What a sick car!

How would you picture a sick car?

Well, let me tell you, in my mind a sick car is rusted, dented, the paint is peeling, and perhaps a window has plastic instead of glass.

Something like this:

 

 

No matter where you are, point of view is very important.  When you look left out of the side window, the view of the driver  is very different from the view of the passenger.

My daughter was chauffeuring me around.  She usually offers to drive when she is out of gas.  She finds it is easier  to spend my money on gas, than her money.

We were stopped at an intersection close to the Del Mar fairgrounds, when she suddenly said, “Look at that sick car!”

She pointed to the left and when I looked up I saw a sorry looking little red car that had seen better days.  The finish was dull, the paint was peeling and the bumper was dented.  I started telling her about the a family member’s car that looked like that.

My daughter turned to me and looked at me as if I had grown antenna and fairy wings.
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Mind Over My Aching Body

My mind believes it is 25 years old.

However, my body KNOWS it is 40 years older than that!

Today, the sun was shining and it was in the 60’s and I wanted to see Munich.  I’ve always loved to walk around a city.

So…today I decided to walk to the Englischer Garten which according to the concierge was about 3 kilometers from the hotel.

 

Englischer Garten
Munich, Germany

 

Okay, three kilometers is a little more than a mile and a half.  I walk a mile and a half often so that will be easy peesy for me

I walked and walked and walked and walked, hoping I would cross the Ludwig Bridge and I would  walk along the river and head to the garden.

I walked and walked and walked some more. I carried the map, but I couldn’t find the streets on the map–nor could I find a bridge or a river.

I did find a beautiful tree lined path and I marveled at the old architecture of the city.  But, after an hour of walking–I realized I had walked a lot more than a mile and a half.   So, I conceded defeat and turned around. (And for those who know me, it takes a lot to concede defeat.

 
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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

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.

If It Is Sunrise, Then I Am At The Beach

In case you didn’t know, it is very dark before the sun rises.

Darkness and Dragons

I will admit, I do not like the dark. It truly gives me the willies. But in order to see the sunrise on the beach, you have to be up and out and walking on the beach when it is still dark.

Imagine if you will, a dark sky, towering cliffs to your left, the sledge hammer-like pounding of the surf, and an ocean that is as black as the obsidian sky. The waves crashing against the shore break in huge, white, frothy, steaming, caldrons of white-water that seem to pulse from an unseen sea dragon.

My vision at night isn’t very good, but I swear I could see the dragon. To me, the waves were two hundred feet tall. I asked my daughter why the waves were so big. She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. “They aren’t big. They are normal size or even smaller,” she reprimanded me.

I didn’t believe her and quickly grabbed her elbow so she could lead me along the sand. It was low tide which made the beach ever wider.

Wet Sand Walk

Walking on the wet sad is easier and we walked together arm in arm. (She was still giving me the “Are You Kidding Me?” look when I was holding her arm, but I prevailed. I think she felt sorry for her aging mother. I did have another means of protecting myself, though. I carried my long, walking stick. I know it is meant for hiking on uneven trails, but it also has a bit of a sharp end on it in case I need to keep dragons or other sea creatures away from me. Maybe it would help if I took up fencing?

We do not stroll on the beach, we power walk. My daughter sets the pace, as this is her morning exercise. The fact that she is over thirty years younger than me, doesn’t faze her one bit. She just knows that I will keep up with her. My competitive side won’t let me hang back and she knows it. As we begin our walk, I feel as if I could play the big bad wolf, because when we start out I am huffing and puffing. Eventually, my lungs adapt and I can say a few words here and there.

Vigilance and Guard Duty

As we walk, I keep turning around to make sure no one is behind me. I know my daughter is being diligent and checking the front. (If you believe that, I have a bridge for you.) As I turn, I start to see the sky lighten behind us. The darkness turns to midnight blue and then morphs into royal blue and then sky blue. The western sky doesn’t have the pinks and yellows of the eastern sky, but it has a beauty of its own.

Either my eyes have adjusted, or it gets light faster than I think, because very soon, we encounter other walkers and joggers wandering, running, and meandering down the beach from the opposite direction.

Two Mile Mark

By the time we reach the two mile mark, I am no longer looking for dragons and demons in the dark. I know they don’t exist in the light. We turn around and I get a chance to fully enjoy the cerulean sky. Blue is my favorite color because it gives me energy and is an uplifting color.

Take a chance, get out of your comfort zone and see the sunrise from the west, just minutes before the first light.

If you are afraid of the dark, bring a friend and a big stick!

Fringe Benefits of Old Brains

Fringe Benefits

Look, there has to be some fringe benefits to getting older. And now, research has shown it! How did they come to this conclusion?

By Watching A Movie?

Yes, researchers proved it by having their participants watch a surprising or suspenseful movie. Of course, we don’t know which one they saw.
They monitored the brains of young adults and older adults.

Results

The young brains all “lit up” in the same way at the same time.

The old brains all had unique patterns of brain activity, Their brains “lit up” in different places a different times–they didn’t match their counterparts. According the article in Women’s World, this is a “sign of individualized thinking and better brain development.”

I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THAT!

Without going through all the trouble of hooking peoples brains upContinue reading