Why I Pokemon Go for Walks

by Julia Robarts on October 12, 2016

in Healthy Lifestyle, Hobbies, Pedestrian

spearow-in-hand-juggling-with-juliaMaybe it’s because I never truly grew up, or perhaps I just require daily escapes from reality, but I LOVE playing Pokemon Go while out on my daily walks.

I hear you tsk-tsk-ing. I see you shaking your head 🙂 And I get it. I am an otherwise respectable 49-year-old. How could I publicly admit I love catching Pokemon?  Well, I just did. Unfortunately for my kids, I have no shame and no sense of propriety 😮

If you’re curious, but don’t know quite what Pokemon Go is about, I’ll lay it out for you simply:

You catch adorable monsters.
With your cell phone.
While walking around.

Why do I love it so? That’s a 3-part answer.

(1) The Nostalgia. When my now-teenage boys were little, it was all Pokemon, all the time. They collected the cards, watched the videos, and played the games well into middle school. With expert-level confidence, they spent hours discussing capture strategy, combat power, gym leaders, and evolution. Names like Charmander, Gyarados, and Poochyena rolled easily off their normally inarticulate young tongues.

While we all started playing Pokemon Go this summer, they dropped it once school started again. I’ve gladly continued, and revel in being able to re-visit something they loved for so long, to grab a little bit of our sweet past right at a time when they’re looking ahead to college, independence, adulthood. They answer my many questions and smile at my triumphs (Like that one time, at a college tour, when I caught a Pikachu. A PIKACHU! FYI that’s a rare occurrence.) While they good-naturedly endure my enthusiasm for this game, they are clueless about how much I love sharing it with them

(2) The Fun Factor.  I’m a collector at heart, which is why I probably find Pokemon Go so entertaining. As a kid it was baseball cards, Charlie’s Angel cards (yes, that was a thing), Wacky Packages, and books, books, books (Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden especially, but Richie Rich comics, too!). It’s been a while since I collected anything except -apparently- cheese. A quick inventory of the fridge revealed 9 different kinds. NINE. Er. Ma. Gerd.

Now, I collect adorable ‘pocket monsters’ as I walk around my town’s center. Below are just a few pics of my vast collection.

The fuzzy Venonat, ‘caught’ right by my sister’s house…
venonat-pokemon-juggling-with-juliaThe imposing Drowsee, in my driveway…
drowsee-pokemon-juggling-with-juliaThe utterly adorable Evee, down at the local park…
The dainty Bellsprout, by the ball field
bellsprout-pokemon-juggling-with-julia…and the rotund Poliwag behind the library…

Aren’t they precious?? Reason enough to play, if you ask me. But there’s one more reason…

(3) The Boost to my Mileage. An unexpected side benefit. Not only does it ramp up the fun factor while I walk, but my walking mileage as well. Win-win!

pokemon-go-mileage-juggling-with-juliaThe Pokemon Go app itself encourages me to walk more, because the apps tracks my mileage. This earns me XP (experience points), so I can ‘level up’ and earn more ‘stuff’ to help me catch more Pokemon. Yes, I know I am losing you 🙂 However, it appears I motivated by both the rewards as well as the challenge. Competition, even against myself, fuels me.

I’ll literally ‘go the extra mile’ and take a loop around the local park just to see what cute critters I might run into, knowing that, as I walk, I might just finally hatch that 10K egg (much better than the 2K egg), or collect items at a Pokestop (more Ultraballs, please!), or earn me that elusive Level 25…

Oh dear, this is serious. And possibly genetic. My big sister? She’s already past Level 25…

Possibly now you’re thinking one of three things…
Get a life.
Get help.
or maybe, just maybe…
Get me my phone, I think I’ve got to try this 🙂

LOL. That’s all from this fan-girl today. I’m not all fluff, promise. I have lots of other ideas on how to make your daily walks something you look forward to. Coming soon!

Gotta go now. There’s a Squirtle nearby that I need to catch before it ‘spawns out’ aka disappears.

What…did you think they hang around all day? 😉



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Summer Bruschetta - Juggling with Julia

I love the Recipe Redux! Every month this fab group of foodies celebrates both tasty and nutritious food, and this month, we’re getting all nostalgic with our first memories of being in the kitchen. We’ll get to the mouth-watering Summer Bruschetta shortly, but first, let’s hop in the time machine and go way, way back, because all of my earliest memories in the kitchen involve my mom.

1967 Juggling with JuliaThere I am! Just a baby, but, as you can see, I already love to eat as my mouth is wide open. That’s my sweet momma, with my funny and entertaining big brother looking on. It’s 1967 and I’m adored by all.

That turns out to be just a phase, when lil’ sis comes on board in ’71 🙂

Oh how I wish I had photos of us in the kitchen. I spent so much time ‘helping’ my mom while she cooked and baked. When she made bread, the aroma of molasses and yeast filled the house with loaves of oatmeal, sweet anadama, and crusty white bread. I helped as well as a wee tike could, standing on a chair to measure, sprinkle, and stir. I tried my hand at kneading, thrilled to be allowed to touch the dough, but my little arms quickly fatigued and my mom took over. She would knead and knead and then knead some more. It was quite the workout!

Note: This was a good 15 years before the first in-home single loaf bread machine. She was the bread machine, and had the biceps to prove it (which I’m sure aided her tennis game immensely).

Flash forward a few years, and we’re dropping my sister and brother off at college. My mom made a few loaves for them to take back to the dorm. That alone made me want to go to college some day – for a whole loaf, to myself, of my mom’s homemade bread!
Julie and Molly 2016 - Juggling with JuliaHere’s me with my cool mom today – almost 50 years later – on Take Your Mom to Work Day 🙂 She still loves to bake (and play tennis), and a week doesn’t go by that she isn’t making something yummy to share with my family. But not bread anymore, boo hoo. Oh, if only I could get her to make some of that bread now, it would go SO GREAT with this summer bruschetta.

Bruschetta happened because tomatoes happened. We’ve been overrun with tomatoes of all varieties, thanks to our farm share, as well as our own unexpectedly successful container gardening.
Tomatoes for bruschetta - Juggling with JuliaNeeding to use up as many as I could while they were fresh, I went with an easy bruschetta, inspired by this recipe and tried it out on friends at an end-of-summer cookout. It was a hit!

Summer Bruschetta
Makes: ~2 cups

Prep time: 20 minutes          Cook time: 4-6 minutes

2 pounds tomatoes (I used a variety of sizes and types)
3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
8-10 basil leaves
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 loaf French bread (or similar long skinny loaf bread)

First, blanche the tomatoes:
In a large saucepan, add 2 quarts of water and place on stove on high. Bring to a boil. While the water is heating, make a criss-cross shallow cut on the non-stem end of each tomato. Add tomatoes to the boiling water and blanche for one minute. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 450 F. While tomatoes are cooling, cut the bread loaf diagonally in 1/2 inch slices. Brush one side with olive oil and arrange them oil-side down on a baking sheet. Toast for 6-8 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, pull the skins off with your fingers. Cut each tomatoes in quarters and remove the seeds. Chop tomatoes and move to small bowl. Add the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the toasted bread slices.



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