Friday, January 25, 2008

The Muffin Man

I just got home from my seventh session with the trainer at the health club. It is Friday night, and I didn't start until 6:30. I came home from work tired, but bucked up, changed into my exercise duds, laced up my shoes, and went to my workout. The difference in how I feel afterwards is just amazing. It really is true that exercise gives you energy. Rather than tiring me out, it makes me feel LESS tired! Who knew?

I have a lot to learn. I need to not give up on those heavy weights and enjoy the burn a little more. I need to try just a little harder. But I am doing well, and going almost every day is a goal in itself. I feel good when I sweat, and I feel good when I set the bar a little heavier, and the revs a little faster and the push a little harder. I go six days a week. I love it. It is all good.

Who knew that I would begin to listen. So, here's to my friend The Muffin Man!

The famous Oat Bran Muffin Recipe:

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. oat bran cereal
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/3 c. (1 whole) banana, mashed
1/2 c. yogurt, plain
1 egg
2 T. oil
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. grated carrots
1/2 c. chopped dates or raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

Mix the dry ingredients. Mix liquid ingredients in separate bowl. Combine the two mixtures until moistened. Fold in the carrots, dates and walnuts. Lightly grease muffin pan or line with paper cups. Fill 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Share with your friends. These are yummy and chewy and good for you too!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bloom Where You Are Planted

A new day

I have found that every once in a while, you have to make a big change in your life. In my life, several times, I have found the truth and been able to make big changes. The truth comes to me in funny ways. This year, the truth came to me that I needed to add exercise into my life. It came to me when someone at my workplace urged me to get as excited as she was about the opening of the new health club next door. We would walk to lunch and she would talk to the construction workers of the sports club. She wanted it to open. She was excited. It didn't seem like such a big deal to me, but I was willing to hear the excitement that she brought to the conversation. She wanted me to join too, so I could exercise with her. I wasn't too sure about that idea, but I did hear the truth...that I needed to do this too.

Thank goodness I heard the truth. I joined the Boston Sports Club, knowing that if I was spending $40 a month and did not go, I would feel awful. I made a commitment, that no matter what, I would go. If I felt out of place, or old, or heavy, or anything less than young, fit and beautiful, I would get over it and go anyway. I would make the best of it. I knew that exercise was something I really needed. There isn't too much aerobic about knitting and making jewelry. Walking around the neighborhood would have been good, but I never seemed to find the time, or the weather wasn't right, and the sidewalks are bumpy. I have been suffering from the lack of exercise. It was getting hard for me to walk up and down stairs, and to do the mundane. I wanted to feel better. I wanted my knees to stop hurting every time I took a step. I didn't want to get out of breath walking two blocks to the lunch place.

The health club opened on December 29th, and I was there the next day. So far, I have been every day since then, except four days. I put little stars on my calendar every day that I go. I look forward to getting there. I like it, and I don't feel out of place.

I was lucky to meet a great guy who is a trainer. He did my free orientation, and we clicked. It is a new day. He helped me figure out what I should be doing, and he got me through the anxiety attack I had when I first got on the cardio machine. He has since become my trainer, and has pushed and prodded me through lots of reps on the strength machine. He asks me to do what I think I cannot do. He works on my weak knees and bad balance and helps me when I need it and pushes me further than I think I can go. He helps me work out the right way, and encourages me to go for a little bit more each day. He shows me that I can do what I think I cannot do. We have a sense of humor. We laugh through the burn. He has made exercise FUN for me.

I have kept my goals simple. I just want to feel better. I just want to get to the health club every day and work out on the cardio and feel the stretch on the weight machines, and get my body to work for me without pain. What I have found out is that the pain of stretched muscles is no where near the pain of unused knees and joints. I used to blame my pain on arthritis, but the doctor usually only talked about extra weight and the burden I was asking my knees to carry. I finally heard the truth.

I will lose weight and I will get stronger. When I wake up, I feel my body recovering from the exercise of the day before, but it feels good. Now when I hurt, I know it is because I'm getting better.

It is a big deal. It is a new day. It is listening to truth, whenever it comes your way.

Have a great day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who doesn't love Tom Brady!


You don't have to be a football fan to get excited about the Patriots game today. What a team. Perfect season, and now we go to the Superbowl! What a great afternoon of family and football we had at our house today. It was fun eat chips and dip and popcorn and chili and apple pie and play with Lucy and, we won! Amazing and wonderful and fun. What a great sports town Boston has turned out to be. First the Red Sox, then the Celtics making a wonderful comeback, and now the Patriots go to the Super Bowl...again.

Time to get a Patriot's sweatshirt!

Have a great day.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Always new ideas at the bead show


Kumihimo braiding

January Beads

I took a day off yesterday to go to the Bead Expo show in Marlborough. I picked up Connie at 11:00 and had a nice time at Starbucks before we left. Connie likes the Starbucks cups, and she bought me a beautiful white one with a valentine on it. Ah! Connie is a sweet friend.

We moseyed onto the bead show in Marlborough, taking our wholesaler license and xeroxed copies to leave with the vendors so we don't have to fill out the sheet each time. It is a trick of the trade that I learned at Bead and Button in Milwaukee. I needed some sterling silver, to replenish the supply that I used at Christmastime. I found some beautiful silver rings, earring findings, and bead caps. The price of silver has gone up again from $.79 a gram to $1.25 a gram, so I spent almost $200 in silver alone. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Or, to put it another way, it is just the price of doing business.

We went through many of the bead shops and I found some beautiful copper filagree to put on turquoise pendants. I bought several colors of silk cord. I found beautiful silk to use for Kumihimo weaving and more silk for knotting pearls. I found square freshwater pearls, which have been hard to find, and paid a nice price of $20 per strand.

I bought some beautiful colors of Czech glass to make memory wire banded bracelets, and some lovely black Onyx. I happen to have a real fondness for black and beige and silver jewelry, and I also found some gorgeous bone beads to make several "tribal" necklaces.

All in all, going to a bead show is a lot about gathering inspiration. I learn by seeing what people are selling, and by talking to the people who are buying. We are a nice group, us jewelry people. The sales people are low key and helpful. They make friends with their customers, and are willing to answer questions. They give us the best prices they can, and let us know of the "specials". I bought some beautiful vintage black jet beads because a vendor pointed them out to me. Three strands of varied shapes and sizes, $3.00 each. Nice.

Connie and I had a great time, and we were happy!

Not bad, for a day off.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tendonitis and Doggie Graduation

I went to the doctor to find out what the prognosis is for someone who's ring finger gets stuck in the downturned position. This just started happening about three weeks ago, and I must admit, the first time my finger "stuck" I was terrified! I called the doctor and went in to see the hand surgeon. I was so afraid that he was going to stay, "Stop typing, stop making jewelry, stop knitting,": my life would be OVER!

He was very kind and said nothing of the sort. It is a common ailment for football players. He gave me a splint to wear for eight days, and said to ice the hand three times a day for 30 minutes, no less. He said anything less than 20 minutes and it will do no good at all and only serve to make my hand cold.

There were other things said about shots and surgery, but he doesn't think it will come to that. I wear the splint all the time and manage to type fast with it on, and I am icing on my way to work, and every evening and night. I have my ice bag at work but have not managed to get enough time together to make that happen.

He said that although I have signs of arthritis, there is NO NEED to curtail anything that I do that uses my hands. And boy, do I use my hands! Come on, let's go knit something!

Oh...doggie graduation was Sunday! Is this the cutest picture of Jebu ever? He looks so handsome in his graduation cap from obedience school. Who knew?

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Marilyn Monroe working out.

Working Out

I went for my fifth visit to the health club last night and met with my trainer. He is very nice and we had a lot of fun. It is hard to lift 70 pounds when you are in a giggle, but that is what was happening. The amazing thing is that I am finding it really liberating to sweat. My makeup goes on the towel, and the sweat drips, and I just keep on going. He ratcheted up my reps on the weight machines, and some of them were really hard. I don't hurt today, which is what I worried about. I guess when you do it right, and with the right people helping you, it doesn't hurt. I felt elated when I left. It is so great to do the right thing. I'm going to do this 6 times a week for a year, and then we will see what kind of difference exercise makes in a sedentary life! Let's face it, making jewelry and knitting isn't aerobic.

Last night I did my 30 minutes on the cardio-monitored bike and loved every minute of it. There is a TV and a built in fan, and it really isn't that hard. After 15 minutes I really know I'm working my body. The trainer had me balance on a semi circle cushion and try to stand upright. At first it was really hard, but I found out that concentration helped, and in the end, I wasn't so clumsy. Without exercise, my balance has suffered, and it is a good thing to try to work to get it back. He also had me use a big ball against the wall and do squats. Not my favorite thing, but I got it, and then he added 10 pound handbells to the process. It really was fun to work with him for the 45 minutes and I have another session on Sunday.

My body is asking "whatzup?"

Have a great day!