Christmas Central = My Office

Christmas gifts have become true surprises, thanks to on-line shopping.

Remember the days when we would leave the huge, ripped paper bags filled with Christmas toys and gifts in the trunk of our car until everyone went to bed and then we would sneak the gifts into the house to keep them hidden in a closet, or under a bed.  At least, we thought they were hidden.  But sneaky little elves would search high and low to get a peek of the wonders that would be under the tree.

Now, there is no sneaking.  The plain brown box with a big smile is dropped at your front door.  Anyone can pick it up because it gives no hint of what is inside.  Remember, it is illegal to open someone else’s mail.

There is no need to hide the boxes, but they still need to be stored somewhere.

Therefore, my office becomes Christmas Central.

First, My Desk

My desk has always had a life of its own.  It knows how to multiply better than a rabbit.  It’s just that my desk multiplies papers, books, notes, folders, lists, Christmas catalogs,  patterns for crochet projects, receipts and of course, my Diet Coke cans.   The rest of the office usually looks presentable.

In the midst of all this cheery Christmas hustle and bustle and singing–yes I do listen to Christmas carols all month long, my computer caught the flu.  I tried to nurture it with love and care and a few cuss words, but I had to luck.  TA DA!  I bring Number One in to be my knight in shining armour and fix it.

His eyes bulged and his face paled as he stood helpless before my desk. His hands were shaking.  “I can’t fix it with all this stuff here.”   “Sure you can,” I assured him.  I had moved the monitor  and was able to fiddle with the cables, just as I thought he would.  It’s just that somehow his fingers are magic and he can fix computer issues.

As he sat in my chair, I thought he was going to be physically ill.  He sat motionless for a few seconds as he stared at the mish-mash of my life laid out in all its glory. But, it is an organized mess.  I know how many papers or folders down that I have to go to find an item.  Number One could not stop frowning as if I was asking him to put his hands into a messy toilet.

He survived the ordeal, but he wasn’t able to fix the computer flu.   He looked like he had caught the flu as he left my office.

 

Christmas snuck onto my desk, too!

 

 

Just in case you are wondering, that is only about a quarter of my desk.

 

Christmas Central has taken over my office!

Christmas Central

I do not have a wide angle lens so you can’t see all the boxes on the right or the left.  But believe me, there are more boxes.

Why does Christmas Central look like this?  The closet is open because I am searching for various skeins of yarn to create hats, blankets, and scarves for the holiday.

The card table in the middle was used to write on as I did my Christmas cards.  I am very old fashioned, and like my mom, I want to send out cards.  I do type my yearly letter filled with all the antics of the Ghoniems, but I love signing each card and sometimes writing a little note on them.  I love the gel pen and the feel of my the pen as it  glides as I swirl out our names.  I send out about 200 cards, so these pictured are just what is left after a day-long labor of love, writing.

Either this table or one that is a little longer and higher will be in that same spot while I wrap the gifts.  The gift wrap holder is also hiding to the right.

Hidden in the Costco box are gifts that I don’t want people to think are interesting .  Under the jacket is something else.   (I can’t say what, just in case some is reading this just to find out what they are getting for Christmas.

Those brown boxes keep coming.  I am curious about which one has my gifts in it.  But, my family is smart, they don’t send the gifts in my name, so it stays out of Christmas Central.

Christmas Central will be cleaned up by January, but I can’t make any guarantees about my desk.

I Need a Bigger Bucket!

First of all, just VISITING China was high on my bucket list.

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, the thought of visiting China was as alien to me as the UFO’s are now.  Besides, I was a little embarrassed to visit because I had wasted some Brussel sprouts (still can’t eat them) and was scolded for wasting food because the people in China were starving.  Had anyone starved because I didn’t eat my sprouts?

 

Here are a few more things that I can check off my bucket list.

Trudged up the Great Wall like the ancient Chinese warriors.  Yes, I said trudged.  I literally had to pull myself up using the hand railings because the ramp was at least at a 30 degree angle.  Number One thinks it is a 30 degree angle.  I swear it was at least a 45 or 50 degree angle.  The steps were uneven.  Some were a few inches high and then some were two feet high.  They had to have been used by very tall people–another misconception that I had–I thought the Chinese were short. The highest point is 3,330 feet above sea level–I got to the top!

The view at the top was amazing.  I was watching ancient history come to life as it trailed over the mountains at great heights and flowed with simple elegance.  I was entranced by the beauty.

The Great Wall, to the Chinese, can be compared

to Mecca, for the devout Muslims.   The number of people on that wall that day was in the thousands,  and it wasn’t even a holiday or in summer.  It was in November!

This wall has such significance that Mao Zedong said, “He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man.”

I guess I am now a true man.

 

Sipped tea at an authentic Chinese Tea Ceremony.  There are two types of pots for the tea.  One is to brew it and one is to serve it to guests.  They do not use the teapot with the spout to serve, they use  a small pitcher to pour the tea.  I learned you need to wash Jasmine tea before you make it.  You must also pour hot water over the tea pot to prepare it.  They women splash and pour between the two containers to get the tea to the right temperature.   It is pretty complicated.  I think I might stick with my one pop of the can of Diet Coke.

 

This is the tray, pots and cups that they use.   Another sure-fire way to see if the water is hot enough is to pour the hot water over “pee boy.”  If he starts peeing, the water is just right.

 

 

 

 

 

I rode a two hump camel.  Now, I can say that  I have ridden a one hump and a two hump camel.   It looks as if you can use one of the humps as a makeshift handle to get onto the beast, but that hump just wiggles all over and it actually is more of a hindrance  than help to getting onto the camel.  You need to fit between the two humps.  Ok, I got onto the camel, but the owner had to give my backside a boost. Once the picture was taken,  there was no way I could get off that creature.  I finally called to Number One so he could push my right foot up high enough so my left foot would slide down the other side.  It was not a graceful mount nor dismount, but I can check riding camels off my bucket list.

 

 

I rode the one hump camel in Egypt in 1983.

I rode the two hump camel in China 2017.

It took 34 years to accomplish this feat, but I did it!

 

 

 

The largest palace in the world is “The Forbidden City.”  It sounds really ominous, almost scary. It was forbidden for anyone other than the royal family to enter.  This palace, which is the size of a city, housed the emperor, his family, which could be 500 or more children, his 1000 concubines, his wife, and his mother.  Luckily the mother and the wife each had separate buildings.  The number of buildings is astonishing as well as the artwork.   On the roof, mythical creatures of  the sea were carved and placed to protect the palace.  However,  lightning struck and burned a building.  They learned from the Americans that lightning rods do a better job of  protecting than mythical creatures.

 

 

 

The Summer Palace is on an island surrounded by a beautiful lake.  It would be easier to see if the Beijing SMOG was not so heavy.

I loved the city of Beijing.  We stayed three days, but  by then I could feel the smog clogging up my lungs.  The Chinese have plans to fix it, but it will take some time.

 

The Terra Cotta Warriors. These warriors were supposed to be the emperors army in the afterlife.  They were made larger than life. Each facial expression is different and the warriors displayed their rank by their shoes.  The higher the tip of the toes on the shoes, the higher the rank.  You can read anything you want into that, but that was the way it was. This Emperor was 13 when he took power and  was not very nice–like most teenagers at 13– and the people didn’t like him.  So, after he died, they raided his tomb of all the valuables and smashed his warriors.   These warriors have been waiting to fight since about 250 BC. Luckily, in 1974 a young farmer discovered these warriors by accident.  He was digging a well and found what he thought was a ghost in front of him. No ghost, just an ancient warrior.  The farmer now can sign his name on coffee table books.  He was not able to write anything when he found the warriors.  The tour guide said he is very old now.  Number One and I think he is younger than we are.

 

         Japan is not that far away from China.  Number One had a conference in northern Japan.  Once it was finished, I was able to check off one more item on my bucket list.

Growing up right after WWII, Japan was not on the favored list of countries to visit for anyone in the country, so I was sure I would never visit a country that had attacked us.   Well, I did.  And, I am glad.

There are so many vistas of one special place in Japan, and that is Mount Fuji.   Yes, I went to the seventh station of Mount Fuji.  It looks like the mountain has snow at the top, but it is actually sun glinting off the ice which gives it a white color.  This mountain, of course, is a volcano with an interesting shape.  It is almost symmetrical with gentle slopes on each side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After exploring far-away places filled adventure and intrigue, we get to come home to reality in  sunny, Carlsbad, California!

Duck. Duck. Duck. SCORPION!!!

My First Duck

Peking Duck is a delicacy that must be enjoyed in Beijing (remember it used to be called Peking). I also experienced other delicacies with my first duck that I can truly, and never to be repeated, take off my bucket list.

One of the best Peking Duck Restaurants in Beijing is named, Quanjude.  It was established in 1864.

As a treat, we were graciously hosted in this restaurant. There was a group of 10,  so they ordered two ducks.  Each duck has a code and a number.  Number One ate duck 150062 and I ate duck 150063.  My question is, “Who ate duck number 1?”

Yup, we ate duck, and duck and duck!  Peking Duck meat is very tender, juicy, and delicious.   You put pieces of duck into a Chinese crepe/tortilla along with some veggies and some sweet sauce.  Oh, it melted in my mouth.   YUM, it was good!

First Course

However, the first course was a delicacy I have never dreamed of trying.  I was given the honor of eating the first boiled duck foot.

Yes, the feet of the duck are eaten.  Of course, our hosts wanted to give us their specialties as a treat.  All eyes were on me, when they brought out the feet.  Yes,  it looks exactly like a webbed duck foot.  For flavor, you dip the feet into a Dijon sauce.  However it turned out to be horseradish–closer to wasabi.  I picked up the feet by the ankles, dipped generously thinking it was mustard.

Deep breath,–of course–you know everyone is watching me–and plopped that foot into my mouth.  I chewed.  To be honest, the foot tasted like rubbery chicken cartilage, but the power of the horseradish, shot right through my nose into my sinuses.  Who knows what happened then.   It was so strong, that I felt I blacked out.  They laughed, so I guess that is the usual non-Chinese response.

Fresh Duck Feet

The next course was  fried duck heart.  I am still hoping it was fried.  It looked very red and was sort of crunchy.  I didn’t taste like much, I think my taste buds went on a hiatus after the horseradish.

I enjoyed the sweet, fried, duck skin, mainly because it was sweet.  Yes, I checked to make sure there weren’t any feathers in it.

Dinner Time

We didn’t stuff ourselves by any means at lunch, so by the time dinner time rolled around we were  quite hungry.   We were staying close to the downtown and shopping areas.  One street is completely closed with all the high end boutiques flashing their neon signs and wares.

Old Town China

Surprisingly, we stumbled upon an alley filled with old shops, hole in the wall restaurants and snack vendors.

Our first opportunity for a snack was LIVE SCORPIONS on a stick!  Yes, they were alive.  Their little legs were moving.  I don’t want to know how they were attached to the stick and still moving.  There are certain things your mind protects you from, and that is one of them.

Dinner was at McDonald’s that night.  At least it is filled with familiar ungodly things.

 

 

Give Me Some Credit, Please?

Dear Orange Theory,

I know I missed three sessions of torture—I mean exercise—because I have been traveling.  Orange Theory is good for my body—eventually I will see the results—but traveling is good for the mind and the spirit.  And thankfully, you see immediate results with traveling.

But, you need to realize that traveling can be exercise, too.

First, I trudged up the  40 degree incline and the thousands of steps on the Great Wall.  I also did a lot of twisting and contorting getting through the crowds there.  It was a non-stop trek up the mountain for 45 minutes.  Okay, I stopped a couple of times because I thought my heart was going to blast out of my chest.  My lungs worked extra hard trying to breath through the heavy Beijing smog.

I didn’t bring my heart rate monitor—I know a big mistake—but I know my heart rate would have been in the red zone or maybe the purple zone.  I gave you an extra color to show how hard I was working.

You need to have a new routine called The Great Wall.  It will be as bad as your hell week sessions.

Following that, I hung on for dear life—literally—on the airport bus in Beijing.  The bus driver stopped and started with such force that holding onto the rings from the ceiling was a workout all on its own.  Your strap rings are easy peasy—even for the ancient like myself—compared to the bus rings.  As I clutched the rings, my nails dug into my hands while my arm was yanked in all directions.  I used every arm muscle, pectoral muscle and any other muscle that is in any vecinity of my arm just to stay upright and not fly into the person in front or in back of me.

No, it’s not over yet.  Our plane was delayed in China for one hour, so our window of time to catch the next plane narrowed considerably.  Without going into details, we had to run through the Japan airport at top speed, pulling luggage, backpacks and posters.  We raced to the gate in ALL OUT mode.   Even though you don’t see it on my heart monitor, I was RED!  We made the plane by squeezing through the door as it was closing.

Now, as you can see, I did exercise.  So, my question is, is there any way I can get credit for at least one session, maybe even two.

If not, you will see me three times a week for the next three weeks.

Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t suffer in silence.

Please give me the credit?

Sweaty, Tired and Achy,

Virginia

Teed Off, Driven, and Buried

Over the past three years, hundreds golf balls have bounced off our trees, dented the outdoor grill and refrigerators, wizzed past our heads, plopped a foot behind us when we are swimming, and broken two windows at our cost of 500 dollars each.

Now some of these golf balls have been bright yellow, orange or pink.  I have to admit that I never knew golf balls could be so colorful.  Some of them are dented, some are quite muddy, and some looked pretty chewed up.

HEAVENLY GIFTS

The last group could be the result of Max finding it first and using it as a  chew toy.  To be honest, Max thinks the golf balls are manna from heaven.  He doesn’t have a chance to get bored, because as soon as he has lost or buried one ball, another just drops from the sky.  God forbid if they land in the pool, because he trembles, shakes and races from one end of the pool to the other trying to figure out how to get to it.    We take pity on him and take it out, which we soon regret  because he insists on dropping the slimy orb into our laps, hoping that we will throw it.  Needlessly to say, we tire of the game long before he does.

A SIGN FROM ABOVE?

Not long ago, a special ball landed in the yard.  It was the traditional white,  but this one came with a message.

CALL FOR HELP?

This ball caused a great deal of consternation.  Did this come from a neighboring house?  After a quick look across the golf course,  I realized that to hand throw a ball a half a mile from across the course would have been almost impossible.  This is especially true  when you think a weaker person would need help, and not someone who could throw a ball one half mile.

Kidnapped Golfer?

Let’ get real!  A kidnapper would not put a driver into the hands of someone they kidnapped.  That is unless the kidnapper is really dumb. And why take someone to a place where you have to pay 240 dollars a round to play?

THIRD OPTION?

GOLF BALL SEEKING REFUGE

This poor golf ball is tired of being teed off, driven for miles with a smack and it knows if it lands in a backyard a dog will bury it deep in the ground.  Then,  a few months,  later it will be recycled and used by an even less experienced golfer.

SAFE HAVEN

I am giving this ball sanctuary!  This ball will be placed in the china cabinet.  It should be ok until an estate sale and then it’s journey will start all over again with our great grandkids.

OUR NEW SKY HIGH BALANCING ACT

We tell ourselves that age is just number.  We still can do whatever we want–our age should not affect our actions.

No matter how smart we think we are, sometimes as our age increases, our Common Sense IQ decreases!

DIY (Do It Yourself)

Doing odd jobs around the house is good for the soul–it gives us a sense of accomplishment.

However,  some DIY jobs are not meant for creaking, aching joints and slow moving reactions.

LAST MINUTE CANCELLATION

We purchased three 7 feet tall pictures that we wanted to put on the wall.

I knew it was a huge job, so I tried to hire it out.  Unfortunately, at the last minute, the hired help was not able to come.

Now, once plans are made to do something,  Number One cannot change gears and do something else.  He must continue doing what was planned.  If the handyman couldn’t do it.  He would do it.

Did you hear me scream, “NOOOOOOO, let a younger person hang these?”   ” He will bounce better than you do.”

PICTURE THIS

In order to hang these, you need to stand on the steps.

To make the height of the steps even, Number One  brought in long, flat bricks and piled them on the steps.

He still couldn’t reach the spot for the nail.

So, we added a step stool on top of the bricks which were on top of the steps.

 

EYEBALL IT?

We cannot step back far enough to eyeball it to see if it is straight because we would start walking on air.

So, we need to measure top from bottom, bottom from top and in between–literally in between the pictures.

Now to complicate matters, once on top of the step stool, he had a hold a measure, a level, a drill and a tiny  screw.  Then he had to  reach as far as his arms would go to drill the screw into place,  all without falling off the step stool, the bricks or the steps.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT A CLIFF HANGER!

Oh, did I mention that he was hanging these pictures on a 20 foot wall –which means, we have a long way to fall.

I want you to picture Number One standing on the step stool that has the back legs on the steps, and the front legs on the bricks.  I am standing under him, holding my arms up like the basketball player ready to receive the ball for a layup.  What scares me that most was that I believed that I was going to catch him if he fell.  My common sense has also diminished with age.  How am I going to catch a 200 pound man being pulled by gravity 15 feet above the floor?

 

They are up!!!

GUARDIANS AT WORK

If you look closely, those two shining lights are our guardian angels, who are  sorely overworked by two oldie moldies who have lost their common sense.

The Sirens of the Deep are Calling Me.


The Sirens of the Deep are calling ME–not just my husband.

Ok, the pool is not THAT deep, but it does go over my head!

Since I have become Darth Virginia with my mask, I discovered I really like swimming.  (If this doesn’t make sense, check out “My Husband’s Mistress.”)

Now, that it is October,  those cold winds are blowing– 0k, the scorching California Santa Ana winds aren’t cold, but the pool is a frosty 72 degrees.

The sun doesn’t heat up the solar panels  to get the pool to the 85 degrees that is perfect for swimming.

 

 

Why, now that I like to swim, I can’t?

 

A few days ago, as I walked on the beach and watched the surfers, I had a thought.

I was thinking that Number One has a wet suit, so why don’t I wear his wet suit and see if it will keep me warm in the pool.

There was no way I was going to try it on while anyone was home–which in hindsight–I should have re-thought that idea.

The wet suit was heavier than I expected.  Oh, did I forget to tell you that I have never put on a wet suit before?

I pulled and pulled and twisted and sweated and yanked and cussed for 20 minutes before I finally got that thing on.

I feel as if  I did 20 minutes of weight training because my arm muscles were killing me.  And, my back was a little wrenched, too.

 

When I looked in the mirror, I saw a cross between the Cat and the Hat minus the hat and the tail, and a Penguin.

I didn’t have the smooth strides of a lithe cat.  I waddled like a penguin because the suit wasn’t fitting quite right.

 

Was this going to work?   Was I going to freeze in the water after building up such a sweat putting om a second skin?

 

 

I grabbed my Darth Virginia helmet, stuffed the earplugs in my ears, and donned my swimming mitts.

Now I looked like the Creature from the Black Lagoon!

Our dog, Max, ran back into the house once he saw me.

 

I stepped into the water.  I felt a tiny chill.  Then I bravely  jumped into the water and swam to the other end of the pool and back.

Holy Moly!  The water wasn’t cold!

Yipppeeeee!

I swam for about 40 minutes–it was invigorating!

 

My next problem.   How was I going to get out of this contraption?

I twisted, turned, pulled, swore and finally I got the suit  to my feet.  I only had to pull my feet out.

I felt I was giving birth again.  I haven’t pushed so hard to get something out of/off of my body in 31 years!           

How do surfers do this every day?

The Sirens are calling me, but the Creature from the Black  Lagoon is holding me back.

Are you taking bets on who is going to win?

 

 

 

Remember When Biking Was Just You and Your Bike?

 

Growing up, my pink Schwinn bike was my escape and my fast getaway.

I remember bounding down the steps of the side porch-actually I missed a few, but still landed on my feet.

I jerked my bike away from the house, slid my leg through (I didn’t have to swing it over, it was a “girls” bike) stood up and peddled as fast I could  to the road.

Our road was the best to bicycle on, because it was the only paved road in the area.   It was so much easier riding on blacktop than the gravel roads.

I spent hours biking around the neighborhood and going up and down the street at top speed–or as fast as a ONE gear bike can go.

 

THAT WAS THEN!

NOW, there are no more quick bounds out the door, jumping on my bicycle and riding on the street in front of my house.

BIKING IS NOW A PROCESS!

I still do bike in  the neighborhood, but not directly in front of the house because there are LONG and STEEP hills.

So the next best thing Number One and I do is bike in our neighborhood by the beach.

As you can see our neighborhood is not flat, even along the beach.

No bounding out of the house because:

We must don our bike shorts and shirts.  We do  have to look the part, so we can fit in with the “professional” bikers that wiz by us at 95 miles an hour.  You think I’m kidding, come ride with me.

Since we cannot bound down the steps and jump on the bike, we need to take it to somewhere we can ride.

So, that involves putting the  bike rack  into the hitch that was specially attached to  Number One’s car so we can ride our bikes “in the neighborhood”.

To install the bike rack, you need two wrenches.  One to hold the end of the screw and one to turn the bolt–but that is after you  fiddle around with the rack checking to see which hole we need to put the screw into.

We still need to put the bikes onto the rack.  However, Number One stores the bikes on the ceiling.  Only someone with strong arms can bring them down–meaning it is not me!

Then, check the air in the tires.  Why are they always low?  My Schwinn tires were never low and if they were, I never noticed it.  As long as I could ride, I was happy.

Next, we fit the bikes into the specially designed  holders and pull the straps into place, then we double and triple check to see that the bikes are held in place so they don’t go flying off the rack..

As a kid, I wonder how far I could have biked by now?

Once we get to the street where we can park our car, we have to go through the same process with the rack, only  in reverse.

The bikes are finally  on the street that we will ride on–yeah!!!!!

 

NO, WE ARE NOT READY TO RIDE!

First, we need to put on our helmets, then we put on the gloves that do not cover our finger past the first knuckle.  I  slip on the camel-back backpack so I can drink  my water whenever I want.

STILL NOT READY.

Now we need to put in the earplugs for our iPods (yes I am behind the times) or our iPhones.  Next, check to make sure it is playing the tunes you like.

You grab the handle ready to go and uh-oh–I need to turn on the RunKeeper App on my phone.  I need to know the distance I have traveled,  my speed, my average speed, and how many calories I spent on this ride.

Finally, I am ready to go!

I swing my leg over the bike–I know–it’s a bummer that they don’t sell girls bikes.  I could have very easily slung my leg over when I was kid, but now it is like slinging my leg over a horse.

I push down on the pedal, start off and oh my goodness, I forgot!

 

I FORGOT MY HEART MONITOR!!!!

It almost seems pointless to ride now because I forgot my Orange Theory heart monitor.

I won’t be able to see how orange and red I am.    There is no record of my heart beat!  I could have shown the young coaches  that I was exercising over the weekend.

Yes, I biked 10 miles, rode up steep, heart pounding hills, but it DIDN’T COUNT.

Tomorrow,  I am creating a bike check-off list that will be attached to my helmet!

I just have to remember to tape it to my helmet!

 

There Is Orange Theory and Then There Is My Theory

Oh what a mother will do to hang out with her grown children!

My oldest has been going to a workout center named Orange Theory.  Sounds strange, I know.  The name comes from the idea that we need to be in a “zone” of 80% of our heart-rate in order to get the maximum benefit from our workout.

While visiting last month, my oldest convinced my youngest to go workout with her and sort of guilted me into going, too.  I told her  I was afraid that everyone there was going to be young with perfect bodies.

“Oh, no,” she said.  “there are older people and”–then she hesitates–“those that are not in perfect condition.”    That was a good save!

My daughter needs to get her contacts changed–there were no old people there.  Oops, maybe I saw a 40 year old.  Again, not old.

 

Yes, you guessed it, I think there was one person there who could maybe have lost 15 pounds.  No where near my numbers!

I was fitted for a heart monitor–that should have been my first signal that this was going to be more than I bargained for.  Oh, they give you a free first lesson to entice you into coming.  That is not an enticement.  Give me a piece of chocolate cake if you want to entice me .

Once inside, you can either start on the treadmill or the floor lifting weights.  I started on the treadmill.

All I can say is that Thank Goodness the trainers and staff are really sweet and supportive while they are giving orders like a drill sergeant to increase the pace or increase the incline.

 

I was red.   My face was red, my neck was red and the screen displaying my colors was RED.  I skipped orange and went straight to RED.

I had to keep up.  There is something in my genetic makeup that if someone tells me to go faster, I go faster.  If they tell me to go higher, I go higher.

Dumb!

Tired!

No, EXHAUSTED!!!

 

Noooooo, I was  NOT done.  I still had to lift weights and contort my body to make it stronger for another half an hour.

“I’m so proud of you,” both my daughters cheered.

I got news for you.  Moms want their kids to be proud of them, too.

“We have to sign up for this,” my younger daughter said.

I had no problem having her sign up.  More power to her.

“But, mom, you have to sign up with me to encourage me to go.”

I can encourage her from the kitchen table.

Nope, no such luck, I had to GO and encourage her.  We signed up for 8 sessions a month and got the heart monitor–otherwise you can’t see yourself go orange, or in my case,  red.

I have survived three classes.

My muscles are sore.

My knees ache.

And, I am so tired all day long after the session.

But, I feel better.  I feel tighter.  I feel stronger.

So I keep on going to the classes.

Oh, and I was right.  There are only young, thin, people there and me, the old, not thin one.

Today my youngest said that next month she wants to sign up for three sessions a week.

My daughters say they want me to do this for my health.

MY THEORY?

My theory is that my daughters are looking for an early inheritance!

 

 

 

 

Construction Worker? Me???

 

I am not handy.

But Number One believes he can fix anything.

I can read directions.

However,  Number One doesn’t think it is necessary.

So, with these great skills and talents, we decided to don our construction helmets and belts and build a building.

Ok, I will admit that the word building may give a false impression, but we did put together a micro-house, or in layman’s terms, a shed.

Surprisingly, you need strong muscles to put together a micro-house.    You also need the ability to see things from different angles and slants and you need to swivel, contort and twist yourself and the pieces to see how they fit. This is similar to putting together a giant puzzle. Did I mention puzzles are not my thing?

Oh, and one more thing, you need the ability to bounce when you fall.

After snapping these three together Number One thought we were almost done.

The location of a mini-house needs to be on flat, solid ground.  Therefore, the narrow space between the property line and the house was the logical place for it.    The key word is narrow.

To put the sides up, you need to jam them down so they will click into place.  So, while Number One is inside, I am climbing the wall–really climbing a wall– to get a better angle.

I remember the good old days when I could put my foot on a 3 foot wall and just jump up on it.

These are not the good old days.  I got my foot on the wall, but my body  didn’t nimbly jump up.  Number One tried to hold my arm to help, but somehow my arm flexed and flopped at a grotesque  angle.  I want to say that he caught me in his loving arms and saved me.  I only bounced once before he caught me.

Captain Step-stool to the rescue!  (All rescuers need a name.)

Once on top of the wall, I had to battle the Cyprus tree.

It won.

The tree and I did a dance of King of the Hill. Cypress trees have lots of arms and they push in all directions. I grabbed for the branches, then I  lunged for the sides of the shed, but the only thing I made contact with was the sidewalk below.

The next hurdle was the vaulted roof.  Even the instructions, which, of course, I read, said you need a second person to  push or pull down on the roof so it could be attached to the walls.

There was room in some places for me to hang onto the edge of the roof–can you picture me dangling from a roof?

Other places were so squished that I had to climb up that damnable wall, fight King Cypress,  and bear down with all my might.  That fall was a little more controlled.  When you fall so many times, eventually you learn to fall without too much pain.  How do I explain to my chiropractor that my back is contorted because of King Cypress?

We finished our project in one day and under budget.

Why under budget you ask, because my pay was lunch at El Pollo Loco!

 

 

Yippee!
I will never do that again!