Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tibetan Five - Exercise?

I first heard of the Tibetan Five when I saw it on Hugh Howey's blog.  I tried it once or twice and then forgot about it.

I came across it again and again and thought, maybe this is a sign from the universe? Maybe I'll give this a shot. Everyday for a month? Can't hurt and maybe I'll feel better. If the arthritis in my shoulder and neck calms down it would be worth it. I had a car accident a few years ago and the injuries still flare on occasion.

You're supposed to do 21 of each exercise, but I started with 10. Whew! Some were easy, some were not. The ones on Hugh Howey's blog were very instructive, but I also needed to modify some stuff so I read more sites. This one's not bad and there's always the poster---->

The table and scoop bothered my wrist a little but that cleared up as soon as I moved to the next one. You can see it done to perfection on Hugh's blog, but mine were ...um... sloppier? Shakier?

I'm working on it. One month...I can do this!

I'm on day 3 now and skipped the workout today because I had to be down in AC before breakfast and it was an exhausting day.

My resolution? do it everyday for a month and see how I feel on New Years Day?
So what's your favorite exercise? Do you do it every day? How are the results?

(Insert plug for Hugh Howey's books here.)
Thank you, Hugh, for teaching me the Tibetian Five!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Shopping from.... You Guessed it! The Couch

It's not that I don't like shopping, I just hate crowds! All that pushing, shoving, grabbing and long lines...YUK!

Now we have the wonderful world of the Internet. Where a few clicks of the keyboard can complete our shopping in one afternoon.
Our only draw back is not actually seeing the stuff so sometime's sizes can be off. For that reason, I usually only do this with local stores that would be easy to return to, or the better known places like Bass Pro Shops, Kohls, Target, etc. Best part? Most will ship direct to the recipient.

So yesterday I think I'm so slick and do an order at Kohls and forget to change the shipping address before I hit the final payment button. I immediately call Kohls to try and get them to redirect the shipment. They say they can't do it.

Hmmm, the order barely left my keyboard and there's no way to put a new shipping address on it? Don't these people have computers? I've done this on Amazon without a problem so I was kinda shocked when Kohls couldn't catch an order that was five minutes old.

Oh well, to the post office I'll have to go. Another fun-fun holiday place. Maybe I'll wear an elf costume and pass out candy canes.
Happy December!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blame it on the Couch

It's so easy to blame all the creaks and pain on getting old, but in examining my own pains I'm thinking the couch is more to blame.

Here on my big brown couch I sip coffee, write blogs and stories while the TV drones on in the background. It's a comfy place with two dogs curled up next to me and a wood stove over in the corner. (Getting chilly here in the northeast so we're ready to fire that sucker up!) Is there any better place than this big comfy couch?

Wait...is it getting harder to get up off this big comfy couch? Did my knee just creak? Back a little stiff? eh? Must be getting old, right? Or maybe it's the "time" on the couch and lack of time on the treadmill?

I keep making that pledge to do the treadmill in the morning or hit that weight bench I needed to buy, but then i come to the couch for just a few minutes....

Well, you know the rest.

Found this awesomely silly deck of
inspiration cards on Amazon
I go on Pinterest and find all the exercise pins for inspiration. It's so inspiring I stay on Pinterest until it's time to get ready for work and never actually get to that exercise thing.

What inspires you to get off the couch? Where do you find that mojo motivation?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Good Morning 3 a.m., 4 a.m... ZzzzzZzzzz....

Why do old dogs wake up in the middle of the night?

Twelve year old Chihuahua, Cupcake and 12 year old Shih Tzu named Gracie have problems with their sleep patterns.  Most nights they start running around the bedroom between 3 and 4 a.m., but last night I woke up at 3 in the morning without any help at all. But I did have the pleasure of waking up two very confused dogs.  (Mwahahaha!)

Yes, I was disappointed in the election, but more than that, I'm afraid. I have no idea why so many people put their trust in a man who knows the bankruptcy laws better than the IRS. Or who, at age 50, thinks "grabbing them by the pussy," is a good way to express their disregard for woman. Change? They want change? Hitler's Germany isn't the kind of change anyone should want. Sheesh!

Is that why I woke up in the middle of the night?

Probably not, I have hope that the GOP will defend our country even if they'll tank the economy with their failed plan of trickle down economics. The GOP created this monster, but like they did with Obama, they could block all his ideas for 4 years and maybe we won't find ourselves back in a recession.

I stop to think, are my sleep patterns messed up by age? If menopause still affecting me after I've been pretty much done with it for a few years?
Eh, who knows. Sometimes I feel I'm blaming more and more on my age and not the fact that I'm just not getting my fat butt off the couch enough. I admit it, I love my big old couch with it's cushy pillowy fabric and soft faux suede finish.

So at 3 a.m. I crawled out of bed, woke the dogs, and booted up the old laptop so I could add to my NaNoWriMo word count. For anyone who doesn't know what NaNoWriMo is; it's a challenge for writers (or wannabe writers) to hit 50,000 words in one month. Roughly 200 pages, not a very long book but the qualifying count for a novel.

Thanks to insomnia, I'm now rockin' 11,737 words since November 1st. WhoooHooo!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Girls Night Out Therapy

Never underestimate the power of a girls night out.

Getting a girls night out might sound to some like some frivolous night of hanging out, having some wine, and gossiping, but that isn't all of it.

Getting out and getting around other women to chat, swap stories, and support each other can go a long way in bringing a woman back to center and here's why;

  • Other women understand body issues. From periods to menopause, you have to be a woman to know about these things.
  • Facing problems. A lot of the things a woman faces at work and at home are shared by other women. 
  • They appreciate the "war stories" of work and home life because they can identify with them.
  • Women understand marriage and men better than men. (sorry guys, it's the secret knowledge shared by all women.)
  • They are ready with advice with everything from daycare to pet care to skincare. Really? Where else can you get all that in the same place?
  • They share a lot of the same dreams. The direction might be a little different but the road they need to get there is similar. 
So, call your girlfriends and set a date. A standing date to get out once a month. It just might save your soul. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Life Choices vs Your Bliss

This card came from
Affirminators inspiration cards
found on Amazon.
I think there are certain times of your life when you look back and think about choices. Some are good, some make you wonder...what the heck was I thinking?

I remember my mother once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I answered with total confidence; an artist. I was  probably in grammar school, maybe third or fourth grade. Her response? Artists don't make any money, pick something else.

There was a moment of confusion. How could I be anything other than what I wanted to be? Was it possible to just "pick something else?" I remember thinking, "but that's what I am."

So, I picked other things but never with enough gusto to fall in love with them. It was like a life on idle. March through it and come out on the other side realizing I'm bored, empty inside, and (as a dental assistant) a little grossed out by the blood and teeth stuff. I've drifted from job to job just trying to find that missing bliss and wondering what the heck was wrong with me.

My brother is a journalist. Newspapers were always his passion. I remember when we were younger there was always a newspaper spread out in front of him. He'd read every word and eventually went to college for journalism and is now an editor for a major newspaper. He found his bliss. He knew his bliss from an early age and, most importantly, it was an acceptable bliss. It made money. It supported a family.

I envy those who find their bliss early in life. A friend, a 1st grade teacher, once told me she never worked a day in her life, because she loved her job so much. Another acceptable bliss.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame my mother. She grew up during the great depression and knew what poverty could do to a family, to a neighborhood, to a nation. She only wanted me to be able to get a viable job. The label of "starving artist" was all she knew.

Fast forward to 2016. Imagine what I could do with an art degree today? There are so many opportunities for graphic artists. So many ways to sell art in this digital age. The possibilities are endless, but are any of them with my grasp? Building an art career at my age is intimidating, but can I do enough to be happy? Self supporting? Would my type of art be sell-able?
So many questions... Between regular 9 to 5 job and other life stuff, how much time is there to create art that would be good enough to sell?

So, did you find your bliss?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Treadmills and Road Blocks

A long road trip & moving furniture equals back ache. Yikes!

For a week my back has been twisted muscles sending waves of pain every time I lifted, turned or bent over.  All just in time for the treadmill I bought last week and the plan I have for taking off some pounds. (30 or 40 of the little buggers)

Now I have to start. This week of heating pads and Icy Hot are wearing on me, frustrating me, and its time for a change. Ten minutes on the treadmill won't hurt, right? It might even help.

Sometimes I forget my age, I forge ahead and just do things. Get things done and never look back. Other times it weighs on me. It's like a slap down; "Oh no, you're getting older every day! Don't forget that!"

I'm watching Grace and Frankie. A Netflix original about two women who find out their husbands have been having an affair with each other. Now there two older women (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) need to figure out their new lives as they watch their husbands go off and marry each other.  Together Grace and Frankie show everything can be possible in spite of their ages. They are true to their personal styles and go forth and conquer.

I think this reminds me that I need to figure out that personal style thing. Somewhere between getting married young, raising kids, gaining weight, and working I lost that personal style thing. I dress in what fits and what's comfortable.

So, how does one find their personal style after all these years?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Staying Inspired

One of the things I've discovered is staying inspired is work.

Motivation can come from the inside, but I believe to keep moving forward, it's a good idea to constantly see new forms of it.

Do you get the Darren Daily podcasts? Read inspiring, motivational/life coaching books by people like Ken Blanchard, Jim Rohn or Napolian Hill.  Not running a business? Don't think you can't learn something from a book about business and how it applies to life. Successful people who share what keeps them motivated can still inspire you in your daily life. I love Stephen King's book; On Writing. Yes, its about writing but in this book he tells the story of how he got to where he is today. His story about never giving up and doing what he loves is inspiring and can be applied to any walk of life.

Look up quotes of inspiration and hang them where you can read them everyday. A daily reminder to keep positive can go a long way in setting up your day.

Check out You Tube for inspiration. Type in the word; Motivation and see what pops up. Check out a few and if you find a speaker you like click that subscribe button so you get their latest updates. You don't have to commit to watching/listening to them all or even listening to the whole thing, but one might pick you up when you're loosing the will to push yourself.

Some kinds of motivation will click, some won't. Try them all and keep the best. Here's a few of my favorite quotes! What are yours?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

That Elusive Animal; Exercise

I'm going to exercise, I plan to exercise, I know how to exercise....

So why do I spend my nights on the couch?

I had a treadmill and usually used it. I sold it for unknown reasons...
Now I miss my treadmill and I'm searching for a new one, but HOLY CRAP! they are expensive.  $500 for a decent one that looks like I could, might, someday run on it? (If I ever get up to the running thing)

Sports Authority is closing so last week I toddled on over to see if I could get a deal on a decent treadmill.
Yeah- No. They were still super expensive. I'm going again today to see if the prices are any lower.
I think when stores go out of business, they mark up prices before setting the discount. The sign says 70% off! However that doesn't apply to everything in the store. That 70% might be for a single dumbbell.  Do they really think we're that dumb?
Maybe? Because I'm going back today to see if there are any real deals.

So anyone out there exercising? Any motivational tips VERY WELCOME!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Couch vs Exercise & a Chihuahua

It's 3 a.m. and the Chihuahua woke me up.

I think she was either spooked by maybe some thunder rumbling in the area (I heard nothing) or she was hungry.

Now I'm wide awake and she's snoozing on the couch beside me. Oh, the things we do for our pups. She'll also get to sleep all day while I go to work. I think I'm going to have to take her for a nice long walk tonight to make sure she sleeps through the night.

I've walked two miles a day for the past few days. When I finish my legs feel like lead. I don't remember this from when I used to walk...age? I think no matter what happens after 50 we tend to blame it on age. Eyesight? Thinning hair? (Take the Hair, Skin, Nails vitamin in the pink box.) Sore joints?

Bah! I'm thinking it's not age that got us there, but inactivity. As we get wrapped up in life, exercise takes a back seat and that couch looks better and better. Then the couch becomes our habit and it's all down hill from there. So from now on my mantra is; Exercise before Couch. If the couch calls, I must earn the couch time with walking and weights.

Except at 3 a.m.

Good night ....again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Election Day in New Jersey

Wake up New Jersey and Vote in that Primary!

I used to work for an election board here and I've seen elections turn on ONE VOTE.
Never think your vote doesn't count. Every vote counts and is counted by your local Board of Elections.

More than once I've seen elections won by one vote. I've seen them turn by the voters who use Mail in Ballots.

When an election is that close, either party can ask for a recount and always do. Then every vote is recounted. I've never seen it changed. The election board, if they're doing their job, count and recount the votes that come into the office before offering the final count to the public.

On a lighter note;
I've seen a lot of write in votes for Jesus, Micky Mouse, and several cartoon characters. I guess those people were frustrated with what was offered.

So today stop by your local polling place and vote. Know your vote is important and can change the world. 

P.S. If you don't know where to vote, call your county election board.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Motivation

Hello Monday!
Back to the grind. Although I love my job, it does cut into my writing time.

It was a four mile weekend. Yay!  Walking two miles a day and I have hope this is just the beginning. With the help of Map my Walk, I've charted out kind of a track through the neighborhood that is exactly two miles. I tried to include as many of the little hills I could since that would improve the work out. I was about a mile and a half yesterday when it started raining. A light drizzle, nothing that would make me quit. I was back in the house less than a minute when the downpour started. I'm glad I wasn't on the far side of the neighborhood when that hit!
 Haven't hit the weights, yet. Really have to get that part done. However, I ate the last frozen yogurt bar in the fridge and I pledge not to buy any more until I lose 20 lbs. Ha! Wish me luck. I think I'm addicted to frozen yogurt!

Summer is here and the weather finally warmed up. It's nice to be outside again. Each new season makes me think it's time to set a goal. Not just exercise, but everything. I'm thinking about going back to school. I have a partial degree in English/Creative Writing and I'd like to finish. If I can finish the associates, there's a place in Vermont that will let you finish the bachelors within a year. It's called "low res." You go up for a week for orientation, then work on your own. I'd like to try this one. Even at my age, I still want that degree. It's been a big regret in my life. I should have done it in my 20's.

Any regrets in your 50's and 60's?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Exercising at 50 or 60?

Does exercise get scarier when we get older? Maybe, to some.
Then I see an older man running past me as I walk the neighborhood. He looks great, runs at a good pace, and, I imagine, has no fear of pushing his body.

The thought of working up to a run kind of scares me since I haven't run since I was in my 20's.

There's a program called Couch to 5K that combines walking and running/jogging to get a person ready to run a full 5K. Which I think is 2 or 3 miles? Yesterday I walked 2 miles through, up and around my neighborhood. Stupid me, I did it at 1 o'clock in the afternoon during the hottest part of the day. I really can't take the heat when I'm sitting still so by the time I got home I was kind of dizzy. But I did it! (There's a phone ap called Map My Walk that will track it for you.)

Couch to 5k Run/Walk plan.  Run your first 5k the Moms RUN This Town way!: Today calls for rain so unless there's a break in the rain, I might just hit the weights today. I was reading Body for Life by Bill Phillips and one of the success stories was an older woman, 60+, who did the program. They showed her standing there in a bikini with an amazingly buff body. Made me think it was possible. A quick internet search found Bonnie Ave, champion body builder at age 60! So I believe there is hope.
Not sure if I'm ever going Couch to 5K but I am going to get off this couch.
Anyone else start an exercise program after 50? What's your story?
Come on! I need some inspiration!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Empty Nest Syndrome

Life changes dramatically after the kids grow up and leave the nest.

I think this hits women more than most men. When my kids lived close, it wasn't so hard. We'd meet for shopping or dinner. It was a fun relaxing time. They were still here, just a little over there.
Now my kids are states away from me and it's very hard. I've given up our usual shopping haunts for online shopping because I can barely step into those old favorite stores without tears. We used to go out for coffee and lottery tickets. We'd sip our coffee and scratch the tickets and talk. I love coffee and lottery tickets. I've bought some scratch off tickets, but now can't bare to scratch them. They sit in a forlorn little pile on my desk. Who knows? There might be a winner in there somewhere that I'm missing.

Maybe I'll just mail them to the kids.

I know enough about loneliness and loss that I should keep busy. I lost both my parents while i was still in my 20's. I think the only thing that kept me going then was my kids. They weren't even in school yet so they kept me very busy. I think they saved me then.

I write. I have a couple of books up on Amazon and I'm working on two more. I have a full time job. Things that keep me busy, but weekends are hard. I know I should just schedule writing hours or painting hours or blogging hours or exercise time, but for some reason I hold back. Guess I have to kick my own butt here and DO SOMETHING! Plotting to move and job hunting in that far away state where my kids are consumes a lot of time, but when nothing tangible shows up, it's depressing.
Still its time to shake it off and DO SOMETHING. I think I'll start with setting up a weekend schedule.

New Saturday Schedule

  • Clean till noon
  • Write till 3 p.m.
  • Run errands (Always better to do this in the late afternoon as most like to get this done early. Less crowds in the afternoon.) 
  • Exercise-probably walking

New Sunday Schedule

  • Exercise-walking
  • Painting till noon
  • Laundry -all day :)
  • Write

Wish me luck!  All advice welcome! Please leave a comment and let me know your best advice for Empty Nest Syndrome.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What Happened Here?

Sooner or later almost everyone wakes up and thinks, "What the hell happened?"
While out partying, goofing around, raising kids, having a job...Sixty is creeping up and springs upon you with the stealth of a viper searching for prey.

Hello Sixty! I see you creeping around the corner. I'm 58, soon to be 59 in August. Then Sixty will be here.

I view this as a right of passage. I've always welcomed each new decade of my life with enthusiasm. Like a new vision of hope, filled with wondrous experiences. In some ways, the changes are evident.

  • Body changes 
  • Style choices
  • The way people view you 
The changes in your body creep up slowly. Had a little trouble with your back? Had to hold onto something to stand back up? Need a hoist off he couch? 

At almost 60 I look at my high heels and think, why bother? Who the heck am I squeezing my feet into those most uncomfortable shoes for? Certainly not me! Choose the flats! 

When you work with a fairly young crowd, my immediate supervisor could be my son, you learn they can see you as a mother figure. Or someone who has no computer experience. The latter can be a problem in today's business world. 

So as i gear up for sixty I'd like to know what else is on the horizon? What do you see happening from 50 to 60 and beyond?