You Have To Know Your Limits!

 

“You have to know your limits ,Mom,” said my thirty-something daughter.  “You are old and you can’t push yourself anymore.”

She said this because my face, neck and chest were a deep red-almost blue to purple color, you know, the color of beets.   And,  maybe  I wobbled,  looking as if I was trying to keep my balance at each step, which I was.  Those two points don’t necessarily mean it was heat-stroke.

Anza Borrego–

Ok, we went to the desert to visit Anza Borrgo Park. It is spring and all the wild flowers were in full bloom.  Bright yellow dollops  of flowers gave the illusion of a beautifully, textured, pastel-green, fabric dotted  with yellow polka dots.

Late Start

We left three hours later than we  should have–we also stopped in the middle of the mountain  to take  pictures, and then we dawdled at the potty/water stop.

By this time, the road into the park was closed.  All the smart people had gotten there before we did.

Parking Nightmare

We parked the car a good half a mile from the entrance, then once inside the park, it is a quarter of a mile in before you come to a trail.  On top of that, it is  another quarter of a mile to the visitor center.  After getting our bearings there, yes, we walked another quarter of a mile to the trail head.  Yeah, we were finally at the point where we wanted to START our hike.    Our bodies only move in quarter mile distances before it makes the brain kick in, telling it to ask the question, how much further?  The young couple, looking warm, but not exhausted, gave us hope that we had almost made it.  Our mouths dropped in disbelief when they told us, it was “only” a mile and half in, but it was mostly uphill from there.

TEMPERATURE

Did I mention it was 98 degrees?

I had been very determined to see the oasis.  I had planned for this and no matter what, I would see the oasis!

Once the young man told us it was another three miles after all the miles we already had walked, my brain kicked in and started screaming, turn around! I shook my head and yes, I turned around in utter disappointment.

I knew I could not make it all the way, but if only….

Once we turned around, I think the temperature increased and my body and mouth were as dry as the desert sand we were trudging through.  I sagged and dragged my feet.  We had gotten ahead of my daughter and her friend, but when we re-united, the first thing my daughter said was, “Mom, are you ok?   You are soooooo red.”
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Time to Change

Or is it merely time to change the clocks.

 

Daylight Saving–yes there is no “s”— is a wonderful manmade way to control and bend time.

I enjoy the long days.

But, I hate changing the clocks.  Do you know how many clocks and watches are in a house?

Three in the kitchen, two in master bedroom, one in each of the 4 other bedrooms,  one in each study, and one in the garage,

and then, don’t get me started on the watches.  I have 10 inexpensive fun ones, several fancy ones and the list

goes on.

This year I rebelled
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Surprise! My Peeps Aren’t My Closest Peeps

Remember, for the non-Hollywood types, peeps means people.

DNA and genetic research  has changed our lives in so many ways. It is hard to believe that the jurors didn’t believe that the DNA of OJ Simpson truly convicted him.

PROUD ANCESTRY
We all want to know where we come from–we are proud of our nationalities and believe that our ancestors made us what we are.

Growing up, I knew I was Norwegian, Danish and German. There was no contesting that. My paternal great-grandfather only spoke German and insisted that everyone in the house speak German. So, my dad and his siblings learned German. They were lucky they had a teacher who spoke German so they could learn English. My paternal grandmother was born in Norway and came to the U.S. as a child.
On my mother’s side, her family was Norwegian and Danish. She grew up in the town of Denmark, her parents spoke Danish so they could speak freely in front of her and she would not understand them–but she did. My mother also  played the organ in the Danish church. Therefore, I staunchly believed that those three countries were my absolute and only heritage.

When my husband was mad at me, his insult would be to call me a Neanderthal because  I was being “stubborn.” I guess he believed all Neanderthal were stubborn because of their jutting jaw and large brow that made them look like they were constantly frowning.

 

23 AND ME

Then along came 23 and me.

My beliefs were not shattered,Continue reading

Jicama and Hunger

Jenny Craig–if you follow it and eat every two to three hours–I have to say–prevents real hunger.  It does not stop the–I am stressed so I have to eat to make me feel better hunger, or the–I’m sitting in front of the tv and I am bored hunger.  And if we are truly honest  with ourselves, we did not get this way because we fed REAL hunger.

However, the other day I got busy doing things and it was closer to four or five hours since breakfast and I really was hungry.  I knew it was real hunger because I was looking at the veggies in the refrigerator–not the sweets in the cupboard.

It was real hunger because I pulled out the jicama (pronounced hick-a-ma).  It had to be peeled and cut.  Yes, I took the time to do it–perhaps it was a five minute job.  Once I cut half of it I had to eat some.

 

Pixabay Photo

Oh my. YUM!  Yes it tasted so good. It does not have a strong flavor, but it is a refreshing flavor. It has the texture of an apple and the density of an apple so you don’t have to eat much to feel satisfied.

Sorry–if you have stress hunger it will probably have the same effect as carrots and celery, but it is much more filling than celery.  Now I make sure I put it in my salads to help me feel full the healhy way.

 

Oops, I feel stress hunger coming on.  Can  I tie myself to the chair?  I can’t tie my hands because then I couldn’t type.  Take deep breaths.  See, I am writing about food so my brain is telling me–food yeah–food makes you feel better–much less stressed.   Those two minutes of sweet  bliss is like heroin to us.   The only problem is that high lasts three minutes tops and then guilt kicks in and we  feel stressed again because now we hate ourselves for not staying on track–so the brain tells us to eat and ………..

Quick, take a drink of seltzer water–ahh fizz.  Ok, I am fine now.  That was a close call.

14 Days and Not At Goal Weight?

 

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

 

I can wait for a lot things.  I don’t need to buy a piece of clothing  the minute that I like it.  I can wait until I have the funds or until I lose weight. I don’t need to see a movie the day it comes out because people say it is a great movie.  I can wait to see it on Pay Per View.

But when it comes to weight loss, I want INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

Yes, in that area I am like the new generation–I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!

I see my goal–which is a huge number by the way–and it just seems impossible.  Also depressing, is that I never buy new clothes because I don’t lose the weight.

The experts tell me to find other ways to show I have succeeded other than weight loss on the scale.

They tell me to notice  how my  clothes feel on me.  They should feel looser, they say.   No, doesn’t work for me, they still feel tight.  I think I was being delusional for a long time  in thinking that my weight wasn’t  that bad.   I will have to lose a lot more for me to notice it in my clothes and besides, I have been wearing these clothes for 15 years, and  because I have lost and gained and lost and gained about a thousand times they are stretched to my size.

I have put a lot of thought in this.  I want to see and feel real progress.

They told me I lost 4 pounds, but I don’t see it, I don’t feel it.

So, I decided I would put one pound stones in a bag for each pound lost.  I have to get a huge number of stones and I really don’t want to take my food scale to the beach to weigh a thousand stones to find 50–lets start there–that weigh exactly one pound.

There has to be an easier way.  So, I head to the pantry, where I always head when I have a dilemma.  But this time I wasn’t searching for snacks.  I was searching for something that weighs exactly one pound.   I thought a can of soup would work–nope–1.02 pounds.  Bummer.  How about some black beans–nope–again 1.02 lb.  Green beans also disappointed me with a 1.01 lb weight.

You know, when you get really desperate for something,  you start pushing food around, hoping there will be a treasure somewhere behind the healthy food.

Yes, I found it!    It was exactly 1.0 POUND!

 

Exactly 1.0 pound!!

 

 

Ok, I found a pound can, but what am I going to do with a million cans of hummus?

Then it hit me.  I will see and feel how much I lost and then when I have reached my goal, I will donate these to a food bank or charity.  I will feel physically, mentally and emotionally good about myself.

Talk to you later, because now I am off to buy lots and lots of alwadi hummus.

How Do You Operate This?

CALIFORNIA DROUGHT

California’s severe drought lasted about 5 years. In 2015, the state was the driest it had ever been in 500 years.

2011-1016

There was a total of 38 inches of rain in those five years combined. That is an average of a little more than 6 inches
a year. The average yearly rainfall should be 23 inches. As you can see, we had a problem.

TURN AROUND

This year we have been blessed with lots and lots and lots of rain. The snow packs are 170% of normal. Dams are threatening to break because of the excess water in the reservoirs. Yesterday we had two inches of rain in one day!!!!

Remember, this is Southern California and it doesn’t rain in Southern California. Well, it did this year!

 

 

RE-LEARN NEW SKILL

No, this is how you open it!

We have not used umbrellas in six years. We have forgotten how to open them. Some children probably have never seen one.

Yes, we need to re-learn how to open the umbrella. It took some time. I knew there was supposed to be a button somewhere to open it, but I had to turn the umbrella around twice to find it.

Ok, it opens easily.

But, how do I close it?  Wait, it takes more pressure to close it than I remembered. I drag it into Continue reading

Here We Go Round Again!

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Merry Go Round

We know our life goes in cycles, just like everything in the world from fashion to politics to educational views.
I wish my cyclic Merry Go Round was as beautiful as the one below But I have been around and around and around
so often that my Merry Go Round does not look like this. It has lost its glimmer, glitter and glamour and is
just a hard metal disk that gets harder and harder to push.

This is my Merry Go Round of Weight Loss!

I will not put a before picture in here because I don’t want to present that image of me. I–me–Virginia–is not that picture.
Unfortunately, the world only sees you from the outside. But the real me is my humor, my love for family and friends, my creativity, my
love for writing, my love for biking and walking on the beach–any time of day. When you see the picture you see a matronly, retired woman who
looks like she hasn’t seen a gym in years–even though that is untrue. I do visit the gym often when I am well.

Also, one thing that makes Virginia is my belief that I cannot quit and give up. A sane person would say, you are old, you’re retired, you really
don’t have to do anything but relax and watch the world go by. I cannot do that.

So, once again, I am starting a weight loss journey. I was successful a year ago, and I am determined to be successful now.
This is my first day on a quest to reach my goal. I feel like I am Don Quixote fighting against the impossible or the absurd,
but I will grab my stick , just like Don Quixote, and set forth to find my beautiful Merry Go Round again.

I Found My Peeps

How far back does culture affect your life?

As a family, living in rural Wisconsin, meals were never something we rushed through.
No one was in a huge hurry to get up from the table and start whatever they needed to do. It wasn’t because we were lazy, it was because we enjoyed sitting and having a conversation while the food started to digest. We knew the table would be cleaned up, but it wasn’t urgent.

We Are All Immigrants

My paternal grandfather came from Germany, and my paternal grandmother came from Norway as a very young child. My maternal grandparents are a mixture of German, Norwegian and Danish.

My Peeps  (For the non-Hollywood types peeps means people)

We in dined in Munich with our German friends last night. They lingered after they were finished eating! One even commented that in Germany one must linger over dinner. Yipppeeeeee! I found my peeps!

Not Just Us

Now I know it just wasn’t my family that lingered. This is a custom or part of the German culture that was passed on to me.

Conflict of Cultures

My husbands culture is to finish the meal quickly and clean up the dishes before–god forbid–the sauce dries on the plates.

As you may have noticed, that is a major difference in our cultures. It is not just the American culture versus the Egyptian culture, it is also the Egyptian culture versus the German ancestral customs that I never realized were so much a part of me.

Clash of Cultures–How do we solve this?

I have found a very simple solution. My husband jumps up from the table and starts washing the dishes. I linger long enough until it looks like he is almost done and then I get up to “help.” If it is so important that it gets cleaned up right away–go for it. I will not stop you.

But don’t even think about stopping me from lingering.

When Do You Pack Them Up?

Is there a protocol for this?

I’ve been retired for 18 months. That’s long enough to have two babies, but it is long enough to wait before I pack up my business suits?
Is there a magic formula the states when we can pack up our career life? No, I am not regretting my retirement. I am writing this blog from Munich, Germany and this is the second country I visited since the year began, and it is only January 16. So no–you can work–and I can travel.

Going Back?

I loved my job. But I am not going back. That job needs endless energy and even though I have a lot of energy, I don’t have nearly what is needed.
But giving up a symbol of your job, that identifies you as a professional woman, is concerning.

What is my career garb now?

I have a lot of careers going on all at once, I am a writer. I can write in my jammies, or if I want, I can dress up. I am a storyteller. Do storytellers wear suits? Nope–they are much more casual. I am a grandmother four times over. To be a grandmother, you have to wear hats at tea parties, jammies at slumber parties and an apron to protect whatever you are wearing when creating beautifully decorated cupcakes. But there is no place for a business suit.

I did it!

Yes, I packed them up. Classic suits can be worn for many years, and believe me, I had mine for quite a while. I packed them up and got them as far as the garage. I was going to give myself time before I took them to Goodwill, just in case I might suddenly need one of them. But, my husband solved the dilemma. He asked if the bags were going to Goodwill? I told him yes, but I didn’t think he was taking them at that moment!!! So, my suits are gone.

Well almost.

I did save one–just in case of an emergency.

Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden

A New Beginning

I am entering a truly new chapter and I am beginning at square one. Twenty, no, make that 5 years, ago if you told me that I would be pushing against tradition, I would not have believed you. Yes, I do what I want, but I am still a traditionalist.

I joined an order that has been around since the mid 15th century. At that time “ladies” would never dream of joining this order, but now it is popular for both genders.

What am I playing?

GOLF

Watching it on TV brought tears of boredom to my eyes, so I never put it on my radar. But, to be fair, I have the same opinion of many sports. I like to play softball, but watching baseball is tortuously and agonizingly slow. It guess I am not a person who likes to sit on the sidelines. Does that sound familiar?

I am eating my words.

I am sorry I ever thought otherwise, but golf IS an exercise. It is a great core exercise, particularly when you hit five baskets of balls on the driving range. I think I might have to pick up yoga. It will help because in order to hold the club, you must push your backside out, bring your arms up with your right arm stuck to your waist, left arm straight and the bottom of the handle aimed at the ball while twisting your body and then shifting your weigh from one leg to the other–it feels like more of a yoga move or maybe better yet a contortionist created this sport.

We are taking lessons–they only way for educators to learn–with friends. After three lessons I can HIT the ball seven out of ten times. Sounds good, right? Well out of those 10 shots maybe one goes the direction that I want and half the distance I need. Well, I gotta start somewhere.

I have a new name for the sport. Gentlemen Odium Ladies’ Fairway. I looked it up, Odium means a general disgust towards someone because of their actions.

It feels good to be a member of this old order, even though the originators are turning over in their graves in horror.