Monday, February 25, 2008

No Tickie, No Laundry

So, I show up this morning for my daily workout at is Hydro Training. I get lucky and obtain the absolute BEST parking spot. I get my bag, get out of the car, and realize that I don't have my LT card nor my license, as I forgot to grab my purse on the way out the door. Usually I don't take my purse, so I didn't think anything of it. I keep my wallet in my coat pocket, but over the weekend, I changed purses & we took the kids to Mama Mia, so I put my wallet back into my purse...which is where it still sits. So, I see Kathy pull up and I think, that's fine, I'll be her "guest"...can't do that either without a license or picture id. So I'm standing in the parking lot chatting with her when she suggests we go to breakfast, but then realizes she only has $5...she didn't have her purse either, just her id requirements.

So, I'm hoping through all the excitement, I got my heart rate moving and a burned a couple calories...

Book Reading Resolution

As I finished Pillars of the Earth yesterday, I started thinking about my Book Reading resolution of 50 books for 2007. Now, I'm not really concerned about making it, but since I have several books on my list that are nearly 1000 pages, first being Mary Queen of Scots, next Pillars of the Earth, then World Without End, and History of Scotland, I starting thinking, next year, I should make it a total number of pages, as these books represent approximately 2.5 books based on the average of 350 pages in typical book I read. So if I calculated that out, that would be 17,500 pages, which would target ~1500 pages. So far in 2007 I have read 3594, so I'm right on track. But the way, I wrote it up with 50 books, I have to read 4-5 a month, and I'm sitting at 7....well, I'm still close to being on track. Next group of books are research books for I'll be curious how quickly I breeze through them.

BTW: I would recommend this book. This is my first Ken Follett book, recommended reading by my sister, Jane. Mr. Follett has a unique writing style which I enjoyed; his format of writing helped pull me into the story quickly. He introduces multiple characters into his story and they ties them all together in his plot. Although I believe this book could probably be 100 pages less once you remove some repetition, but on the flip side I was disappointed when the last 100 pages tossed you in 10-20 year increments and wished for another couple hundred pages to slow down the time and give added credit on the successes made in the end. Although lengthy, it would be a great Book Club book as the discussion on it can be endless. I don't recommend it on tape/CD. I tried it and found the reader not appealing.

Looking forward to my turn at the Library arriving for World Without End (I'm #23 out of 34 on hold), which is a continuation of sorts of Pillars of the Earth, but a 200 years later. Little Birdies told me, it's even better. If anyone has the hard copy...can I borrow it :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

As the world watch the 2008 Total Lunar Eclipse last one not occurring until 12/2010...we as a family made plans to stay up and watch.

So by 10:00 pm we were huddled in Andrew's room, looking out the window & taking pictures until we steamed up the window. Then we moved to Emily's window and laid on the floor watching it go mostly dark talking about all the colors we saw until we decided we couldn't stay awake any longer. It was pretty awesome!

Stay tuned for a Total Solar Eclipse on August 1, 2008.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter Break

As I sit here relieved that our school Winter Break is over and things can get back to "normal", I think back on this past LONG weekend and laugh.

Headed up north on Saturday morning...too much effort to head up on Friday night...get there, get the sleds out, and head out for a ride with the kids & my dad.

The kids decide they want to try driving...past due for Emily with a brave heart, I turned the handlebars over to Andrew first, as he was riding with me. He did pretty well for an 8 year old, jumping up to 40mph. Only issue is I had to continuously tell him to get onto the right hand side of the road...he thought he was invincible.

Emily on the other hand was more reserved, but being 11, I let her drive longer...or maybe it felt longer as she didn't go much faster than 25...long time, same distance! In the end, I survived.

Then we moved onto Sunday and for the first time, the weather man was correct. It was raining. Couldn't understand how, since it read 25 degrees on the thermometer, but I keep forgetting that it is Michigan & anything is possible. So as we debate on what we were going to do that day...go swimming or go see a movie...I hear this splat, splat, splat...SOB my NEW roof was dripping on the inside of the house.

So, R & I climb up on the roof and start shoveling the 3 feet of snow that has sat up there for however long & now weighs a million pounds with the added water. I get most of one side finished before my shovel bends in half and breaks. So there I am, on the roof, soaked with rain & sweat, with my broken shovel, staring at the roof wondering why can it rain and the bloody snow doesn't melt!

Since it was as good a break as any, I went inside to play games with the kids, R & dad went into town to find a replacement shovel. Richard finishes the one side when he returned and decided that should do it. I'm a bit skeptical, but hey I'll go along with that versus break my back.

So Sunday night comes around and we have the "family" couch action going on with the 4 of us on the sofa sprawled all over watching a Star Trek appropriate. When all of a sudden, drip, drip, drip on my SOFA! Well, we move the sofa, put a towel and bowl down and keep watching movies...what else is there to do.

By morning, the temps drop further, the internal rain stopped...probably frozen under the shingles and we head back up to the roof to shovel the other side of the house. Fortunately our light weight snowblower worked on the hard that it was frozen :)

I'm wishing I had my heart monitor with me as I'm on my 8th day of continuous exercise! Tuesday...I took a break :)

5 Days a Week

So, last week I completed the first full 5 day workout schedule...there weren't any interruptions due school closings etc. Kathy & I changed our schedule and added "Strictly Strength" for Wednesday. It represented issues on Thursday when I had to get out of bed & go down those once again dreadful stairs to start my day all over again and prepare for cycling.

In light of our success of completion as well as our struggles to make the completion, Kathy had forwarded me a jovial email that summed up our week...thought I'd share it with everyone:


If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary, For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess -- with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was aroun d. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

TUESDAY: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the Hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

THURSDAY: Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny bitch to find me Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

FRIDAY: I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damned barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY: Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

SUNDAY: I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little shit) will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Winter Blues...or is it Snow

Well after last week's big excitement of no school "because it's too warm & the snow turned to ice" to another no school on Friday "because we are expecting 10" of snow but got 3", to now we had freezing rain last night, turning into snow with it not suppose to stop until a final dump on Sunday...but it's okay that we have school...because we probably sucked up all our snow days last week!

As a winter-sports lover, growing up I thought winter didn't last long enough...well I guess I'm all grown up and I see why people move to AZ or FL. I'd say this weather is for the birds, but hey, they don't even stay in Michigan for the winter....what was I thinking.

So, this spurred me to start fantasizing about 85 degree weather, crystal blue waters of the Carribean, and any place that has a beach, a pool, and a view...of course everything is either already booked up or costing a fortune during our Easter break....Calgon, take me away! If anyone finds a great place to go for not so much $$, just let me know.

And no Painting another room is not helping readjust my attitude about winter right now :)