Monday, December 31, 2007

The Health Club

I joined the Boston Sports Club. It is a swanky health club that is one block from my office. My company subsidizes the cost to $150 a year. The club costs $50 a month. My trainer costs another $75 for three sessions, and after that he will cost $89 an hour. That is probably off the charts for me, but I can dream, can't I? I would like to imagine getting stronger and leaner, if not younger. I can imagine doing a high dive off the diving board in their beautiful pool. But, first things first. Right now, I am dreaming that some day it won't hurt so bad.

The trainer started me off by showing me the eight different exercise machines that do leg pushes and pulls, arm pushes and pulls and other devices of torture that are so good for you. I have to adjust the weights on the machines and the height of the seat and after all that, I only get to do 12 reps to start off. But...I am a beginner and this WILL get easier. Right?

Then he moved me on to the cardio cycle, where you adjust the settings for five minutes of warm up, do twenty five minutes of cycling to get your heart rate up to 120 beats a minute...any more than that, he says, and your body goes into panic mode and starts burning muscle. So, for twenty five minutes I watch TV with the earphones and try to ignore the fact that my feet don't fit the stirrups, that my right knee hurts with every push and that I'm sweating. The sweating is actually the fun part. I was amazed how much I enjoyed getting sweaty. My body heats up and it feels good! I really am amazed. But, my knee still hurts. He said that will go away, when the muscle builds up and my knee begins to learn that blood flow is good. He said that arthritis isn't cured by anything, but that a good supply of blood to the area is a very good thing. I believe him.

My doctor is all for my joining the health club. She says that 90% of my health problems would go away if I wasn't carrying around extra weight. It is a tough nut to handle. No more pudding, apple pie and creme brulee. It is time to crack down and drink water and enjoy sweating. It is time to do what everyone knows is the right thing to do: exercise!

I am going to blog it while I flog it. I have a new motto, "It feels great to lose weight in 2008". And I told George tonight - this is a VERY big deal. I am happy when I make a resolution and stick to it. I am happy when I make a choice that I know is a good one and stick to it. And right now, seeing how much work it is to burn 150 calories, you couldn't force me to eat a creme brulee.

Have a healthy and safe New Years Eve. See you at the health club tomorrow!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Michelle, Mike and Myself at Thanksgiving TIme


A new leaf

Isn't January just a great time to turn over new leaves? I had a very interesting 2007, culminating with finding a job that I really love. What a blessing it is to look forward to going to work in the mornings!

We had a great time at Michael and Michelle's house at Christmas time. Spending Christmas Day with her family in Maryland is always fun. A lovely turkey dinner cooked by someone else was a real treat!

Yesterday I joined the Boston Sports Club that is one block from my office. I met with my trainer, Brian, who I will meet with on Sunday afternoon for my first session. He will help me get started at a pace that is comfortable, and we will ratchet it up a few notches each week as I go along. I can use the exercise. I want to build up my strength and endurance, and strengthen my bones. Losing weight, of course, is also a goal, and to that end, I will start Weight Watchers on January 11. See what I mean about new leaves?

I packed my new Eddie Bauer pack with my Ipod, my Ipod Shuffle, my cell phone, my new Sennheiser earphones that Michael got me for Christmas, my phone cords, my Ipod chargers, my camera, sunglasses and my health club key card. I gave one of these packs away as my Yankee gift swap at work, and I don't think the person who got it saw the possibilities. They are really great for organizing the stuff you don't want to live without that doesn't fit into your handbag. I love it. To each his own.

Christmas is over and we have very little undecorating to do. We didn't put up a tree this year, and I held down the centerpieces and the decorations as well. We have a live wreath on the door that can stay there until it goes to compost. Easy. I like decorating, but I do not like UNdecorating, so this is an easy year. I talked to a friend at church about this, and she said the NEVER decorate for Christmas anymore because it just keeps things much simpler. Maybe she had a point. Maybe it is Bah Humbug, but....we'll wait until next year to see what we think. I had a great time selling jewelry this year to friends at my office. It was fun to show them what I made and see what they wanted to buy for themselves and for friends. I used a lot of my inventory of sterling silver and crystals, and ordered more with the proceeds!

Wish me luck on the new health club leaf!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Boys

Merry Christmas Day!

George and I are in Vienna, Virginia, visiting Michael and Michelle. We have had a lot of fun baking 6 kinds of cookies and bars. We watched movies and went out for Korean food on Christmas Eve. It was delicious! Korean restaurants here are a lot better than the ones we have near our home. We baked lemon bars, date bars, sugar cookies, chocolate surprise cookies, gingersnaps and something called Knock You Naked Brownies, which are made with caramels and chocolate chips and are rich enough to be called candy. They didn't knock me naked, and I am letting others enjoy their gooey richness. Give me my coffee black and a small sugar cookies please.

The Christmas packages are wrapped and ready. We will take Panera bread and all our home baked cookies to the Christmas dinner. This morning we will have to do some sugar cookies and piped frosting. I love making sugar cookies on Christmas morning. When you don't have little ones about, you have time for stuff like that!

This morning I awoke thinking about all the blessings I have. My mom is home and enjoying her Christmas, making cookies and baking a roast beef for her dinner. She will have a few visitors. She got her Christmas packages all ready, and is safe and sound and happy in her home. She sent $100 money orders around to members of the family, and I am so grateful that she is still so generous and able to think about others and still take care of her self. She likes her helper, Ruth, who is like another daughter to her, and we are very grateful that Ruth is there to help her each day.

Mom got new carpeting recently, and a new light in the kitchen. She handled the landscapers who came and cleaned up her lawn after the flood. She had the plumbers and the painters in. She is handling all this. And she is 98 years old! Now, that is a blessing!

I am blessed with a wonderful, loving, son, and his beautiful and kind and patient wife, Michelle. It is such a blessing to have a whole new family to visit and enjoy. Her parents and family are lovely people, and we are comfortable and happy in their presence. And what a blessing I have in George, who takes care of me, loves me and is so gallant and charming and honorable. He is honest and kind and sensitive and a rocket scientist to boot! Now, that's a blessing!

So, have a wonderful Merry Christmas. Blessed be!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Santa's Sleigh goes to Washington

We are leaving in fifteen minutes to go to Logan to catch the sleigh to Michael's house for Christmas. I can't wait. A big treat is going to be meeting Jebu for the first time. Mike says he is anxious for us to get there so they can throw the ball. Their arms hurt.

We have packed the luggage with presents and lounging pants. Ready to lay back and have a great time. I love going to Maryland for Christmas Day with Michelle's family, where the rolling hills are so beautiful.

On Christmas Eve we are going to go to the National Cathedral for services. I love Washington DC. The weather is going to be rainy, but no snow storms, so we are happy. Boston has had 27 inches of snow already this year, which is close to the record. We are tired of the white hard icy stuff.

The taxi is here.

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas Day, and a happy and healthy NEW YEAR!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A pretty snow scene to top off a lousy snow day.

A pretty lousy snow day

George's birthday is today. I had planned to make us a nice Birthday breakfast with muffins and bacon and eggs. Instead, I realized the I had to fast this morning to prepare for my annual physical and blood tests. Bummer! Then, I found out by going to the dermatologist that I have a tiny pre-cancerous bing on my a little raw spot that won't heal...and that doesn't do much for raising one's spirits.

We both had a busy day at work. My day included a very nice Christmas dinner out with co-workers and George's day included a Chinese dinner at work to celebrate with his department. When George picked me up at the restaurant tonight to take me home, I noticed that there was a large banged up dark spot on the left side of his car. He had been hit by a snow plow earlier in the afternoon. A plow came around a bend in the road too fast and took his back door off. George saw it coming and leaned over the passenger seat trying not to get killed. It must have been horrifying. The crash gave him quite a scare, and he went to MIT medical to be checked out. Through all this, I was typing like crazy at my office trying to finish a project. He was shaken up and ripped his pants from the knee down on what was left of the door of his car. More bummer! Oh well. George is ok, the car can be fixed, and we have another car to drive to work tomorrow.

Tonight we are having a pajama party and looking at recipes for cookies. Sometimes making cookies is just too much on top of a relatively challenging day. So, we talked about making cookies instead and made plans for better days ahead. Now, time for bed. I hope the roof doesn't cave in.

Have a great evening.

Snow scenes

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Get out of Dodge

The forecast today in Boston is for six to ten inches of snow starting at 1:00 this afternoon. Everyone dreads that kind of a storm, and no one is ever prepared. I feel fortunate because I do not have to drive home. The trusty subway and the trusty (sorta) bus, will make sure that I get home. The bus stop is one block from my house, so even with piles of snow, I should be able to navigate that.

The best thing about this storm is the speed at which it will move over us. Tomorrow is supposed to be 40 degrees. Yes, it will dump snow on us, then leave for a couple of days, but another storm is on its way to us on Saturday evening to dump more snow.

Lucky George left this morning for West Palm Beach on a business trip. Sounds like a good thing to do on the afternoon when six inches of snow is predicted. I hope he has fun. I hope the beaches are warm and beautiful and that the stone crab soup is delicious and that the sun is bright and shiny.

Forecast for Miami? Rain and thunderstorms.

Have a great day.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Calamity Jane in Deadwood

Robin Weigert, the actress


George and I have been renting Deadwood from Netflix. We have seen seven episodes in a row, and are waiting for the next CD to appear in the mail on Monday. We watch two or three episodes every week, and look forward to the next. Sometimes we think that we should order a movie to break the routine...but Deadwood has us by the throat.

Deadwood is wonderful. It is full of some really harsh language, and a lot of really harsh characters. The Director says that he suspects in a town where there was no law, people would talk like this. Maybe so. All I know is that my mother wouldn't let me watch Archie Bunker and All In The Family because she didn't like the way he talked to his family. My gosh, what would she doe if she knew about Deadwood? I am afraid to even tell people I love it, because a lot of people have children in the household, and it is definitely NOT a show for children. Oh, the blood, mud and gore. Oh the whores and the thieves and the violence. If I had a kid, I'd much rather they watch Girls Next Door with me than watch Deadwood. But, I don't have a kid at home, so let 'er rip.

Calamity Jane is my favorite character. The director says that historically Calamity Jane was so nasty and drunk and harsh, that true alcoholics would leave the bar when she walked in. There isn't anything pretty about Calamity Jane, but I love her all the same. It is a wonderful character. Then I looked at the HBO site, and saw these pictures of the actress who plays her. Incredible. Calamity Jane is such a calamity!

So, as George watches the beloved Patriots play football this Sunday evening, I look forward to Monday night, and another great episode of Deadwood. Bring it on!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Come back any time, Lucy!

An evening with Lucy

George and I got to babysit for his granddaughter Lucy, while her parents went out to dinner. It was a great way to spend a Saturday evening. Lucy wasn't all that happy when she arrived. She had been sleeping happily in the car, and then had the rude awakening of a cold night, a strange house, and the fact that her parent's were leaving. Triple threat!

She didn't cry exactly, but she wasn't that thrilled to be here either. George took her and walked her all around the house. He said he wanted to show her all the rooms so she would know where she was. I went into the kitchen to finish our dinner, and the house became silent. I came into the den, and George was watching TV, a children's cartoon program (which he hated), and Lucy was laying back on his lap. She was still as a mouse, and never moved. She looked all around, but she was quiet and resting.

They both stayed that way for a long time, and then Lucy saw the cat! That was the end of laying back. She sat up as if a mountain lion had come into the room. Thunder wasn't that curious about her (she had been here before), but Lucy's eyes because wide as saucers. She loved it and started to gurgle little sounds. "Kitty, Kitty", we said over and over.

Then we had our bottle, and our squash, and a few peas off my plate. She ate and gurgled and talked her own sweet language, and stayed right there on the couch nestled in with George. I brought her toys and she stayed right there and played. It was a sweet evening.

No roaming around. No fussing. She was a perfect little lady, and George was the perfect grampa.

Here's a few imperfect pictures.

Have a great day.

Thanksgiving leaf raking

Mike, Michelle and George....hard at work.