A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Since what family we are born to is a life factor out of our control, it is an incredible blessing to be a part of one that you would have chosen, if you’d been given the chance to do so.

Last weekend when my sister and her daughter were heading out for some surf fishing in the Barrier Islands in Jersey, they came across one of the local Diamondback Terrapins who had been struck by a car.  Although it looked badly hurt, they could see it was still alive – so they carefully picked it up while my mom contacted the Wetlands Institute of Stone Harbor, NJ to see if there was anything they could do to help.

The Institute is a place my parents took me to many times throughout my childhood, dedicated to education about and conservation of both of the local wildlife and ecosystem of the New Jersey Barrier Islands.  They are the people behind numerous local campaigns encouraging visitors to assist the turtle population when they’re attempting to get across roads or return horseshoe crabs to the sea when the tide washes them up or flips them over.  I fondly remember many summers learning there about the balance of life on the islands as they struggled to conserve it against the rising tide of tourism.  This was reflected in my parents teaching us that the dunes were a natural barrier to protect the land from the tide waters, not a place to be worn down by our playing on them.  In my Mother’s insistence that each and every turtle we find be given a lift to its intended destination, and my father teaching me how to properly fish the waters of Ludlam Bay, throwing back every catch that was so much as a fraction under the keeper limit so as to keep the population properly sustained.

The people at the Institute gladly offered to take the injured turtle from my family’s care, so they drove it down to Stone Harbor.  Although my Mom gave them her contact information, she didn't really expect to hear anything back from them about the patient.

Today, she received the following email:

Dear Mrs. Mair,

We used antibiotic ointment and surgical tape to stabilize the injuries of the terrapin you brought in on Sunday.  It was still conscious and aware of its surroundings Sunday evening, and we were hoping she would remain stable until we could transfer her to a veterinarian on Monday.  Sadly, by early Monday morning she had passed away.  On the positive side, we were able to extract 12 eggs from her, and those are currently in an incubator here at The Wetlands Institute.  If all goes well, they should hatch in late August or early September.  The hatchlings will be then be moved to Stockton College, where they will be given warm conditions and all the food they want over the winter (we call it “head-starting”).  Next spring the young female terrapins will be released into the marshes where we hope they will thrive.  I’m sorry we couldn’t save the female you brought in, but rest assured her offspring will be out there next summer and will hopefully take her place in the breeding population in a few years.

Coastal Conservation Research Program
The Wetlands Institute

The main reason these animals go into the road and get hit is because they’re climbing up on land to lay their eggs in dry sand.  When one dies, you don’t just loose the adult but an entire clutch of the next generation as well.

I was so sad at first, but then so uplifted to discover that because of my family and the talented and caring staff at the Institute, an entire nest who would have been lost will survive to become the next generation.  One human nearly took away that chance, but others gave it back to them again.  Come springtime, thanks to the people I love, they’ll swim, grow, hunt, find mates and one day make their own perilous journey to begin the cycle anew once more.

Some days, some people make it easier to believe in hope for us all.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Shopping by Touch

The way an outfit looks is something the wearer does both for themselves and for the people around them who are the ones who will primarily be viewing it.  The way it feels, however, is just for the wearer alone.

One thing I’ve learned from shopping with people far more fashion and value forward than myself, is that what an article of clothing is made from is as important as the way it looks, fits, and falls on your body.

Today I needed a couple of things and was out hunting for them with one of my favorite shopping chaperones.  I have a rule that I don’t allow myself to clothes shop alone.  Going alone leads to me taking a step or two into a store, giving a halfhearted glance around, and then leaving in defeat without ever taking a close look at or trying on a single garment.  I know myself, so I never go unescorted anymore.

Today, I shopped mostly with my fingertips, picking through each rack and searching for a texture that felt like quality, that I knew would feel wonderful against my skin.  Doing so I managed to locate a beautiful bright turquoise summer shirt made from bunny-soft 100% cotton material at Avenue, on sale and two sizes smaller than what I normally wear.  It’s not that I’ve lost much weight recently, it’s just that the numbers (at least in the United States) are almost entirely arbitrary.  It looked big enough so I tried it on, and it fit perfect – meaning for once I bought something that was not too big.

The technique also led to a somewhat frustrating experience at Ross.  I don’t shop often at Ross – the huge racks filled with cartoon colored mumus tend to scare me away, and everything always hanging half onto the floor like an earthquake recently struck makes me kind of sad.  I’m also slightly too impatient to wade through all the bad for that one piece of good they usually have hiding somewhere.

Still, I was there, so I tried out the touch technique.  Time after time my fingers would encounter a lovely piece of fabric, then my eyes would see a pretty color or pattern, so I’d pull the garment out to take a closer look.  And time after time I found that what I had encountered was actually a small size which had been misfiled into the women’s section by an impatient customer who didn’t feel like putting something back in the right place (or an impatient store worker who just didn’t care).

The third time this happened I got angry and frustrated and stopped looking.  All the clothes there cost more or less the same range – but the smaller sizes are made from quality fabrics and the larger ones almost entirely from that disgusting, slippery, fake satin polyester crap without a single organic fiber to be found.

What the heck is up with that?  Don’t get me wrong, I had an overall positive experience today and was totally successful in getting what I needed.  I stayed within my budget and even found something really pretty all on my own while trying on a size I’d normally have run away from.  But seriously, the cheap-crap-fabric-is-for-fat-people thing really, really burns my hide.

That is a beautiful woman, and not even she looks good in this thing.