the journey rather than riding as hard and fast as I can.  So my normal 40 minute ride  stretched to about 60 minutes the last couple of days, but I smelled more of the flowers, heard the music of a variety of bird species, and I snapped a few shots for people to see.

Enjoy the journey!

Don't do this at home...taking selfies while riding a bike :)

Low tide and empty chairs


Where I belong

Boston landmark


Hill is coming soon

Hingham through the spokes

Washed ashore by the cold

Not so skilled with selfies

To make a contribution to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS Fund,        click here.


Click HERE to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund.

Its funny how life works…just a few months back, when I was firmly planted in the quick sand-like pit of despair, otherwise known as infertility, I would never have imagined that I would be feeling anything other than a host of D’s (despondency, discouragement, disappointment, disheartenment, and desperation). Certainly I could not have conceived that I would be graced by a deep sense of hope, calmness…and dare I say HAPPINESS. Just two months ago, and for the 33 months prior to that, I was chronically fixated on one thing and one thing only….doing anything and everything I could to get pregnant. I didn’t have much space in my brain for anything else. From the time I woke up in the morning until I went to sleep at night, the thoughts bounced around my head like a pinball machine. Initially they were pleasant and naive thoughts about baby names and how we were going to decorate the baby’s room. After a short time the focus shifted to picking new donors, insurance claims, prior authorizations, injection hormones, countless blood tests and internal ultrasounds. I became a walking acronym because if I wasn’t ordering IUI or ICI specimens or talking about PCOS, I was having an IUI or IVF done, and when I hit the lottery, the payment came in the form of ICSI with a side of AH (assisted hatching). I shed humor and light on the situation because laughter helps me heal. And after a three year long rollercoaster ride with steep downhill drops, I need laughter and I need healing.

So, as I said…how is it that I find myself largely free from these toxic emotions (fear, envy, resentment, and self-pity), which strangled me over the last three years? There is a long answer to this, which will perhaps reveal itself in future posts. The short answer is that I have turned the corner to see what is behind door number two. I have accepted that the door I always dreamed of entering…the one that ends with me giving birth to a baby girl or boy has closed indefinitely…and this has freed me up to see other possibilities and opportunities, which tunnel vision did not permit me to see. I have let go of the reins (for now), am trusting that we will in fact be parents in one form or another one day, and I am focusing my energy on my midlife career change instead.

During the last few years of infertility treatments, the one creative outlet that brought me the most peace was woodworking. I grew up in a family full of carpenters and I have worked at construction sites doing grunt work, but I have never really been trained in carpentry because I went another route professionally. However, while all jacked up on Gonal F, Crinone, Ganerelix, Lupron, and God knows what else, I was Rosie the Rivoter and I couldn’t get enough of saw dust, 2×4’s, and power tools. I mentioned I am a wee bit compusive, which is a trait I actually can appreciate these days because it is filtered in positive ways…(hence why I am blogging at 11:40 p.m.). For me, a brief example of compulsivity occurred when I got the idea to refinish furniture midway through my first summer of baby making attempts. Just like the acorn that sprouted into the oak, the refinishing furniture idea grew rapidly into making a coffee table, taking apart what was our office and turning it into a new workspace where I could do future carpentry projects. And how could I be expected to do carpentry projects if I didn’t have a workbench…so I must make a workbench…and of course I need to make a couple of cabinets with shelves for my tools…and since a new bedframe for our queen bed is way overdue, how about I just make one myself. Lumber coming in by the cord…nail guns, compressors, and compound sliding miter saws being delivered to the house…saw dust in every crevice of the apartment…oh yeah, I did mention that this is an indoor shop in a 3 bedroom apartment, right? My partner deserves a peace prize for the patience she displayed during these manic months of hammering, drilling, carving, and nailing. Alas, the end products weren’t so bad…she put up with the noise, dust, and my constant project preoccupation, and it paid off because we got a nice new bed.

bed before stain      dangerous with a weapon

my first bed

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So I guess God had a plan for me all along. He/She gave me carpentry at a time I most needed comfort and healing. This allowed me to connect with my late brother, Derek, as I was using all of his tools to do my woodworking. And these projects led me to the doors of North Bennet Street School, which God so graciously opened for me….and God willing, on September 2, 2014, I will begin a new journey and help to carry on a family tradition. I AM BLESSED!

Click HERE to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund.


Jumping with both feet in and have no idea where I'll land!
Jumping with both feet in and have no idea where I’ll land!

Click here to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund.

I feel like someone just dropped me off in Turkey with a map in English, and said go ahead and navigate yourself around, find a place to eat and sleep. While you’re at it, grab a job to support yourself for the next few months. Oh yah, that’s right, you don’t speak the language…and the law is “no language other than Turkish shall be taught as a mother tongue to Turkish citizens at any institutions of training or education”…well, iyi şanslar…GOOD LUCK!

This is what I feel like trying to navigate my way through my first website & blog. Perhaps I’m being a drama queen and it is not as bad as I say because after all, I got this far.  In my typical compulsive fashion, my initial “acorn” of an idea to raise some money so I can afford my first year at North Bennet Street School quickly grew roots. The roots are shooting from Quincy to New York City because this is the distance I decided I will ride my bike in order to fundraise for school to show my fierce determination and grit….grrr.  This then germinated into my seedling of a fundraising page, again uncharted territory.  Within 24 hours I raised $340 from the site, which utterly amazed me…thanks to Justine’s Uncle Ray, my Aunt Ellen, Ingrid, and Kris and Chris…you guys/gals ROCK! Alas, my tree is ready to be planted…it is growing.  However, this is not enough for me, NO WAY…I DON’T DO ANYTHING THE EASY WAY. I want to experience the excitement of witnessing the growth of this towering oak, and I want others to be able to see it as well. I’ve read a blog or two in my lifetime, so that seems to fit the bill perfect…so says the naive newbie blogger in a semi manic state. So here I am back in Turkey trying to figure out how to blog so that you the viewers can see my oak grow into a massive, deeply rooted Goddess…and hopefully I will be able to simultaneously gather a few funds and enter the Class of 2016 in North Bennet Street School’s Preservation Carpentry Program.

Feel like you’re reading Turkish? I do.

Click here to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS Fund.

Journey from Social Work to Carpentry via Bicycle