Welcome to our brave new world – sharing our story (Sept 2018)

Hi Friends!

Two weeks ago today, when I wrote this, it was a spectacularly beautiful Sunday afternoon on the front porch at Casa Weir and my sense of the change of the Seasons was acute, Fall was in the air and it seemed a good time to change gears. Today, I’m sitting in the lovely living room of a dear friend in the Richmond at the tail end of a wonderful road trip – heading homeward to Saratoga tomorrow.  I’ve been thinking about sharing this and going “public” with my baby blog throughout this journey.  Perhaps it’s just perfectly fitting that I do so today, on the last day of September – the end of the first 6 months of our adventure in Saratoga, with the perspective of my travels over the past 10+ days.

Since I started & wrote most of this post two weeks ago, I’ve covered a lot of ground and look forward to sharing all of that over coming days.  But for today, I think I’m just going to “go for it” and share this post – which I’ll post on FB (gulp!) and make this little exercise/experiment available to all who might possibly care to follow along.

My goals for this “going public” edition of the Maven and Magpie blog has two specific goals:

1. Testing the Technology: To see if my newly installed widget to allow those who want to receive  notifications when I make a new post to receive an email, actually works.  Happily, my two wonderful guinea pigs confirmed that the new “subscribe here” button works.  Thank you Megerly & Padre!  So, if you are inclined to follow our adventure, please consider signing up.   Admittedly, I much prefer the interface & presentation available if you sign up to follow through wordpress (download the app, set up an account, then follow) – this also means you can comment, but if you’re not much of a wordpress person or not inspired to set up an account, the button should work just fine.

Or, just visit the URL anytime – there’s a little more there than the blog there (and big plans for more), including a list of all our “faves” (mostly foodie spots) in the cities where we’ve traveled: www.mavenandmagpie.blog

Hoping it does work, those of you who have asked or who might be interested can now sign up in that orange box in the lower right corner of  the page to receive an email when I post something new (you will have to validate your subscription via a link that will go to your email). My goal has been once a week – and I’m usually way over or way under.

2. Setting the Stage: I am delighted to welcome some new friends & family to the world of Maven and Magpie  (B is the Maven, K is the Magpie), what I fondly call my “baby blog” where I’ve been capturing my thoughts along the way of this journey that the Maven and I have been traveling over the past year+ (almost two).  This is the “rest of the story” beyond the highlights shared intermittently via FB and Insta.  My guess is that this is likely to be the first post for a bunch of folks who may have been wondering “where did they go?” “did they retire?” or “what’s up with all the horse photos on facebook?“.

If you’re taking at look at this little hobby-project for the first time, welcome!  If you’ve been along for the ride since I started these ramblings – my apologies for a bit of a recap.

So… welcome to Maven and Magpie, the story of our adventure in creating a brand new life and (yes, I know this sounds cheesy) living our dream in Saratoga Springs, NY.

How did we get here? 

I shudder to think of anyone jumping in at this point to read all of my writing since I started the baby blog (first post was from the car in December, driving to the Hamptons for Christmas as we were trying to get a signed contract to buy the house we now live in), but heck – I guess that’s what they are there for should you suffer from insomnia. Enjoy! Ha!

Truly, I think those old posts are really there for the Maven and I to have as a reference (basically an online diary) for that day in the future when we wake up and this all seems to have suddenly become “normal”… perish the thought! I just wanted to capture how it happened, what it felt like and what we did/felt/thought/encountered along the way so that hindsight wouldn’t dull the edges of our always-dodgy memories.  Primarly, the blog was written for me, and only me, ten for anyone but me, as an outlet to capture my thoughts and feeling along the way.  Secondarily, it was written for the audience of close friends & family who were following along with the step by step of our move, with hopes that it kept those who might care for all the gory details fully up to speed with the bumpy road we traveled to extract ourselves from our deeply-rooted lives in Virginia to plant ourselves in the town we’d fallen in love with over 20 years of summer & assorted vacations.

Certainly the transition to our new life has been a process – like watching a seed take root and grow over time.  The seeds were planted over those many years of long weekends at the Spa from 1999 to 2010 +/-. Then, the shoot really started to grow the summer we first rented our beloved house on East Ave, four blocks from the track with a wonderful screened in porch and room for our friends & family.  Having a place to call “home away from home” absolutely accelerated our ability to envision living here… and made returning home to Virginia harder and harder each year (as many of you know well – having suffered through our whining re-entrer blues). Then, on New Year’s Day 2017, we woke up and decided it was time to stop just talking the talk and to start making it happen.  That moment, for me, was very much the “if not now, when? if not us, who?” moment… and we haven’t looked back (too many times) since.  I actually think I have photos of that fateful day – I may need to chase them down and add them to this post at some point.

So, now what’s left to talk about?  Good question!

As I wrote in my last post, I think we’re now entering the 3rd-ish chapter of this story: 1st was the move process; 2nd was the getting settled (plus the fun-frenzy of our first full summer); and now, 3rd, we figure out what real-life looks like and focus on achieving the finer points of the dream.

Way back when my BFF Megerly suggested a blog to me, while we  were walking along a forest path in Burgundy (I have great photos from there too), we discussed the idea of the “lifestyle blog” – a mashup of horses, racing, food, drink, travel – all the things that the Maven & Magpie most enjoy.  Be sure to check out our “Faves” page for our growing list of food & drink we love. While that concept sounded good in France, my reality over the unsuing months has been much more of a “making dreams a reality” story. Looking ahead, I also want to use this teeny platform to share my views on the racing industry – specifically the broad arena of Thoroughbred Aftercare.  And, I also think it’s fun to introduce friends to my view of the racing industry and the amazing mosaic it is.  As we continue down this road, I imagine I’ll find myself navigating between these various themes and often blending them. We’ll see!

Honestly, I don’ t know where this will go or what this will be. Acknowledging this gives me freedom from worrying about breaking promises, failing to achieve goals or worrying about not meeting expectations (spoiler alert: this is actually my greatest fear in life).  I just feel that writing is something I’ve always enjoyed and that I want to find a way to do more of it in this new adventure.  I even have a big ghost-writing project in mind… perhaps you’ll hear more about that.

So, having made no promises – I’ll tell you no lies.  🙂 I’m a sharer by nature (Captain Obvious reporting for duty), so I’m really very glad you’re here.  🙂 I have a lot more to say than even my excessive over-posting on FB and Insta allows me to convey and I’m doing my best to squeeze every drop of life out of this technicolor adventure.  I do like to document the journey – in words and photos, and it would be fun for me to have you follow along.   The more the merrier! 

Without any pressure, please know that I’d love for you to subscribe and follow the journey of the Maven and Magpie with hopes you find something that makes you smile, possibly chuckle, likely shake your head… and maybe, just maybe, consider the mantra we’ve lived by this year (thank you Maggie Stauffer):

“Leap, and the net will appear”. – Zen proverb

XXOO & Namaste,


P.S. I’ll often include a bunch of photos with each post!  Many also available on Insta #mavenandmagpie. These below were from my Saturday AM in Old Town last weekend.

An anniversary ahead: Sept 21, 2017 – I sent a letter

Hi Friends!

Making the most of a delightfully unstructured weekend to do a bit of writing, and it dawned on me at some point this week that we might suddenly be running up on the anniversary of a few key milestones that happened last  year in September.

For folks with any interest in the timeline of our journey, I think I tried to capture the 18 month “blow by blow” in an earlier post (link here), but for the sake of this specific milestone- the critical steps in our journey to this new life (aka the hard ones) all pretty much happened in September and October last year.  From telling my dear friend, boss  and trench-mate that we were putting the house on the market (a day I’ll never forget…) to watching the for sale sign go up in front of 301 S. Henry.  We had a lot of big days in September and October 2017, but it’s fun to look back and see the evidence of one of those days – the day I sent my letter of introduction to John Roche, CEO of the TRF.

It all started with some heartfelt words on a blank page.

For all the heartache, hand-wringing and projecting we did to get ourselves extracted from our old life, it’s kind of funny that both Bobby and I started down the path to here with a letter to one individual person who had only the foggiest of notions who we were… and for both of us, those single letters of introduction resulted in our current jobs.  We basically took aim at the bullseye of two seemingly impossibly unavailable and insanely specific targets, launched our arrows… and hoped, prayed & dreamed – and the universe totally did the rest.

On September 21, 2017 I signed, sealed and mailed this letter to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation:

September 21, 2017
Mr. John P. Roche, CEO
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
P.O. Box 834
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Dear John,
It was my sincere pleasure to meet you briefly last month at the TRF table at the track in Saratoga. Please accept my congratulations on the new role you have assumed at the helm of TRF. I was excited to see the announcement shortly after making your acquaintance.
My husband and I have been supporters of TRF for several years and we are both enthusiastic ambassadors for the organization. As avid racing fans and horse-lovers, we embrace the challenge of raising the critical awareness and resources required to tackle the important issue of racehorse retirement.
As a lifelong horsewoman, I have seen the great potential for retired racehorses in the hunter-jumper world and as a relatively new TRF Sponsor (through the Second Chances Program at James River), I’ve seen the incredible impact of the horses on their caretakers. I simply adore these animals and I passionately believe in the mission of TRF to provide a safe home and long-term care for horses whose racing careers have ended.
I am writing to you today to share my passion for the organization you are leading and to make myself available as a resource to you and your team in any way that you may find useful. I present myself for your consideration not only as a supporter and willing volunteer, but also as a mission-driven contributor to the TRF team in Saratoga, should an opportunity arise. My husband and I are planning to move to Saratoga from Alexandria in early 2018, and my personal goal for this transition is to find a channel through to invest the full extent of my energy, enthusiasm and professional experience in an organization that is making the world a better place, and one whose mission aligns with my values and vision for how we can make that happen.
I hope that you might be open to an exploratory conversation and I would be delighted to schedule a call to do so. As next steps, I’d suggest that perhaps we connect on LinkedIn and I will follow up with a quick email in order to schedule time to speak over the next week or so.
Thank you for all that you do for the horses!

Kim Weir

And, (with a lot of ups and downs in between) on May 1 2018 I started in the job that I was envisioning as I wrote this letter.  That role did not exist when I wrote this letter… so the question is, did my writing the letter put something in motion in the universe to trigger the events that unfolded over the following four months to lead to John calling me on February 12th to tell me an opportunity was going to be available by the end of the month? Maybe?  It sure seems like evidence that if you not only visualize your dream, but then put it out there visibly, verbally and in writing, it sure seems to help make it more likely to happen.

If I can get the Maven’s OK, I’ll try to share his version of this story.  His “message in a bottle” was sent in an email, April 2017…

For now, if there’s one single thing that I feel I’ve learned from this  journey is that there’s no downside, and possibly a huge upside, to just simply speaking your dreams out loud. 
If you say so clearly enough, perhaps loudly enough, at the right time, to the right person, they might just happen.

So, what’s my next dream?

More on that later!



Two special firsts…more signs of the new Season

Window near my office at TRF

Hi Friends!

Racing the clock, as always, as I try to capture two very special snippets of today so that I don’t lose them along the way. (And admittedly, I am finishing and posting this a few days later).  These two little tidbits are examples of why we made this move, and they are also two things that I hope (and trust) will happen many more times over the days ahead… so today I just wanted to mark them as “the firsts”.

Tidbit 1 – meeting a new friend for lunch.

While we treasure, cherish and have no intention of losing or replacing any of our amazing friends from our old life (and we so appreciate all of those who are making the effort to keep in touch and visit) – this new adventure includes the opportunity for both the Maven and the Magpie to make new friends, in a new community, based on different factors – new jobs, a new neighborhood, more time, a closer connection between who we are and what we love and what we do.  It’s just a whole new context within which to make new friends and build new friendships – with the great luxury of more time, a smaller town and a closer connection through more shared experiences (and a heavy dose of horses!). My expectation (we’ll see if true) is that it be less likelye for one of us to have a friend that is not also a friend of the other and/or we’ll have more couple-friends.. because we’re spending so much more time together.  Anyhoo, without wanting to jinx what seemed like the start of a fun, joyful and wonderful new friendship (officially my 2nd new friend in Saratoga, outside of work), I just want to say what a treat it was to do the following:

  • I met this woman at one of our TRF events a couple weeks ago, we had a lovely chat, learned that she was just moving to Saratoga after spending lots of time here, exchanged numbers….
  • I then texted photos of this woman and her family, and suggested we meet for lunch one day
  • She enthusiastically accepted, we set a date for today at 12:30 at Scallions
  • And, today, we sat at 12:30 and finished after 2pm!  Much fun!!! (And Ellen, I tried very hard not to tell her my entire life story… but I came pretty close)
  • We covered a lot of ground, and felt like there was much more to explore, and she specifically said how happy she was to now live in a place where someone would reach out and ask her to lunch – and I feel the same way!
  • Yay!

Tidbit #2 – my job is to ask for money for the horses, and today I asked for money!

Lest you grow concerned, this is not the first time that I’ve discussed the ask and addressed the numbers I’m looking for (I had two very good prospect meetings after my Chenery brunch),  and this week I started putting “renewal” asks in letters to those on my LYBNT list (just learned that acronym.. love it and it’s cousin SYBNT).  However the special thing today was that this one happened by phone with next to no “chit chat”.

In sum, here’s this first – which I trust will be like my walks around the State Park, one of these things I need to count or put a dollar in the jar for every time…

  • I made a call to a past donor, she answered her phone (rare!)
  • She didn’t dodge me when I told her who I was
  • I tried to engage in convo (with mild success),
  • She told me she didn’t have a lot of time, so I leaned in with
  • “I just have 2 points to share: I’ll be coming to CA in January and I’d like to meet with you and, based on your generous support last year we hope we might count on your continued support at this level in 2018”. Boom.
  • She said, “as long as you put something in the mail to me, I’ll probably be able to do that” – not the most smashing win, but a direct answer to a direct question.
  • And yes, the letter with the ask went in the mail within minutes of the call.
  • I’ll keep you posted!

And just like that, we move forward into the next chapter.  If this were a book, I’d say this is Chapter 3.  First was the move (March-April). Second was the setting up our new life (May-July). Not sure what to do with the Summer, still part of the “new-ness” I think as there were so many new people, routines, experiences with being here the whole summer. And now, Chapter 3 is this settling in, getting in a groove.  While we are going to continue pursuing firsts – with so many places to explore in the region and all of the new seasonal experiences (apples! pumpkins! winterizing!), this is more the deep breath, get comfortable, and make this our home… less of an exploration and more of a destination.

We couldn’t be happier – and I so appreciate sharing the journey with you.



An assortment of fun photos since Labor Day – scenes of the “life after the racing meet is over”.

Our Happy Place – the porch
Pumpkins in front of Five Points Market
Pumpkins in the window at G. Wilikers
Hawthorn Spring – on my walk home from work
How I love walking through Congress Park – the pond, the fountain & the ducks!
Bunny in the yard!
Ducks in the grass and on the hill.


Shifting gears and giving thanks

Hello Friends!

Another first – our first Sunday night at home, with Fall in the air and football on TV.  We are so excited!

Nothing like a little travel to add some punctuation to the end of one chapter – the 1st Summer in Saratoga, and the start of the next – our first Fall in our upstate NY home.  We took the Megabus to NYC on Thursday night and had a really fun, restful, change of scenery version of the reset button – with a much craved dose of super spicy chinese food at Xi’an Famous Foods and an awesome meal at our designated “special treat” foodie experience at The Bar at Ko (by David Cheng) – adding both immediately to our faves list   We so enjoyed the change of scenery, the yummy food, the time with family, and for me, a more needed than I realized break from nonstop running. I found myself completely out of gas on Saturday, and after sleeping 12+ hours Saturday night, I still slept the whole way home on the bus this afternoon.

It was such fun to drive home from the train station (where the bus picked us up and dropped us off), and realize… once again – we still live here!  And, now, with racing season behind us… we really get to begin to explore our new home, establish a new routine and find new favorite haunts. It’s another beginning!

With that in mind, we jumped right in to trying a place on “our list”.  We have at least 5:  we each have a list we’ve been building in Yelp, I have one wunderlist of “Capital Region to Explore”, we have a Happy Hour list, and we have a Pizza list…we love lists!  As we wandered homeward, we decided to drop in on the Ripe Tomato, which was on each of our lists… and lo and behold, we entered through the Tap Room entrance to find the all day Happy Hour in effect at the bar… I think we rolled in about 3:30.  Yay!

Without boring you with the what we ate and drank (oh, there will be plenty of this over the days ahead), the fun thing was to get home to our quiet, grey home and find a mashup of symbols… our first three tomatoes ready to pop off the vine – see photo of super crazy volunteer tomato plant below; and a cool breeze in the air… a huge contrast to last Sunday, when the racing meet was still going.  Super quiet, but just lovely.  Our kitties were super happy to see us – and Bobby was in his “comfy clothes” in no time, ready to watch the Redskins from our couch while I put on leggings and fleece to head out for a walk around the State Park.  I’m considering putting a dollar in a box every time I do that loop… as it seems like one of those things I’ll do more times than I can imagine over the years ahead.  I can only hope!

As I walked, I found my thoughts swirling around all the things I can’t wait to do at work this week, this month and over the coming weeks . So very grateful for the feeling of excitement, anticipation, creativity, and positive energy I feel about my work… and the incredible opportunity to apply myself whole heartedly to something I am so passionate about.  Meanwhile, I started thinking about all the new habits I want to add into this next chapter.   It’s about to be the perfect season for jogging, and I foresee 5ks many weekends ahead – I’m signed up for one on 9/22 in VA, and I know there’s one here on 10/13, and I just noted one next Saturday 9/16.  Good stuff!  I’m also feeling alot of achi-ness, and I’m aware of how long it’s been since I did any stretching – having taken a hiatus from yoga since the end of March.  I’m looking at the classes available on Sat & Sun AM at the Museum of Dance while planning to find a class on TV or on a DVD which I can do in the basement this winter. Meanwhile I certainly could start a simple routine of my favorite poses in the living room, if I set my mind to it… I could put a routine together, be my own teacher.  I’m also thinking about all the thank you notes I’m overdue to send… determined to catch up and get more timely with these over the months ahead.  And looking forward to spending more time writing – notes related to work, letters related to work, diving into more thoughtful topics here in the blog… and hopefully tackling a bigger project too.  More on that later, but it’s exciting to put a plan together for a winter writing adventure.  Plus, I want to knit, I want to read, and I want to catch up with folks on the phone.   So much to do – and fortunately, the time and the place available to do it all.  So grateful!

Meanwhile, as our center of gravity now switches from all the summer activities toward the Fall – more homey-ness, more new restaurants and day trips, and also our upcoming travels:  MD/VA in Sept, KY in Oct, NY in Nov, CA in Dec and hopefully New Orleans in Jan, and maybe Florida in Feb, I want to not move too quickly away from the summer without spending a bit of time giving thanks for all of the beloved friends and family who added their love and laughter to our first Summer in Saratoga.  It was a whirlwind, and we loved every minute of our time with dear ones in the house, on the porch and making this new house feel like a home.   I truly hope that everyone felt warmly welcomed!   I had done a tally in my last post about the total of heads that had rested in Casa Weir, but I also want to say a special thank you to each person who came to stay with us over the course of the Spring & Summer.  We thank you for the joy that you each brought to our lives here.

In first five months at 123 Madison, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have so many of the people who mean so much to us travel – my train, plane and automobile – to spend time with us.  Tonight, before I sign off, I want to thank each one (and many photos below).

A recap of overnight guests to date (March – August), thank you!

  1. Marilyn – March, Bobby’s mom, our first overnight guest, just days after the furniture arrived!
  2.  Adam & Alyssa  (2)- May
  3. Shana & Kathy (2) – May
  4. Auntie Sue – June
  5. Dinks – June
  6. Anne & Kendra (2) – June
  7. Rebecca – July
  8. Scarboroughs (4) – July
  9. Padre & Linda – July
  10. Alpersteins (4) – July
  11. Dallas & Sack & Augie (3) – August
  12. Melanie, Ben and Marilyn (3) – August
  13. Dave, Melissa & Hudson (2+) – August
  14. Adelmans (5) – August
  15. Mike & Michelle and Patrick & Sara (4) – August

And, beyond our wonderful array of houseguests, we also loved the porch-guests who brightened so many of our evenings – from the girls who joined in the Doobie brothers, to Maura who helped me “break in” the new porch furniture one marathon Happy Hour Friday, to Robert our new friend and plant-whisperer, to our many racing fan friends who gathered in our cozy gazebo while Bobby grilled Brats in the rain.

We are so happy to be here – and we are so grateful for the opportunity to share this happiness with those who care about us, and those who have made the investment of time, travel and vacation time to share their precious free time with us.   It makes this whole adventure feel more real to have you here with us.  Thanks for bearing witness and adding your sunshine to our summer!


M & M

Taking Stock of a Spectacular Summer – our 19th & our 1st

Labor Day AM – butterfly!

“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” – Hemingway

Hello Friends!

Never have the Maven and I woken up so happy on the day after Labor Day.

Frankly, as anyone who had to suffer through us – especially me, the Magpie, in the days following our return to reality from Saratoga after the past many years… it was, in a word, ugly.  In more words, it was unattractive, whiny, sulky, and generally obnoxious just how much we moaned & groaned about our forced exile from the place we believed we were meant to be.  First world problems for sure. And now, the summer is over – and we woke up  here! Yippee!!

While many are suffering the end of the season blues, I have to say that we are absolutely at peace with the finish.  I believe that I couldn’t have  squeezed more juice out of the summer than I did, and I’m admittedly a bit weary from the effort of being on and on the go in a non-stop hustle for 40 days.  Now, we get to truly settle in, establish our patterns of “normal life” – without the countdown til the track  season opens in 2019 (319 days by my calculations). Plus, we get to start exploring the “beyond Saratoga” of Upstate New York, New England and all the cute towns and beautiful scenery that await us – along with all the cute cows, sheep, goats, apples and pumpkins along the way.  We have a huge list (see the Faves page, where I’ve started the list, collected along our journey so far – all sight unseen) and we’re working on our strategy for how to choose where to go first.   Stay tuned for a big bowl of ideas!

Tonight, racing the clock as always, as I know that the system starts to shut down at 10pm (9:30pm now), I wanted to at least start to capture some reflections on this amazing whirlwind summer… a project I plan to spend more time on over the days ahead.

For today, let’s start with some stats and a list of names –

  • 50 personal notes of congratulations from the TRF Herd written and delivered to trainers (with Stakes winners) on the Saratoga backstretch;
  • 40 days  of racing (47 days of summer schedule), starting on July 20th;
  • 39 nights with guests here with us at Casa Weir, starting July 1st;
  • 32 individual guests (plus one special pup) spent time in our happy home, starting July 1;
  • 10 max peeps squeezed in on our front porch for one semi-rained out cookout;
  • 531,407 steps counted by my fitbit;
  • number of Hattie’s fried chicken pieces consumed (at home and at Hatties)… classified!

As I’ve shared with so many visitors to Saratoga this summer, I believe the true magic of the racetrack is that while the horses are the heart of the whole complicated network that makes racing possible, it is the extraordinary complexity of humans on the racetrack that I find so incredibly compelling.  In fact, my friend Teresa just published an article with a focus on the community of the backstretch, take a look. With that in mind, I wanted to try to list the names of the many, many folks on around and affiliated with the Saratoga Race Track who made my summer so much better, for making me feel welcome.  I’m grateful beyond words for every smile and greeting.

I am so thankful for this opportunity – to start again, to be wholly and completely me, to not hold back and to throw myself into this  new world with unabashed glee.  To purposefully, intentionally and thoughtfully endeavor to make a first impression on so many people in one nonstop, action-packed 7 week stretch.  I have always cherished those rare, weird moment in life when one is new – and this was all that on steroids for 40+ days staight. To the best of my ability, I spent a summer being the most enthusiastic, energetic “new girl” one could imagine.  My mantra was to simply become a Positive, Pleasant  Presence – and, as always, to “be me – but not too much me”.   All I can say is that I did my best, I tried to trust my gut, read the tea  leaves, back off when in doubt and as-much-as-possible leave them wanting more (instead of looking for the door).

So much to reflect on, and I’d like to try to share a few specific, granular stories as I get some distance on the whole adventure.  For now, I’ll sign off with the happy footnote that my first day after Labor Day here in Saratoga included my first “all me” check arriving as a result of my Chenery Champion Brunch in August. My first official, and significant, points on the board.  Yay!  And now, much more to do – the horses are counting on me!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful September. Remember, Labor Day is the New Year’s Day of the Fall!


See photos below – my heartfelt thanks to each of them for making this first summer so special and so very spectacular.  Meet a few of my Saratoga Summer Peeps!

Frank DeGregorio – met him on our shared first day, bday 8/2
Seth Merrow – a friend for many years, and host of Capital OTB (my first live TV appearance!)
Mike MacAdam, Daily Gazette, a friend for many years – kindly put my picture in the paper to welcome me to town.
Richie Migliore and Jennifer Stevens – TRF superstar Board Member and fantabulous Teammate
Tony “Ski” Podlaski – on the roof, such a warm welcome to the press room!
Backstretch walkabout with Kylie the Magnificent – glad she’s on my team!
Rick and Dorothy, the most welcoming NYRA security team in the clubhouse box seats – looking forward to introducing them to our horses!
Tom, Fran and Bill – dynamic trio, great volunteers and staff members, all with their heart in the right place!
The one and only – Mr. Durkin!
Mary Keiser – my first friend on the backstretch, thanks to Fran, and her 3 fabulous retired thoroughbreds who now work as ponies in the AM
Superstar – Cheryl on the TRF team, on the backstretch on a sunny AM
WooWooo! Ernie Munick, NYRA cameraman, Quick Call’s biggest fan.
Pancake lunch with the TRF team: Chelsea, Cheryl, Kylie, Bill, (me) and Jenn in front.
Cindy, Steve and Pat (my neighbor) – they can’t escape me! (But really, who can?)
Bobby and Andy – thank you Andy for making us feel so welcome!
TAG – OS reunion and keystone to so many of our Saratoga friendships!
The magnificent (and very patient with me!) Morleys!! XXOO
Superstar TRF Teammates – Cheryl and Carolyn.
#1 Awesome teammate – Jenn!
Super adorable Kariann and Sophia (my partner in crime at the Washington County Fair)
Matt (aka Smiley) Hegarty – he really does love the fair!
Adam, Bobby and Matt – fun with tractors at the Fair
Awesome Alyssa and her super sweet goat-raising friend, Dave.
Berenice, from Puebla, with one of her retired racehorse ponies!
Rudy Rodriguez – the busiest and friendliest trainer on the Oklahoma!
Rudy Jr, good morning!

And so many more!