Day 3: Pain, Profanity, and a Police Dog!

Today is Day 3 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge. If you’re not sure what this is all about see my original post.

I took just a 30-minute walk on this sunny, cool, and breezy day.  As I started walking, my left ankle had twinges of sharp pain.  I thought about stopping but decided to try and walk it out – and after a few blocks the pain completely disappeared.  Yay! K-9 Officer

As I was walking, a police patrol car pulled up next to me.  The police officer (a woman) apparently pulled over to check notes on a clipboard. I thought it was odd that she was all alone – and then I spotted her partner, a German Shepherd K-9 officer in the back seat.  He didn’t lunge or bark at me, he just sat there staring at me and looked adorably huggable.

On the way home, I heard a man on the block ahead of me yelling profanities like a lunatic.  I stopped and listened and he continued to carry on. I remember Papa telling me that whenever I found myself in a situation that made me feel uneasy or would lead to no good, to follow my instincts and “Just take a hike – walk away from it.”  So, I decided to take a detour rather than have to pass directly in front of screaming meanie.  That’s what shortened my walking route.  Would’ve liked to sick that K-9 officer on him.  🙂

Day 2 of the “Papa’s Walk” Challenge

Day 2 of the “Papa’s Walk” Challenge.  If you’re not sure what this is all about, see my original blog post.

TJune Gloom HMB 6.17.13oday is my birthday.  As a special treat, my husband and I drove to the coastside trail and walked along the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area (as in southern California), we experience a weather pattern known as “June Gloom – we get cloudy overcast skies Tsunami signaccompanied by fog, drizzle, and cool temperatures.

The skies were gray and visibility was diminished, but we both enjoyed the cool, brisk, two-mile walk, and the sounds of crashing surf and screeching gulls.

We were surprised to discover that we were on the tsunami evacuation route as we headed for home.  Just goes to show – you learn something new everyday.  🙂

Day 1 of the “Papa’s Walk” Challenge!

If you’re not sure what the “Papa’s Walk” Challenge is all about – see my previous blog post.

T“You Gotta Exercise Every Day.”oday was the first day of the year-long challenge and I set out about 8:30 AM.  I walked two miles through my residential, suburban neighborhood that is mostly flat (easy peasy). The almost-summer sun was already very bright and warm  – so I stuck to shadowed areas to keep from melting.

A bird chorus provided the soundtrack for my walk.

Every garden was in bloom.  I saw roses, agapanthus, bougainvillea, and was surprised to see so many cacti flowering.  I had to carefully step through plums that littered the sidewalks (a plentiful harvest for fruitarians).

Near the end of my walk, I found a huge Raven feather that could be used to make a quill pen. A little gift from Mother Nature on this happy Father’s Day! 🙂

How about you?  Did you go for a walk?  What did you see?



Did you go for a walk?  What did you see?

Take the “Papa’s Walk” Challenge on Father’s Day!

I was born on Father’s Day, and it added to the special connection I felt with Papa. I enjoyed baking special treats for Papa and delivering them to him on Father’s Day morning. Then, I’d join Papa for a walk. Papa walked about 2-3 miles each day. He was ahead of his time in recognizing the benefits of physical activity and made exercise a daily routine. I recall Papa telling me that, “Being healthy and staying in shape is an advantage in life and in business. To stay in shape, you gotta exercise every day.” 

While I took many of Papa’s pearls to heart, his habit of daily exercise has been the most difficult for me to emulate. I marvel at the discipline Papa had to get outside and go for a walk every single day. I use excuses like, “I’m too busy to exercise regularly.” Really? Papa had an incredibly busy schedule, but he made time for exercise. The truth is, you can make time for anything if you think it’s important enough.

My haphazard efforts at regular exercise over the years have been frustrating. Committing to an intensive exercise program or going to a gym seem impossible to work into my schedule, and I’m not sure I’d have the stamina for it right now. But there’s nothing easier than going for a simple walkPapa showed me that by inviting me to take a walk with him almost every time I saw him in my adult life. It was invigorating. It made me feel good to get outside, soak up some sunshine (or rain), observe nature, see the seasonal changes in the neighborhood where we walked, and enjoy the connection I felt to it all.

While I can’t walk with Papa this Father’s Day, I’ve decided to honor his memory by committing to a full year of walking daily – starting with my first “Papa’s Walk” on Father’s Day, June 16, 2013. My intention is to walk every single day through June 15, 2014. I hope it will become such an enjoyable habit that I won’t want to stop.

I wanted to announce taking this “Papa’s Walk” challenge here, to keep me accountable. I’ll report my progress on this blog and on the Papa’s Pearls Facebook page. Care to join me?  

Go for a walk with your Papa on Father’s Day, or go for a walk in honor of the father-figure in your life. If you enjoy it and want to continue, keep me advised of your progress here or on Facebook. Let me know where you walked (neighborhood, park, trail, etc.), the time or distance you walked, and what you enjoyed most about it.  Let’s do this!

Is Fatherhood Dead?

Papa’s son-in-law and my husband, Cliff Keith, wrote this thought provoking blog for Father’s Day.  I thought I’d share it with you…

Is Fatherhood Dead?

What breaks my heart today is how fathers are perceived by many people as being inconsequential. The press rarely speaks about fathers except in a negative light. Fathers aren’t presented as a necessary element to the family unit even though governmental studies have shown how important a father is to a family. Even parenting groups have many articles on the important role of fathers in a family.

If you see an ad about families on television, it usually depicts a woman with her children and the father is nowhere to be found. I understand that traditionally the mother is the stay-fast person who spends the most time with the kids. However, I am led to believe by these ads that fathers are rarely present and don’t have concerns about the welfare of their children. It’s a crying shame. Is it really only “women’s work”?

I understand that Madison Avenue targets mothers because they have the buying power for products geared for children and families. But as obvious or subtle as these images without dads may be, I think they give us a skewed view of the father’s role and importance in the family.

When was the last time you saw a prime-time television ad with a father represented as competent in his interaction with his family?  Dads in commercials are typically portrayed as drinking beer, burning food on the barbeque, incapable of sorting laundry, making a mess in the kitchen when mom’s away, freaking out when the teenager asks for the car keys, or turning a small fix-it project into a home disaster. And on TV sitcoms, Dad is almost always played as a doofus whom the rest of the family makes fun of right in front of him! Did you EVER do that to your Dad?

I was once asked to comment on a book cover that was supposed to depict family education. It had a colorful illustration that readily conveyed the image of a family learning together except for one thing: There was no father on the cover – only a mother and two children. My comment was, “Where is the father?” The publisher changed the cover to include a dad, however, the idea that it was acceptable to release a family education book without including a father is a sad commentary on the common perception of the family unit.

The positive depiction of a family with a competent, caring father is missing from our culture today. Is that okay with you?  Maybe boycotting products and programs that depict fathers as irrelevant idiots would be the best gift for Father’s Day. And conversely, support companies that get it right. If we insist on the portrayal of a responsible, nurturing father who has his family’s best interests at heart, then all families (and by extension, humanity) will be better served.

What do YOU think?

5 Fun and Easy DIY Gifts for Dad!

Would you like some gift ideas for Father’s Day that are fun, simple, personalized, and inexpensive?  Here are five do-it-yourself activities that are perfect for kids of all ages. With a few supplies (and a little help from you) your children can create memorable gifts for Dad that will last a lifetime!

1.  Frame a picture of your child dressed in his or her father’s clothing. If dad has a distinctive style of dress, and possibly a favorite chair or accessory, this is a quick and quirky gift dad is sure to love. Be sure to set the stage by having your child holding dad’s favorite mug, wearing his watch, or posed in a recognizable “dad” stance. For an added touch, purchase a plain frame from a craft store, and have your child decorate it. You can use paint, stickers, or anything you think will make the project fun and personal.

2.  Make a plaster handprint of your child’s hand. Do you remember the first time you held your child’s hand in yours? I bet dad does too! This very simple gift is charming and sweet. It’s ideal for the sentimental dad. You can use these free do-it-yourself instructions .  Or purchase a handprint casting kit like this one to easily make a beautiful work of art.

3.  Design a mug. This is a fun idea for dads who rely on their morning cup of coffee or tea. You can purchase a travel mug with a paper insert, from most craft stores.  (You can also CLICK HERE to see an example available through ) Have your child draw, write, or paint their masterpiece. Then, everyday dad can take their handiwork to the office or appreciate it from the kitchen table.

4.  Create and frame a word-association. This activity is inexpensive and can be as elaborate or simple as you want to make it.  One option is to use the word “father” or a phrase like “great dad” and for each letter write out another word that your child associates with him.  Here is an example for the word “Father”:







Frame your child’s work, or if you have multiple children, make a book out of them by tying the pages together with ribbon.

5.  Customize a bookmark. I used to make a personalized bookmark for my sons every year to commemorate their achievements.  I took small pieces of memorabilia, such as movie or concert ticket stubs, coins, cut-outs from photos, a picture of a book they enjoyed, printed words cut from magazines that described their talents or skills, and anything else that had special meaning – as long as it was relatively flat. Next, I glued the pieces in an artful manner onto a bookmark-size strip of sturdy construction paper. Then, I covered the whole thing between two sheets of clear contact paper to hold it together and preserve it. Finally, I punched a hole at the top of the bookmark and threaded a ribbon through it. You can help your kids make a customized bookmark for Dad. Here are some free fun and simple bookmark craft ideas for kids.

Here’s to a very Happy Father’s Day!

The Winner of the $50 Amazon Gift Card is….

Congratulations to Polly D., the winner of Papa’s Pearls Father’s Day Contest!  Polly will receive a $50.00 Gift Certificate to!  Her name was chosen at random from among all of the posts that received 3 or more “thumbs up” from readers/visitors.  Thank you to everyone who participated.  I really enjoyed reading your memories about your Fathers and Grandfathers.  🙂