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.

Guardians Angels Are Real

 

 

Someone is watching over Number One and me.

Our angel helped us find our way in Paris.   Then again, in Venice.  It was 2 a.m. and not a soul was out.  But two men dressed in white walked us to our hotel and then suddenly disappeared.  You may think that was pure coincidence, but  I can assure you that was our Guardian Angel at work.

Last Friday, she was hard at work again.

I will do a visual to show what happened.

This will be a math problem.  Number One’s favorite kind of problem.

What do you get when you add a very tall, thin, palm tree, plus a long ladder, plus an old man, plus a machete saw, plus a long, long pole that the machete saw is attached to, plus an old lady holding the ladder and gripping her husband’s ankle.?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ANSWER:

DISASTER!!!!

 

This was quite a sight to see.   The ladder was wobbling.  Number One was wearing flip-flops and trying to keep his balance while holding a pole that has been elongated to 15 feet and there was a very sharp blade on the top.  Of course it was all ready to topple over onto the old lady hanging onto the ladder and her husband.  Oh, I do need to add that the old lady was begging the old man to come down because  it was too dangerous.  I guess the words, “Are you out of your mind?” may have slipped out about 20 times.

As Number One starts to realize that maybe this is not a good idea, a truck drives up with two men, wearing white.   Amazingly, their job is to trim palm trees.  In seconds, Number One struck a deal.  Moments later, these two men are climbing the trees with ropes and spurs, dropping huge palm fronds and seeds.   They move  up and down the trees as easily as monkeys.

In twenty minutes the trees are trimmed and the men are off to save another old couple from disaster.

We keep our Guardian Angel pretty busy.  We like to think she looks like the angel on the top, but I think she looks more like this.

 

Her hair is messy, her halo is a little askew and that might be a black eye from trying to sweep in fast enough to save us.

 

I CAN CHECK THESE OFF MY BUCKET LIST

My Bucket List Started Long Ago!

After this summer, I can cross 15 things off my bucket list.

  1. Four raw oysters slithered down my throat!  What do they taste like, you ask?  Lime flavored slime.  I can say I ate oysters (plural) and now never again.
  2. I visited a Temperate Rainforest in Alaska!  Yes, I said rainforest and Alaska in the same sentence.  In Ketchikan the annual rainfall is 153 inches!!!!!!  Yes, it rained every second we were there.
  3. My legs were like Jello as I  inched across a 450 foot long suspension bridge that is 230 feet above ground, that was built in 1889!!!!  Yes, it was swaying.  Yes, I was petrified!!  I made it across going hand over hand and clutching the railing and some poor soul that was next to me.  THEN, I HAD TO GO BACK!!!!!!
  4. The King Crab legs in Juneau were almost as long as mine.  The amount of tender, tasty crab meat in those legs was unbelievable.  Then dip it in butter and, bam–you are in heaven!
  5.   The  Hubbard Glacier was a mere 1/4 of mile from our cruise ship.  I watched it calve into the ocean.  It was  like a sonic boom, you hear the noise after it crashes into the water.
  6.   Reindeer meat is quite tasty, and no it wasn’t Rudolf–I checked. Reindeer sausage is quite a staple in Northern Alaska.  I learned that Caribou and Reindeer are the same, except that Reindeer are domesticated–you know–to pull Santa’s sleigh,  and Caribou are wild.
  7. Several black bears were mere feet from us.   One is called Roly Poly for obvious reasons.   Nope, there was nothing to protect us, except the person behind me who can’t run as fast.
  8. I mushed behind 12 Alaskan Huskies down a forest trail at twilight.  I learned if the leader of the pack takes a pee to the right, the entire group has to pee to the right.  If he goes left,–yup, you guessed it–they all go left.
  9. A Moose calf  was happily walking down a trail,  and Mommy Moose was hiding in the trees behind her baby, munching leaves.  Mom looked calm so we guessed we were safe,  or maybe we were just too dumb to know how dangerous it was.
  10. Three humpback whales–each about 45 feet long—were  bubble feeding–that means they create a bubble under the water and they all breach the water at the same time and  together to catch the fish–awesome sight.
  11. I was within 150 feet of a bald eagle catching and eating a salmon.
  12. A lonely salmon was trying to swim upstream.  It was working so hard, but wasn’t getting very far because the current pushed it back further than its original progress.  It was sad.
  13. I was within 150  feet of a Grizzly Bear!  Yup a real live Grizzly.  I,  however, was in a bus, safe and sound.
  14. The Arctic circle was only 100 miles from us–believe me, that is as close as I want to get!
  15. The crowning glory of our visit was the complete view of Mt Denali (McKinley has officially changed its name to the original name).  The tallest mountain in North America (20,310 feet) is very difficult to see because it creates its own weather, but we were one of the 10% who visit it, that got to see the entire mountain.  Yes, I took this picture!

Only 10% of visitors get to see this mountain.

Conquering My Husband’s Mistress

Water has never been my best friend.

Ok, I can tolerate it for  a shower.  However, it took me a long time to handle a shower because I was used to a tub where the water stayed away from my face.

For Number 1,  water is his mistress–nope not jealous.  He grew up swimming in the blue, balmy waters of the Mediterranean.  If he could choose, he would be a dolphin in his next life.

So, as you can see, this  is a bit of a conundrum for us.

Yes, I learned to swim at the local pool–6 miles from the farm, but…I never put my head in the water.

I do have my reasons.  I can’t stop the water from surging up my nose.  Water funnels deep into my ears and,  of course,  I end up with an ear ache.  Finally,  my glasses were so thick, even as a child, that I couldn’t see underwater, even if I did open my eyes.  Which I never did.

So once we started traveling it was usually to a place with a big body of water.  It would look gorgeous, but…it was always too deep for me to put my feet down on the sand.  i.e. my face would get wet.

I tried.  I dog-paddled a lot.  Yes, I got laughed at.  Yes, he did try to teach me.  But he gave up quickly–he’s smart and he knows a lost cause.

Eventually, I managed the breast stroke with my head above water.  It was a better variation of the dog-paddle.

Oh, and I can swim on my back as long as no one is near me to splash water on my face.

 

Warm, sunny, southern California means there are a lot of pools and a good reason to use them.

Our new home, came fully equipped with a gorgeous pool.

 

As you can see, I am absent from this picture.

 

Believe it or not, my doctor turned me onto this and helped me conquer my husband’s mistress.

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Move It, Move It, Move It–Raw-hide and Stiff Muscles

 

I am a Night Owl!

 

I really enjoy walking, biking, and swimming–in warm water–around 11 a.m. or 12 noon.

I also really like my  morning sleep,  To some of you, you may wonder why these are not compatible.

Trainer

My “trainer”–or should I say “torturer” is my daughter.  Somehow along the way she turned into a morning person.  She jumps out of bed at 5 a.m., drives to Starbuck and gets a Venti coffee drink.  When that is finished she enjoys a Red Bull energy drink.

While all this is happening, I am happily  slumbering in my bed.

With a burst of excess energy, she throws open the bedroom doors and announces, “Get up! Get Up!  She pulls up the shades as loudly as possible–singing something nonsensical.  She is so hyped on caffeine that sounds just babble out of her mouth.

I quietly shudder and play dead.  She plays doctor and lifts one eye open and I moan as the bright light glares in my eyes.

Get Up!  We are going to the gym this morning! she proclaims.

When she gets no response from me, she is not deterred.  She yanks off my cozy, warm comforter and then she really gets evil. Continue reading

When Did “Mom” Morph Into “Dude?”

Typical conversations with my children begin with “Hey Dude. “Such as, “hey dude, what’s for dinner?”  Or,” hey dude, did you hear about this?”  Or, “No way, dude!”

As I recall, the term dude usually referred to a man.  According to Wikipedia, from the 1870’s to the 1960’s, a dude was a man that was dressed in fancy clothes–he didn’t fit into the westward movement or the cowboy way of dressing.  It was considered a derogatory label.

However in the pot smoking, hippy generation of the 1960’s, all men were referred to as dude.  My belief is that most were so stoned that they didn’t want to waste their energy opening their eyes to see who they were talking to, so any deep voice that spoke to them was called  “dude.”

I have heard my voice on tape, I do not have a low voice, nor am I a man–at least I wasn’t last time I looked.

Didn’t woman work so hard to get the word man out of postman to mail carrier and fireman to firefighter?  Now women  have lost all their identity and  instead of using the word man, they answer to dude.

I want women to do what they want to do, but can’t we maintain our gender, and not make everything uni-sex?

The reason this has bothered me so much today is that there was a mouse in the house–specifically in the pantry.  When I saw it, I screamed and screamed like a banshee. I jumped up and down pulled my pants legs up to my chin and screamed again.

Both children were in the house and were definitely within earshot of my voice.Continue reading

Has Letter Writing Become Equivalent to Carving in Stone?

 

At the crossroads of the world–let’s call it Vienna–any place now is considered a crossroad if people from all over the world congregate there.

Number One and I   were enjoying the perks of frequently traveling and staying in the same hotel–loyalty pays.  In the Executive lounge on the 8th floor of the Hilton, overlooking the Blue Danube, we were reminiscing with friends about our college days and how we communicated with each other and our families.

Whenever friends get together, we love to reminisce and take pictures.  So, our friend asked the couple at the table across from us to take our picture.    As people often do when they travel, we started a conversion.  Travelers are not afraid to speak to strangers because at this point everyone is a stranger.

We learned that this lovely couple was living in Australia, the mother was from the Ukraine and the father was a Russian  Jew with thick white hair like Einstein.   They had their teenage daughter with them, who was born in Germany and is now Australian.

At one point in the conversation we spoke about writing letters to our families and that the mail took two weeks usually for a return response, sometimes longer.  The young mother’s jaw dropped.  “You actually wrote letters?” she asked. Continue reading

Best Way to Drum Up Some Business

Easter Egg Hunt

Two of our granddaughters were visiting for Easter, so we decided to take them to the Carlsbad Egg Scramble. This was new for us because our kids only looked for eggs in our back yard. Number One had as much fun hiding them as the kids did finding them.

Egg Scramble is a very appropriate name. The eggs were strewn all over the field and the children just had to run fast and pick up as many as they could. My granddaughter had been well trained–I think she did this before–because she was very fast and filled her bucket in seconds. She must have picked up 25 eggs and each egg was filled with candy. The eggs had been donated by a local business.

 

The dentists in Carlsbad have a sweet, business savvy.    By the way, our eggs were filled with coins.

Clean Your Plate. People Are Starving in China.

 

Even though it doesn’t make sense, I grew up believing I had to clean my plate to prevent the people in China from starving.

Guilt controls most of us and I was controlled into thinking that it was MY FAULT that the people in China were starving if I did not eat everything on my plate.

Once you learn things as a child, even though your adult reasoning realizes it is a fallacy, subconsciously you are controlled by the guilt you avoided as a child.

I had an epiphany on the plane 37,000 feet up over the Atlantic Ocean.

I ate a portion of my dinner and I felt full.  I was full, but I still had one stuffed cannelloni to eat. I have to admit they were tasty cannelloni.

I had a great debate in my head.
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