How does an ant eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Big problems are composed of smaller, albeit interconnected, problems. Solving the smaller problems will have an implication on the larger problems.

31 December 2011

Yup, this just happened...I think I may have lost my mind! I just registered for my first half marathon. I have wanted to do one and thought that now is the time. We'll see if I can pull myself together and be in shape and ready to run the 13.1 miles. It is a bit sooner than I'd like, but waiting until May meant I may not be ready due to my next work trip to Africa in better sooner than later, I guess! 

Dear Sherrie,
Congratulations! You are now registered for the 2012 SunTrust Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon & CareFirst Rock 'n' Roll USA Half Marathon - Half Marathon. Please check theevent's website for updates.
Please note: Each participant must pick up their own race number at the Health & Fitness Expo. Go to the Expo page of the race websitefor times and location of the Expo.

Good luck with your training!

Registration ID:R-012QQGZY
Participant:Sherrie Staley
Location:RFK Stadium
2400 East Capitol Street
Washington, District of Columbia 20003
Category:2012 SunTrust Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon & CareFirst Rock 'n' Roll USA Half Marathon - Half Marathon

22 September 2011

Unclench your fists, unlock your knees and also the door to your heart, take a deep breath, and begin to swim. Begin to let the waves do their work in you.
-shauna niequist

17 September 2011

Hurriquake Week

When disaster strikes….

I survived my long week of natural disasters – but I am not entirely sure they are over just yet. The earthquake and hurricane clearly weren't flooding, as more tropical rains continue to hit the DC area. What a crazy week or two, to say the least. That being said, I must say, come on Mother Nature…bring it! While I am very grateful both the earthquake and the hurricane that hit this past week were minimal, it would have been “fun” (I know, I must have a sick mind, but I did work in disasters, so can you blame me?!?) had they been a little less half-assed and hit just a bit stronger! In my opinion, both were quite weak, but at least added a little excitement to the week.

I loved the communication between coasts though, after the earthquake - "Hey east coasters: welcome to our world and what we live with everyday in California. Stay Safe." And the response from East Coasters, "Hey, Californians: Shut up and let us wallow in our abject terror." (Please see part of an article I came across about this at the end of this post...was too funny not to include.)

I have been through a few earthquakes in Utah, but I think that this 5.8 quake that hit Virginia is probably my biggest, to date. It made us all pause and second guess if we were just going crazy or if the ground was actually shaking – sure enough, after it began to sustain itself for more than a few seconds, I wondered if it was going to get worse and if I should crawl under my desk. It was just enough to do some damage around the area, knock a number of things out of place at home (surprisingly, my old rowhome was still standing!), crack our office wall a bit, and offset the rest the work day! Many were sent home and those of us that stayed at work definitely didn’t accomplish much after that. It didn’t make the commute home very pretty either – the roads gridlocked and the metro trains going no faster than 15 mph. I had one friend that it took 3 hours for her to get home – downtown DC to Arlington, walking would have been quicker! My commute wasn’t too bad, took double what it normally does, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was longer than that.

Four days after the earthquake, the East Coast embraced itself for Hurricane Irene that was looking to hit DC at a category 3 and NYC at a category 2. Fortunately for many, Irene lost strength after ramming into North Carolina, but still swept through the area as a hurricane and being downgraded to a tropical storm about the time it hit NYC. I have definitely been through East Winds much stronger than this hurricane, but it was still enough to topple over many older trees around Capitol Hill – we lost about 4 or 5 really big trees on my street, totaling quite a few cars, but otherwise the area was pretty unaffected…we didn’t even lose power! I have to admit that I was disappointed. That Irene had ruined my weekend in NYC with the girls and prevented me from flying out to Utah to still celebrate Cass’ 30th with her, the least she could have done was provided a little more excitement for me! Ha! Kidding! Kind of.

I watched this one fall, across the street from my house
Went to check out the damage by the tree outside my house and saw this...wait, something doesn't quite look right here! Where did the street go?! Looks like a jungle down there!
A block down the road

And a clip of the article I mentioned above, about the earthquake...

Californians can't get enough of snickering at how quaintly hysterical we East Coasters became after our earthquake today. A report from a waiting room in Santa Barbara, via Twitter: "CNN is on going on and on about the east coast earthquake. People here are laughing." In a misguided attempt to be sympathetic, LA Weekly wrote, "Even by L.A. terms 5.9 is a rocker." Even by L.A. terms—because, you know, Southern California invented earthquakes.

Listen, we know the average Californian was born amid a thundering 7.5 magnitude quake and popped out directly into a mudslide. We've all read tales of how the bright pioneers of San Francisco bathe their young in tsunamis and kill mountain lions for sport (and yet would shrivel and die if the temperature fell below 65.)

But can we wimpy East Coasters just have our moment of absolutely shitting ourselves in fear as our non-earthquake-proofed buildings wobble and creak around us? Can we crawl around on our carpets to survey the paltry damage—look, a book fell off a shelf! That could have given someone a serious goose-egg!—without some Californian standing smugly in the doorframe like they learned in grade school, chewing on a PowerBar from the earthquake preparedness kit they carry around in a Lakers fanny pack at all times?

We deserve our fear, California. Because of 9/11! This earthquake could have been another 9/11, for all we knew. Yeah, didn't think you had anything to say to that.

08 September 2011

I am so sick of the heavy rain here lately...does this count as finding beauty in the ugliest of days? It sure gave me a good hard laugh! I wish I had an umbrella like this! haha

01 September 2011

It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, life is on a stroll.” 
 -donald miller

31 August 2011

It's a new day and this is how I'm feeling! Love this song, love Franti and loving the positive vibes that a new day is bringing! 

I wake up in the mornin' at 6 'o clock
You say there may be rain but the sun is hot
I wish I had some time just to kill today
And I wish I had a dime for every bill I got to pay
Some days you lose, you win, and the water's as high as the times roll in
So I jump back into where I learned to swim
Try to keep my head above it the best I can
That's why

Here I am
Just waitin' for the storm to pass me by
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down (down, down, down)
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh

One, two, three, uh huh
I saw my friend Bobby he said "What's up man?"
You got little work or 20 to lend
I opened up my hand he said "I'm glad to see"
They could take away my job but not my friends you see

And here I am
Just waitin' for the storm to pass me by (pass me by)
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down

Yo, yo, here we go

I wanna go where the summer never ends
With my guitar on the beach there with all my friends
The sun so hot and the waves in motion
And everything smells like suntan lotion
The ocean, and the girls so sweet
So kick off your shoes and relax your feet
You say that miracles are never ceasin'
And every single song needs a little releasin'
The stereo bumpin' til the sun goes down
And I only wanna hear that sound

That's the sound of sunshine (of sunshine)
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down (comin' down, down, down)

And I say
You're the one I wanna be with (yo, yo)
When the sun goes down (uh huh)
You're the one I wanna be with (I really wanna be with)
When the sun goes down, sing
You're the one I wanna be with
When the sun goes down
You're the one I wanna be with
When the sun goes...

That's the sound (that's the sound) of sunshine (of sunshine)
Comin' down (uh huh, uh huh)
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
Eh, eh, eh
When the sun goes down, when the sun goes down
Eh, eh, eh, eh (when the sun goes down)

29 August 2011

Grace is Gone

This is my all time favorite Dave Matthews Band song. Thought I'd share. I honestly can't get enough of it!

Neon shines through smoky eyes tonight
It’s 2 am - I’m drunk again it’s heavy on my mind

I could never love again so much as I love you
Where you end where I begin is like a river going through
Take my eyes, take my heart cuz I need them no more
If never again they fall upon the one I so adore

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll move on

One drink to remember, then another to forget
How could I ever dream to find sweet love like you again
One drink to remember, and another to forget

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll move on
One more drink and I’ll be gone

You think of things impossible then the sun refused to shine
I woke with you beside me your cold hand lay in mine

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I’ll go

Excuse me please one more drink
Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I'll move on
One more drink and I’ll be gone
One more drink my Grace is gone
One more drink my Grace is gonetake

25 August 2011

Yes, yes...this is most definitely how I feel today! Must be that hurricane weather comin' on!

24 August 2011

January Summer Lovin'

I started writing this post back in January....thought though that I would finish writing it and add some pictures and still post! So here goes...
Seriously...what is wrong with me?! I have a BAD case of the WINTER BLUES...or something like that! :( I have been so down in the dumps for no good reason lately. I really needed something to snap me out of my winter blues and MAUI was just the thing!
I left bright and early on the morning of Thursday, Jan 13. I thought my flight to LAX was going to be the hard one to get on...guess I should have thought twice about that. I invited a friend of mine about 5 days before leaving and so the plan was to meet in LA. Her flight came from San Francisco, through LA and to Maui. Perfect! I could easily get on the flight to Maui from LA...or so I thought. Little did I know that they could weight-restrict the flight, even though there were 60 open seats! So I waved Aurora off and told her to have fun with my cousin until I got there to join them. After she departed, I crossed my fingers as I checked flights to see what I could do about getting there sometime that day. After 12 hours of sitting in the LA airport and holding my breath, hoping to be the last person to secure a seat on a later flight to Maui, I was on my first class. I made it there late that night and as I was waiting for my cousin, EmmaLee, to pick me up at the airport, I sat outside, wind brushing across my face and allowed for my winter blues to begin melting away.
We spent the next 4.5 days in pure bliss! Maui was just what I needed. We went to different beaches to soak up the sun and play in the water, went whale-watching, met up with a doctor-friend of mine and his wife at the blow hole, drove to Hana (which by the way, was the most beautiful drive ever!), we swam in the Seven Sacred Pools, ate lots of fish and had a lot of drinks that had the little umbrella in them...and I have had Ziggy Marley stuck in my head since the trip with all the reggae we listened to while driving around places! It was all perfect. Em had recently gone through some trauma with one of her dogs passing away, so it was perfect timing for us to visit; we were all sad that Aurora and I had to go back home. Hoping to go back again soon! Thanks again Em :)

Please enjoy my new favorite song, while you view the fun I had in MAUI (and a whale video)!

Does it get much better?!
Golden favorite time of the day!
First day at the beach...literally there ALL day
Hiking around Hana
Hana - gorgeous drive, beautiful falls!
Blow hole!

Whale watching - AMAZING!

19 August 2011

World Humanitarian Day

Today we celebrate people helping people. Here's to numerous friends and colleagues that  have the gift to help people and have accomplished (and continue to accomplish) amazing work throughout the world! May we all have big enough hearts to find a way to change the world each day! 

"When a child is withering away it really does not matter whether the cause is drought, ignorance, or social injustice. It is a precious child that is dying. If we determine that any person is of less value because of where they were born, we have lost our humanity." 

-Dave Eller, president of World Concern

14 August 2011


To those that always ask me, "Can't you go to the Great Salt Lake to go swimming and hang out at the beaches there?" I always answer, "GROSS!!! Why would you ever?!" For those of you who have spent time anywhere near the Great Salt Lake understand my point - the stank, the brine shrimp flies, the's not relaxing day at the beach!

Antelope Island
You can see the flies around, in a cloud of black, around the seagull.

Unfortunately, Lonely Planet did not get the same memo. I was just reading an article about the world's saltiest sites for seasoned travelers. This is what I found:

6. Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

Size does matter. The Great Salt Lake, located in northern Utah, lays claim to being the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere, no mean feat. The lake used to be part of prehistoric Lake Bonneville, and is also known as America’s Dead Sea. It’s home to millions of creatures able to survive the high saline levels, such as waterfowl and other birds, including the largest staging population of Wilson’s phalarope in the world – a boon for birdwatchers.

If you’re looking to get lost for a while, why not take a salty cruise to one of the lake’s 11 recognised tidal islands. Antelope Island has superb beaches that off er great swimming opportunities. Take Interstate 15, heading north from Salt Lake City.

I like to listen to Lonely Planet, when Lonely Planet speaks. However, you will NOT find me hanging out at the "superb" beaches of Antelope Island any day too soon! You may find me riding a bike there, but that is a different story!

Now if I were going to go to one of the saltiest sites in the world, I would definitely be hitting up Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni - the world's largest salt flats and is known as the world's largest mirror, when covered in water.

11 August 2011

Somebody I used to know

This is genius! I love it - such a catchy tune, but I love the video and especially the lyrics!

Now and then I think of when we were together

Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it's an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end
Always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
And I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know...

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

I used to know
That I used to know


Gotye feat. Kimbra

02 August 2011

Ugly Bug Ball

Welcome to my life? You know, I constantly reflect on what an awesome life I have...until I find cockroaches under my sink! Then I rethink that for a few minutes. What the hell....this is disgusting! I apparently don't know how to live in the warm, humid weather, where all the nasty bugs try to invade your living space! Not cool. Reminds me of this Ugly Bug Ball sing-along song I used to watch as a child.

25 July 2011


Sensational. Spine-tingling. The stuff legends really are made of. Amy Winehouse's voice is charged with pain and her jazzy delivery serves to deepen the sense of soul and personality. It is an emotional sucker punch. She's got such an incredible voice! One of my favorites, actually.

Her personal problems were legendary - especially her addictions to alcohol and drugs. My friend, John, posted this to his facebook, "My work as a substance abuse counselor grants me daily insight, awareness, and compassion regarding the constant struggle, deep pain and, at times, seemingly insurmountable battle of addiction. Until we have walked in those shoes, let us not cast condemnation..." I think we are all too quick to judge the addict. What a sad life many of them live. However, I hope to one day see more success in programs and more support to those that suffer addictions. I have had the wonderful opportunity to teach and counsel people that are substance abusers - their pain and suffering is tangible. They are human beings that made an honest mistake that spiraled out of control. I am grateful for my time I have spent with these human beings. Most of them are wonderful people that have hopes and dreams - just like we all do.

The infamy overtook the artistry and this young artist seemed unable to get well enough to live up to the legend she had become. Such a pity to see such a young life fall to addictions. Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse. Thank you for sharing your talents.

22 July 2011

I am giving myself a complex! These damn bugs - I am not sure if they are centipedes or silverfish, but whatever they are, they need to take their party somewhere besides my room! I am secretly hoping that the life of an insect is much like a cartoon movie, where they all communicate to each other and know who and what to watch out for. In that case, I expect the whole community that seems to be nesting in my room, to move out tonight (or if I am lucky, sooner!). I have literally killed 3 adult of these whatevers and 5 babies....just tonight! On top of that, I killed one about 5 days ago. AND there is still at least one more adult running around my room somewhere - he is hiding, but I am determined to kill him, too when he comes back out of hiding! This is NOT okay and now I feel like they are crawling all over me!

Between the bugs and the heat wave that is hitting the East Coast, I feel like I am back in Africa! The heat index, which is what it actually feels like outside and is calculated by combining the actual temperature and humidity, reached 113 today - in some areas of Virginia, 123! Tomorrow it is expected to be even worse...reaching 115 or higher. In fact, this is actually quite unusual - the heat index hasn't hit 110 in over 7 years and it's been more than 15 years since it reached 115. Talk about living in a sauna! I just want to stop sweating!!