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Walking with my friend in Ireland with a hot potato in my pocket

Walking with a potato in my pocket.

Stacey Covell lives in Dublin, Ireland, and I live in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, in the United States.  Every day for eighteen days we are both walking two miles. Today is day five.

Are you wondering why Stacey and I are both walking two miles? And what does walking have to do with a potato in your pocket?

She offered to walk with me when she read my story, 365 day challenge to not buy any clothes for a year: update. For 365 days, which started on May 1st, I am not buying any new clothes. Participants in the 365 Day Challenge were allowed one save during the year.  I could have used the save coupon to buy a new dress for my husband’s Christmas party on December 7th, but instead I used it to buy a pair of  sweat pants.

The sweat pants will keep my legs warm as I try to walk two miles every day for the next 18 days so I can fit into a dress I already own.

Stacey is helping me fit into one of these dresses. (You can vote on which dress you want me to wear in the comment on this post. I will wear the dress that gets the most votes. Right now the black dress is winning.)


The red dressThe black dress

When Stacey read my desire to walk every day for 18 days, she offered to be my walking partner. “You know what, let’s do it! I’m not sure I can get in two miles today but I will make a commitment to do it with you starting tomorrow (if not today) for sure! That will do me good as well! Yay for walking partners!”

We e-mail each other after we have walked. And we walk because we don’t want to let each other down.

Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania

Gilbertsville,  United States


Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

And now for the rest of the story. Or, why did you put a hot potato in your pocket?

Stacey asked me, ” Have you ever tried putting baked potatoes in your pockets to keep your hands warm? I haven’t done it yet but my MN* mother said it’s always a win.  MN* = Minnesota

Yesterday I baked four Russet potatoes and put two in my pocket. The potatoes kept my hands warm, and when I came home I ate them. And just like Stacey said, I had lunch upon my return.

It is raining today, but after lunch I will walk again, to the stop sign and back. I won’t let Stacey down, and I want my dress to fit.

Day One

Day One


Day two

Day Two


Day Three

Day Three


Day Four

Day Four

Have you ever had a friend help you do something? Like walk, or not eat bananas, or stop a bad habit? Please tell me in the comments I would love to chat.

Oh, and have you ever put a hot potato in your pocket, or a hot rock in the bottom on your sleeping bag? ( Do you remember putting a rock in your sleeping bag at summer camp Michelle?)

P.S. Stacey Covell is a writer. She blogs at staceycovell.com, on her blog, One Beautiful Thing. We met in an on-line writing class we took last year, Tribe Writers.  We have both lived in Saint Paul Minnesota, and have become friends through our writing and walking. ( Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link)

P.S.S  My mom said to poke holes in your baked potato so it doesn’t explode. I always thought she was making it up.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Michelle Crooker

    No Pamela – I don’t put a rock in my sleeping bag at summer camp – it is WAY to warm already – we do put dryer sheets up in the tents though – it keeps the bugs away.

  • Pamela and Stacy – love love love this. What a wonderful lovely incredible story of friendship community and potatoes.

    I vote for the black dress, 🙂

    • Good Morning Nancy,
      Friendship, community and potatoes, three things I am thankful for today.
      I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for your vote. I will post the winner and pictures on December 7th.

  • Betty Draper

    So glad I stumbled onto your site Pamela. Hot potatoes, great idea. Also a walking blog partner. I vote back dress. I do hope you post pictures of you in the dress that wins. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Good Morning Betty,
      I am delighted to meet you. Thank you for your vote on my dress. The black dress is winning. It will keep me warm at the Christmas party.
      And I promise to post pictures of the winning dress at the Christmas party.
      All the best and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Robn Patrick

    I just love your titles! They are always intriguing.
    No, I have never put a hot potato in my pocket but I have put hot rocks in my bed. Many years ago we were FREEZING while camping and my mind finally started working and I realized a rock would be a portable heater. It worked so well that I have wondered ever since why people don’t do that more often. Or, maybe they do and there’s a secret society of hot rock/hot potato users out there somewhere.

    • Hello Robin,
      We are both in the secret society of hot rock/hot potato users. We just have to find the rest of our group. At summer camp we put rocks in the fire at evening campfire and then put them in our sleeping bags. It worked so well.
      Now I will put a few potatoes in the oven with my turkey. I can be warm when I walk, and have a baked potato for lunch! Happy Thanksgiving Robin!

  • Iya Hannum

    Keep walking, my friend, it will no doubt serve you very well. And while I am inclined towards the stunning chic of the black dress, you should probably go with whichever one makes your husband go “Ooohh” (Probably the red one 😉

    • Good Morning Iya,
      The sun is now up, and I still have to walk today. Perhaps one day we could walk together?
      Right now the black dress has more votes, but they are both at the dry-cleaners. If I wear the red dress, I may not be able to eat anything. It fits me very well. Perhaps I just need to walk more. 🙂

  • LOVE this!!! SO COOL Stacy & Pamela!!! And I like the red dress best 😉

    • Hello Devani,
      The red dress is fun. I wonder which one will get the most votes?

  • Amy Young

    Love the idea of an international walking partner 🙂

    • Hello Amy,
      Are you still overseas? I thought you might like this one, my international friend.

  • Christa Sterken

    What a unique way to encourage each other. And Pamela, that black dress is stunning

    • Hello Christa,
      The black dress is winning. So nice to see you!

  • Terje

    What a fun way to connect and exercise. I had never heard of the potatoes in the pockets. I knew about poking them before baking. The black dress gets a vote from me. It looks royal.

    • Hello Terje,
      I baked potatoes again today and then forgot to put them in my pocket. Oh well, now I will eat them.
      The black dress is winning! Thank you for your vote. Now I will be regal AND warm. 🙂

  • La McCoy

    This so fun. Edel will run over and see both of you. Whoosh she is on the way.

    • Hello Edel. So nice to see you. Do you want to go for a walk?

      • La McCoy

        Yes Mama Hodges, I always want to go for a walk. But with me it is more of a run.
        Ill get my double choker and lease. I’l be waiting but the door for you two! Edelwiess.

  • Stacey

    Love love love this post! (But yes, I suppose I am partial!) This has been so fun to do with you Pamela. It’s super grey here today (and yesterday). All I want to do is sit and eat. But I will get out and walk. It does everything good! Thank you! Great post! Great fun! Great walking partner! =)

    • Hello Stacey, I just got back from my walk today. I would not have walked at all if you weren’t walking with me! And it was snowing and cold even.
      All I want to do is sit and paint.
      Thank you my dear walking partner for getting me out of the house! Happy you liked the story. Thank you for sharing your photograph.