Wednesday, December 31, 2014

That's My Goal or Year-End Review

One hour -- that's my goal when I exercise. There's a part of me that wants to extend the hour or nix the rest day. Feel like I can and should go for longer spurts but as I looked over the exercise that I engaged in during 2014, I realized how consistently I'd moved my body. In addition, I continue to be amazed at how my body holds up. It works fabulously and I'm grateful.

I'm satisfied that I met and exceeded my goal of bicycling more this year.

Thoroughly enjoyed outdoor yoga and had fun with new experiences like yoga nidra and the winter solstice celebration.

Alison drew me back into Zumba sometime in April and I've been shimmying ever since...

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

Belly Fat Blaster, 1 x
Cardio Kickboxing, 8 x's
Fat Blasting Intervals, 1 x
Lean Body Sculpt, 2 x's

10 Minute Solution: Butt lift

Cardio Booty Camp, 3 x's

HITT Butt Lift, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workout

Upper Body, 3 x's

10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training

HITT 101, 2 x's

Rock Bottom HITT, 2 x's

10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp

Fat Burning Blast, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: KnockOut Body!

Fat Attack, 1 x

Kickbox Cross Train, 2 x's

Knockout Body Blast, 18 x's

Ultimate Upper Body, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner

Rapid Results Kickboxing, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

Arm and Shoulder Sculpt, 1 x

10 Minute Stretch, 3 x's

Barre Conditioning, 1 x

Bicycling, 30 x's

Dance Off The Inches: Dance It Off & firm up!*

Rock It Dance, 10 x's

Dance Off The Inches: hip hop jam

Cali Pop, 1 x

Ellen Barrett Live: Sleek Sculpt Express, 5 x's

Ellen Barrett Live: Super Fast Body Blast!, 2 x's

Gilad for Men

Cardio Interval Training, 1 x
Interval Training Circuit with Weights, 1 x

Give Me 10!

Fat Blasting Cardio, 3 x's

Kettlebell Bonus, 1 x

Lower Body Firmer, 1 x

Upper Body Sculpting, 3 x's

Just Walk: 5 Mega Miles

Mile 1: Classic Low Impact, 8 x's

Mile 2:  Walk & Tone, 12 x's

Mile 5: Ab Walk, 33 x's

Just Walk: mix + match: walk blasters

Dance Walk, 1 x
Light Walk, 1 x
Short + Sweaty, 1 x
Walk, Kick & Jab, 2 x's

Just Walk: Walk to the Hits, Party Songs

Mile 1, 34 x's

Mile 2, 11 x's

Mile 3, 7 x's

Kettlebell (Gauntlet, Beginner's Routine, Misc. Swinging), 22 x's

Latin Cardio Party

Samba, 2 x's


Cardio X, 1 x

Kenpo X, 33 x's

Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

15-Minute Upper Body, 8 x's

Rock Climbing, 25 x's

Shooting Hoops, 1 x

Shoveling, 1 x

Stretch Max

Resistance Band, 1 x

Stability Ball, 5 x's

Supreme Day 90

Tabata Inferno, 1 x

Whole Body, 1 x

Swimming, 47 x's

Treadmill, 5 x's

Walk Off Fat Fast*

The 20 Minute Easy Burn, 1 x

Walking, 140 x's

Weight Watchers 15-Minute Boot Camp Series

15-Minute Cardio, 2 x's

Wii, 13 x's

willPower & grace, 1 x

Yoga, 129 x's

Zumba, 40 x's

Zumba Fitness: Complete Total-Body Transformation System

Merengue, 5 x's
Reggaeton, 3 x's
Salsa, 3 x's

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Unprecedented Indulgence

Pretty much invited myself to Asmira's since her birthday was earlier in the week and I was still in possession of 2013's gift.

Called myself avoiding the dinner hour but...

For Asmira (and Alison), hospitality is high art. I could retreat to either woman's house and feel at ease. Tucked away. Comfortable. Safe.

I started off with the 3.5 cups of green tea -- extra delicious because of the organic honey that I put in there and I don't usually sweeten my tea.

Asmira then offered me cake and cookies left over from her daughter's baby shower and it was a thick piece (not the one below).

Asmira also fed me broccoli and cheese soup which I dunked bread into. Also had cheese and crackers. I later emailed Alison and told her that I was pretty sure that I'd eaten 5,000 calories.

Asmira's confections
It's been a long time since I've had so much sugar...

I was at the 'Fugee's on Friday and one of her friend's popped in. When he found out that she was having dinner with two people, he stopped by Aldi's, put on an elf hat and delivered these gingerbread situations.

I've also been given Godiva and my aunt made me a personal pan of sweet potato pie.

Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

I may never recover...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa Baby

In no particular order:

TYR Goggles

Rock Climbing Shoes

Black Leather Purse

Yoga Retreat

Well-Fitting Yoga Top

Universal Tablet Stand

Monday, December 22, 2014

All In All

Banner At Yoga Studio
Body feels better. Right hip is still a little tweaked but all in all the body feels good. I'm pretty sure that The Yoga Bowl helped.

Went to a two hour winter solstice celebration that Alison dubbed The Yoga Bowl since it was yin yoga with singing bowls.

Tibetan singing bowls continue to move me. And yin yoga? Let's just describe it as dull and achy yoga but it definitely worked out tweaks...

I have a stupid cold again. Low-grade but, ugh, just had one last month. I remember a time when I would go two years without having one. The good thing is that I drink more fluids when I'm sick. Wish that I had been eating more of the items on this list.

Alison gave me three Cooking Light books and the chicken noodle soup recipe called my name even before the onset of cold symptoms. I was suspicious of the evaporated milk the recipe called for but I used it anyway because I wanted to follow the recipe on the first outing. Couldn't find my oregano and didn't have poultry seasoning so I used other spices. Definitely pleased with the way the soup turned out.

The Milky Chicken Noodle Soup

Saturday, December 20, 2014


My body feels out of alignment.

Left knee occasionally feels like it wants to buckle. Right hip is tweaked. Shoulders are unhappy and, sometimes, my right triceps and neck join the club. Now that I think about it, the right knee is not that happy either.

All tweaks were relatively quiet until I hit Zumba today. The class seemed like it went on forever because I felt knackered early in the game.

When Laura played Lady GaGa's suggestive Christmas song, realized that I had not popped my Christmas CD into the player yet. That's so me to start playing Christmas music after Dec. 25th and, possibly, after the decorations have come down...

Finally got around to taking a salt bath. If nothing else, I got more reading done than I have in a while.

Traveled quite a bit today. Went to revisit one of the resale shops that I had been to. Was not successful in finding pants but did find a top that I really like and it's colorful for once. The top is from Chico's and I can see why my cousin Chiquita likes to shop there.

Also went to The Hill to get stocking stuffers. Haven't been in ages so it was nice to look around. In fact, I'm never seen the statue of Italian immigrants. Also saw a very cute doggie in the window.

The whole holiday shopping thing is interesting. The family really doesn't buy gifts for each other anymore. Most of my folks give away cookies and cakes. Le sigh...

I know that most of my folks have what they need and a lot of the stuff that they want but I still get caught up in the game. In addition, there's always that one person, outside of family, that gives you something unexpectedly.

I do try to give people uncluttered gifts or experience gifts. It's hard not to get swept up in the madness but there is also part of me that likes to give the folks in my life a little something.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Night

Went swimming last night and glad that I did because the pool's closing was off my radar. When I saw the notice about the winter break, I started having withdrawal symptoms. No swimming until next year unless I find a substitute pool.

After the pool went to the store so that I could get ingredients for a quiche. Stopped by the deli and the two ladies started chuckling when I mentioned a switch in turkey flavors. One of the deli ladies actually convinced me to switch. When I told her that the price had gone up on my favorite turkey brand, she remarked What hasn't gone up?

Stopped by the discount bin and saw some Siggi's yogurt that had been discounted to $.50 cents. Wasn't sure if I'd like it so I only grabbed two. Big mistake.

The Siggi's yogurt made the entire post-swimming trip worth it.

Used to think that I could live in Germany because of the chocolate. Now, I'm considering Iceland because of Siggi's. I like Icelandic movies too. That's enough, isn't it?

Don't know about the whole fermented shark thing though...

I even love the container. With Chobani and Fage, it's a struggle to get all of the contents out. With Siggi's, no struggle.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Little Salt on Top

Used to go to yoga on Monday nights but Monday has turned into the day that I exercise at home then stay put so that I can do chores, gather myself, whatever...

Found a recipe for chickpea burgers and made some on Sunday. I'll have to tweak the recipe because they were totally bland. Probably would have tasted better with red onion on top but I didn't feel like making a trip to the store just for one item. After putting ketchup and a little salt on top, it tasted pretty good. Didn't feel bad about adding salt because I made them with organic garbanzo beans without salt....

One of my New York friends used to jokingly ask me how things were going in Missouriery. It's not feeling like a joke anymore after Mike Brown, Kajieme Powell and Vonderrit Myers.

In addition to the shootings a Bosnian-American, Zemir Begic, was killed by four teenagers (mostly Black) who used a hammer as a weapon.

I was recently told, by the 'Fugee, of a Bosnian woman who was the victim of a hate crime. The story sounded too convenient but still...

Today we found out that the story is a hoax.

I immediately thought of Susan Smith and how some refugees and immigrants fear Black people but I couldn't muster an ounce of indignation because Seherzada Dzanic didn't kill anyone.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Something Blue

Chiquita had on black and royal blue for my aunt's funeral and I wish that I'd been able to find royal blue as well since my aunt expressed an interest in having a royal blue dress toward the end of her life.

The good thing about Chiquita is that she loves to dress up and usually has multiple bracelets and necklaces on and she does it in the most tasteful fashion.

Told Alison how I didn't succeed in finding any clothes and she said that she was no good under pressure either.

Went with my go-to Jones of New York blouse, black blazer and black slacks. I don't do dresses.

Borrowed Necklace
Did a tribute for my aunt and I was scheduled after the memorial DVD. Luckily, there was a soloist in between the DVD and my tribute. Otherwise, I don't know if I could have pulled myself together in time. Almost lost it after I said that my aunt never threw in the towel but I recovered even though I started speaking loudly.

After leaving Illinois, stopped downtown to get a chickpea burger then went to the 'Fugee's where we watched Wish I Were Here. A good movie but not a good one to watch when you're grieving. I had quickly watched a YouTube trailer because I wanted to stop by the Redbox since my Netflix movie did not get to the station on time.

As Mike said when we climbed on Wednesday, mortality blows.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It Still Had Calories

Met Chiquita to view the memorial DVD with pictures of my aunt plus family. Hadn't planned on it so I didn't have time to go home and eat lunch.

Kept thinking about what would be suitable to eat from the vending machine and decided to eat some expired (by five months) pear crisps which I almost threw away until my next door neighbor at work reminded me that, not only were they sealed, they were also freeze-dried and that's what I had for lunch and I didn't feel terribly hungry which makes me feel like I'm on automatic and overeating a lot.

The Expired Ones
On Sunday I made a stir-fry and used an Archer Farms' sauce which was too sweet. Otherwise, I haven't been cooking and stopped by Lulu's Local Eatery after work today and got a sweet potato black bean burger. Also got a peppermint mocha cupcake. It was vegan but, yeah, it still had calories.

It's kind of amazing that when I feel like I'm on my best behavior, nothing happens in the weight loss department but when I'm indulging...

Feeling a bit out of control but I guess this, too, shall pass. We'll see how my carpe diem attitude impacts the weight loss.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Running Around

Met Alison for yoga on Sunday and told her that I'd been looking for clothes. She immediately suggested Lane Bryant, reached into her car to get me a Bryant coupon then started listing a whole host of resale shops. I had forgotten how refugees and immigrants explore every nook and cranny in a town.

After work yesterday, hightailed it to one resale store since they close at 6 and went to another store during my lunch break today. I'm looking for something for my aunt's memorial service.

Sometimes being in love with super casual attire can get you in trouble. I do have a black blazer and a Jones of New York blouse that's really nice but I wear it whenever I'm dressing up and I need a back-up.

I did see two blazers that I like. One was brown with pink flecks but I don't really have anything to go with it and the one that I really liked was a tad bit too tight. The snug blazer came from Chico's so maybe I need to head there.

Looks Much Nicer Than Picture

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Did you know that people bury urns? I didn't either.

Seems redundant to have someone cremated then buried.

My aunt Alice is not keen on cremation. Although my aunt, late in the game, said that she wanted to be cremated my aunt Al said that she never expressed it to her and when Chiquita asked Al if she liked an urn with mother of pearl on it, she said I don't pick urns, I pick caskets...

My aunt Al still has her sense of humor though. When we were at the hospital on Wednesday and I discovered how hungry I was, the cafeteria had already closed. Don't you have any yogurt in that bag? she asked. My folks love to joke with me about tofu and yogurt and...

On Thursday, I took sandwiches from Crazy Bowls and Wraps because I didn't know how long I would be away from home. Should have known that my aunt Girt would bring food. Between Crazy Bowls and the soup and cornbread that my aunt G. brought, we were covered.

Several of us ate wraps but there were still a couple left. As I prepared to leave, my aunt Al said You better take this high-priced food home.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What Matters

Quiet Walk to Garage...
Got off work yesterday and headed to the hospital for the extubation of my aunt.

The nurse came to introduce herself and to let us know what was going on then there was the wait for the doctor who finally came to talk with us then there was a shift change and the new nurse had to be oriented.

And there was the visit by the chaplain...

The lights went off in the hallway at 8:30 when visiting hours were officially over and, by 9, I no longer wanted them to do the extubation but, of course, they did.

The doctor had told us that sometimes people last hours or days or weeks but only God knew or something like that.

My aunt didn't breathe at first and then she started breathing but her heart rate was not very good and it all seemed kind of cruel to let someone struggle.

My aunt didn't last an hour.

The chaplain returned...

Chiquita hugged me tight and thanked me for being there 100%. I was not that good but I did try to be Robin to Chiquita's Batman and I guess what matters is that she felt that I was there 100%.

Chiquita was amazing and did everything to make my aunt's last days as comfortable as possible.

My aunt had a wicked case of peripheral artery disease. Her circulation was so poor that she had wounds that wouldn't heal and one of the nurses said that she hadn't seen necrosis that bad in three years. Even though my aunt's quality of life was not great, she really wanted to live. She had no desire to throw in the towel.

Carpe diem people...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


The good thing about going swimming when it's cold is that the pool is not crowded.

I did have to psych myself up to get out the door though. Also decided to cut the tags off the swimming suit that I ordered during the summer.

Somehow managed to order a tall even though I thought that I'd duplicated the order down to the color.

The tall is a little spanx-y but I like the extra upper body coverage and I loved swimming without shoestrings holding up my suit. I had also resorted to wearing two suits and that was, literally, a drag. Felt unencumbered and energetic tonight. Maybe my new suit has superpowers...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Don't Feel Bad or Month-End Review, November

"Open" on S. Grand Business District
Didn't mean to disappear... Went to my brother's for Thanksgiving along with four others and it was a comedy of errors as far as communication went.

Rode with my uncle and his woman friend. Less than a mile from my brother's, we got pulled over by a cop who was concerned that my uncle was driving slow in the left lane. The cop told my uncle, twice, that In Missouri, we don't drive slow in the left lane. Just ridiculous and unnecessary statements right now.

Rode Amtrak back and, about three hours into trip, Chiquita texted me to say that she was at hospital with aunt and somebody had just coded. As we rolled into downtown St. Louis and I spotted the Scottrade Center, I started to think Be it ever so humble,,, but couldn't finish the sentiment because it didn't really feel nice to be back in St. Louis...

Asked Alison if she was up for going to Rooster after yoga then checking out the artwork on the boarded up businesses. I have been eating out a lot but, ironically, I've lost 10 pounds (of the 20 that I gained back). However, I don't feel bad about eating at Rooster or Lulu's for that matter. Hard to feel guilty about Lulu's sweet potato black bean burger. Don't feel bad about the decadent foods I had for Thanksgiving either since I missed several meals while traveling...

Savory crepe: goat cheese, mushrooms, spinach, tomato jam @ Rooster

Missed a few days of exercise and didn't do nearly enough yoga but, for the most part, I managed to stay on track in November:

10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workout
*Upper Body, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: Knockout Body Blast!
*Knockout Body Cardio, 2 x's

Climbing, 2 x's

Ellen Barrett Live: Super Fast Body Blast!*, 1 x

Dance Off The Inches: Dance It Off & firm up!*, 4 x's

Dance Off The Inches: hip hop jam*
*Cali Pop, 1 x

Just Walk: 5 Mega Miles
*Mile 5: Ab Walk

Just Walk: mix + match: walk blasters*

*Dance Walk, 1 x
*Light Walk, 1 x
*Walk & Kick, 1 x

Just Walk: Walk to the Hits: Party Songs
*Mile 1, 5 x's
*Mile 2, 5 x's
*Mile 3, 3 x's

Latin Cardio Party
*Samba!, 1 x

Personal Training with Jackie
*15-Minute Upper Body Circuit, 1 x

Swimming, 2 x's

Weight Watchers 15-Minute Boot Camp Series
*15-Minute Cardio

willPower & grace, 1 x

Yoga, 5 x's

Zumba, 6 x's

Zumba Fitness, 1 x

Money has been raised for the small businesses in the S. Grand district where so many windows were broken.

The Eye Guy -- Peat Wollager
*Disclosure: I received this video without charge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Glass House

Got several emails last night including one from the 'Fugee with a sad face and one from Alison wanting to know if I was safe.

I'm close to the area where Vonderrit Myers was killed and it's also been a gathering place for protests.

As I pushed the trash cart out last night, saw police blocking off a street and the soundtrack for last night was helicopters.

Woke up feeling sad and wasn't good for much today as I couldn't concentrate on anything.

As I headed to work saw many businesses that I like, including Rooster which Alison and I just went to on Sunday, boarded up. Rooster recently opened and it's practically a glass house.

A call went out to artists and they painted the boards of the businesses...

Went swimming tonight and, besides a student/teacher, I was the only one in the pool. It was nice to stretch out and calm my mind...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

When Gloria's Away

Gloria's still away so Alison and I went to Maury's yoga class again and, after class, we went across the street to have breakfast at Rooster. The owner has several restaurants including the one I visited during jury duty to get that yummy chickpea burger.

Thought about trying a Finnish pancake or pancakes with caramelized bananas but I went the a la carte route and got eggs, potatoes and toast. The woman next to me wanted to know what kind of bread was on my plate and I offered to share my whole wheat bread (made by Rooster) because I knew that I wasn't going to eat all of it. She'd already eaten so she declined but she did tell me what a fabulous bacon shake they have at the downtown place...

Went to see Motown the Musical with Chiquita last night. We both enjoyed it and now I need to get busy putting Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and lots of others on my iPod.

There was a really funny and sweet moment during a Diana Ross scene. Just about the entire audience held hands and sang Reach Out and Touch. The audience was prompted by the actress to participate but no one had to prompt the audience to respond when the actor sang Marvin Gayes' Inner City Blues song and reached this line:

Trigger happy policing...

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I was released from jury duty yesterday. Pretty much said that I didn't have the emotional stamina for another murder case.

When I told one of my colleagues that I would be out on Monday for jury duty, she said Again? and yet another colleague kept telling me not to get picked which is why it was so funny when the prosecutor said All of you trying not to make sudden movements and not talking doesn't mean you won't get selected...

The prosecutor started off by telling us that she has Bell's palsy and that because we take so many of our cues from people's faces, she wanted us to know that she's not smirking or laughing at anything inappropriate but she just doesn't have control over one side of her face...

Don't mind doing my civic duty but I'm still haunted by the murder trial that I had to sit on about ten years ago plus the three month grand jury stint when one day of the week was set aside for sexual assault and domestic violence cases.

On a really silly note, the attorneys tell you the order in which they'll field questions: jury box, seats, right, left... As the prosecutor was deep into questions (like the seventh page), the more she said right, left, it made me think of this silly Zumba song and I have Zumba earworms all the time now.

Went to Zumba tonight and Shawny didn't disappoint. She had me cracking up when she said that her thighs have a mind of their own. I ain't no small girl. Y'all know that...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pausing Between Flights

Got a summons to report for jury duty in August but asked for a deferment and, of course, I had to report on the coldest day of the year.

On Monday, sat until I couldn't sit anymore and just as I got up to walk around, this woman did too and she started stretching. It took everything in me not to start doing yoga.

Had to report this morning at 9 and there was not a peep from the overhead system for two hours. Read a chapter of Open Heart then walked while listening to Fresh Air's With Age, Joan Rivers Learned To Say Anything: 'It Has Freed Me Totally'.

Had forgotten how much I used to love Joan Rivers. Asked for a ticket to one of her shows when I was a teenager. 

Rivers said that her parents didn't like her then joked My mother wanted to have an abortion up until I was nine.

Didn't realize that Rivers really wanted to be an actress and she took a comedy gig because at, $8 an hour, it paid better than a temp job. Fresh Air played footage from a show when Rivers got upset with an audience member and Rivers goes on to talk about how long it took to get the audience back.  I fight to the end she said about trying to entertain her audience...

Finally got called for a panel and once we were all accounted for, lunch followed. Went to this restaurant that I've never been to before and got a chickpea burger. Climbed six flights to get back to the courtroom. Haven't done significant stair climbing in a while. Let's just say that I had to pause between flights.

Chickpea Lemon & Basil Patty...Kale...

We almost made it through the Voir dire process but not quite. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The No-Issue Zone

Feeling unprepared for many things including the cold weather.

Went to Macy's yesterday even though I just wanted to nap all day. Haven't been to the mall in ages. After fumbling around in several areas, I went to the Jones of New York area because I know that brand fits decently. Almost found one top that I like but...

Left the mall after one store since I never have a lot of stamina for the mall and I headed to Trader Joe's, World Market, a filling station then decided to try Marshalls. Found a dark top even though I want to start wearing lighter colors and, of course, found a really cute, colorful workout top...

Hoping Silver Jewelry Will Help

No Help Needed
Went to Gloria's class this past Wednesday and I was grateful because I found out that she was going to be out of town and, since Gloria's away, my yoga curiosity got the best of me and I went, along with Alison, to another studio -- a place where Gloria briefly taught.

Gloria -- Still On The Wall
Alison and I were the first to arrive. What do you need today? Maury inquired. I'm so unaccustomed to that question that I almost got whiplash.

I like Maury a lot. He told us You're the diva on your mat and This is a no-issue zone. He may or may not have referenced The Real Housewives reality series.

Maury went on to explain that it was a community class, that he was doing such a class because yoga can be expensive. We were free to donate what we wanted but Maury said that he was worth more than a Big Mac. And he totally is. I really enjoyed his class. When I commented to Alison that Maury is a nice visual reference when he gets into poses, she said Yes, he moves like a dancer.

Before I headed to yoga, watched a bit of CBS Sunday Morning and enjoyed several segments including the one on Katey Sagal (of Married with Children fame) and one about Jason Brown, an NFL player who voluntarily retired in his prime.

P.S. 'Fugee, see what Brown says about love...

Friday, November 14, 2014

What Fun Looks Like

We've been dressing down on Fridays at work because of an upcoming move and a couple of weeks ago one of colleagues told me that I looked fun. I laughed. He's right though. My workout clothes are much more colorful than my regular clothes.

Another person did a double take today. Guess I need to stop buying black and white (and brown) clothing...

Part of the Fun
Went to Zumba last night and think my mojo is back. I'm almost finished with my second bag of cough drops (Burt's Bees). Had no idea just how huge Burt's Bees is until I stumbled upon the Burt's Buzz documentary...

Finished A. J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically this morning. Wasn't sure that I'd stick with the book and felt like the author when he had this moment while dancing with his son.
Without my year, I wouldn't have been open to that feeling I got on the dance floor. And for that alone, all the craziness and Handy Seats and locusts and snakes might have been worth it. (326)
Out of 332 pages, this part of the book stood out in my mind:
I've never before been so aware of the thousands of little good things, the thousands of things that go right every day. (269)
Did you see the list of 55 books that will make you happier? I've read five of them. Kind of in the mood to check out A.J. Jacobs' Drop Dead Healthy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


No yoga on Sunday.

No swimming on Tuesday.

Tonight, yoga instead of climbing where I found reclining twists comforting.

Wondered why I struggled to do 30 minutes of exercise yesterday and remembered that I had a cold which explains the energy zap, duh...

Decided to do different cardio this p.m. because I feel like I've been doing the same things over and over so I pulled out willPower & grace which I hadn't done in forever.

Did 15-minutes of upper body work yesterday and my armpits are sore. Even though I've been slacking on the strength training, my pectoral muscles stay tight. One morning, had to look for stretches and found relief with bow pose and a doorway stretch...

Someone asked me what I do after work and I told her that I usually do some type of workout. Oh, that's why you look good, she said.

Told her about my seesaw struggle but she told me that I know what I'm doing. This someone knew me when I was living large and didn't realize how large I was living.

You look delicious, she said. I laughed because she managed to say it without innuendo. She is from another country and, kind of hard for me to explain, but I knew that she was sincerely applauding my efforts.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Grab and Go

Please bring me a Pepsi Max Chiquita texted before I headed to the ER to meet her.

I threw an orange, energy bars, mints and cough drops in my bag and headed out. The gas station that I stopped at didn't have Pepsi Max so I grabbed a regular old Pepsi with a frightening amount of sugar. No caffeine in the mix but I was sure that the sugar would do the trick.

A couple of weeks ago when I headed to the ER for a different relative, the security guard asked me to put my bag on the belt and she was like We have oranges, tortillas chips... She found the contents of bag amusing for some reason.

This one family in the ER tried to decide where to eat and this one woman said that she couldn't go to nearby Popeyes. I don't eat fast food, she said.

Chiquita and I decided to go to Chipotle where we both tried to pay and said You pay next time at the same time.

I have no idea what I'll be eating tomorrow as I've had no time to meal plan or no time for much else either...

Picked these up on a whim.

I've never tried honey for a sore throat so thought it'd be nice to try these drops. Good decision.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Stay Tall

Finally got into a groove after three laps. Diving mom was at the pool again.

You're already leaning; stay tall. Reach...reach; see how that gets you higher? At one point, diving mom demonstrated something to diving kid and her alignment was special and had she lifted her leg in the back, it would have been Virabhadrasana III a.k.a. Warrior III.

I swam 20 laps and headed to the locker room where this woman came in with a hood over her head. Aren't you cold? I chuckled. Knew that she was Bosnian and Bosnians don't swim in certain conditions including chilly weather. It's never the weather that I'm concerned about. It's the water temp in the pool but, thankfully, the pump has been fixed and the water is not as frigid as it has been.

The woman was really cold because she had been sitting outside watching a soccer game which had gone into overtime.

This other woman told me that she and her daughter were watching me swim since her daughter wants to be on the swim team and she needs to work on her strokes. Her poor daughter. She better watch someone else swim. Nevertheless, it was nice for the woman to tell me that.

As I headed out the pool house door, I saw a line up of about forty cars. The soccer game had let out.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Yoga After All

Struggled to get to yoga even though I had extra time. Others struggled too because there weren't many people in class until right before it started.

When there was still plenty of real estate, this guy put his mat precisely in front of mine. I adjusted my mat and tried not to be annoyed because it is yoga after all. It's the same way that I try not to be annoyed with the guy who works out before yoga but waits until after the class has started before he comes in.

Of course, both of those guys help to make up the troupe that creates such nice energy...

As we were in child's pose, Gloria said something about how you bring all of your energy centers to the earth. I forget about stuff like that. Can't remember the sequence but it was definitely a kind of earth salutation.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Walks In Three Parts or Month-End Review, October

Before yoga practice, Gloria likes to read from Meditations from the Mat. I was still shocked when she read Day 300. I was shocked again when Rebecca (before practice) said that time would be set back this Sunday.

I think my body knew though. I kept going for walks -- short walks, long walks and walks in three parts. I'm going to miss hitting the pavement after work...

10 Minute Solution: Butt lift
*Cardio Booty Camp 1 x

10 Minute Solution: KnockOut BODY!
*Knockout Body Blast, 4 x's

Bicycling, 2 x's

Climbing, 3 x's

Just Walk: Walk to the Hits, Party Songs
*Mile 1, 4 x's
*Mile 2, 1 x

Kettlebell Beginner Routine, 2 x's

*Kenpo X, 3 x's

Stretch Max
*Stability Ball, 1 x

Swimming, 5 x's

Walking, 22 x's

Yoga, 9 x's

Zumba, 5 x's

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The World Doesn't Work Like That

Chatty Kathleen had been going to the pool in the morning but she's switched times again. She told me that she had just gotten over a marathon migraine. I lost three days and the world doesn't work like that. Totally related. We live in such a hurry up world where you need to get over xyz and merge back into the lane that you were traveling in.

I gave the podcast Snap Judgment another try. The first episode that I attempted to listen to was Gratitude 2013. Found the voice and story totally annoying and only listened to about five minutes. Decided to give Snap Judgment another try and listened to The Great Outdoors.

I totally sympathized with Randy Brown who lived with his wife in "the great outdoors" but was legally forced to move. Brown's wife says that his job history was, essentially, one paragraph about subsisting off the land and, about his search for a mainstream job et al, Brown said that living in Virginia (can't remember which city) was a lot tougher than any year out in the woods.

I'm still listening to the StoryCorps podcast and really liked Bright in Spots. A son tells his father how he admires the way he was able to provide for his family and the father responds.
You know you do your best, kid, that's what you do but honestly your best not just a BS best.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Getting Together

New Graffiti, Riverfront Trail
I have an open invitation to bicycle with Patti but I check in with Alison first since we've been bicycling together for many Saturdays this year.

Getting together is such a tricky thing. I'm pretty sure that Alison would have liked to bike on Patti's side of the river but I also knew that time was a factor. Plus, Patti couldn't bicycle in the morning etc. etc.

Alison apologized for confirming with me late and said that she understood if I'd made alternate plans. I told her to get out of town. I had not made alternate plans. Alison wasn't sure if she had enough pep in her step, hence the delayed confirmation, but surmised, about the time that we reached mile one, that she was doing just fine.

My bike, on the other hand, is not doing so fine. I kept wondering why it was leaning on the couch -- especially after I had already set it upright. I have not one but two flat tires. I really wish that the people who drink on the Riverfront Trail would take the extra step and dispose of their bottles properly. I might be able to fix the front tire but I'm not going to even mess around with the rear one and that's $15 bucks plus tax per tire...

The 'Fugee (hvala puno) surprised me with tickets to the Fox Theatre's production of Dirty Dancing. It was kind of funny because I had also been invited to a meditation event featuring Sri Sri Ravi Shankar but that didn't pan out.

Fancy Light at Fox Theatre
I'm not a huge fan of musicals but I enjoyed Dirty Dancing probably because of the dancing and, oh my God, Jennlee Shallow sang a part of We Shall Overcome, and blew me away despite the fact that the song gets on my nerves.

I felt like Shallow's voice entered at my head and went to the bottom of my feet. She has such a powerful voice.

It was nice to see that everyone kept their phones off, except for one person toward the end of the show who couldn't resist texting someone. Lots of people dressed up too. Wish that I had taken a picture of Arabela's shoes and Christal's boots.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Caught My Eye
Always have this notion that I will exercise more when I'm on vacation. Gosh (I've been waiting to write that), I'm not sure how the Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss contestants exercise for four and five hours a day.

When I went for the Notable Burials tour, I also did yoga and went climbing (only four routes). I was knackered (thanks Charley Boorman, The Long Way Down) at the end of the day but I guess it's okay to be knackered on vacation when you still have time to recover. I did realize that I never found time to drink coffee and I'm pretty sure that was a contributing factor to my knackeredness.

I've been catching up on reading. I have about five items that can no longer be renewed at the library. One of those items is the April 2014 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine. Loved the 20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself segment.

Question 10:  Am I Helpful? by Gloria Steinem
Big problems often have small solutions...The art of being helpful is behaving as if everything we do matters -- because we never know which things might.
Question 11: What Am I Afraid Of? by Michelle Wildgen
 ...and what calms me now in the face of my most profound fears is not reassurance that nothing bad will happen, but that some of it has, and here we still are. You do not self-destruct when your fears come to pass.
Question 14: Am I Strong Enough? by Brenda Shaughnessy
 But it doesn't take strength to love your child. It's the other way around: Love gives you resilience.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Walking Tour

Kept seeing billboards for Bellefontaine Cemetery that said The Other Forest Park. Really?

I got curious enough to look on their website and saw that they had Notable Burials and Civil War tours.

Thought Gloria might be interested and invited her along. Interesting tour with a good guide. Three notables stuck with me: Mother Baltimore, Eliza Haycraft and Sara Teasdale.

Today is the first time that I've heard the expression soiled dove (Haycraft) and I'd never heard of Mother Baltimore who bought her freedom for $1,000 dollars. Found it touching that people leave items on Sara Teasdale's grave.

The tour was two hours long and about three miles -- maybe.

Cemetery and Arboretum
Retro Walking Tour Guide*

Perpetual Mourner Statue
This perpetual mourner statute was chosen for a wife who died during childbirth. The child also died and the husband chose the statue to show the depth of his sorrow. It's captivating for sure.

The guide joked that apparently you can take "it" all with you. There were some serious mausoleums and monuments. One section of mausoleums looked like a subdivision.

*The retro walking guide made me think about an episode of Undercover Boss. The undercover university president had a really hard time walking backwards but our guide was a pro.