Weekend Warrior # 40

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

Wait, did I just write the number 40 up there in the title?  That is crazy! Have I written about my wacky little weekend adventures for 40 weekends in a row? Are you still reading? I will keep writing if you keep reading. OK? We have a deal!

Friday night…what a fun time I had. I left work and went SHOPPING with friends for a Girls Night Out! I had a few things that I needed to get, and I was going to combine the shopping with fun. I am so glad we did it, as everyone had some new things to bring home, and I found some great new pieces of clothing, bought the first Christmas gift of the year and scored some new makeup with more points!

We stopped for fast food before the shopping started. We parked where the shopping would end, and walked to the different stores instead of driving. They were all in the same strip mall, and the A&W was close too. I just got a small root beer and a Mozza Burger. It was not enough to hold me over, I ended up getting a treat later on. However, it did the trick to get me ready to go try on clothes.

I found two sweaters, a pair of jeans, and a pair of pants. These items were what I had hoped to find on sale. I could not pass up a purple polo shirt. But the surprise was a ribbed knit dress that is a sweater dress. The skirt flares and the dress is navy with a black trim. It is gorgeous! I have decided that it will be the dress I wear when I finally get my official Author Headshots done. I was thrilled to find it, and when I tried it on, it was one of those moments when you think, “This is going home with me, even though I wasn’t looking for a dress.” It is now waiting for me to check the washing instructions.

We finished shopping for clothes and took a break at Starbucks. We also took that time to show each other what we bought when we split up. While I was waiting for my drink to go with my reindeer cookie (I needed a little something to keep going) I looked at the decor. I saw that the artwork on the wall is balanced and even, not in odd numbers like they say groupings should be in to be more appealing to the eye. Then I looked up. I could not believe what I was reading on the wall.

“Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” Does that sound familiar to you at all? It really reminded me of the beginnings of my Branding journey.

It was a part of my Culture Credo that I made.
“Bling: one bead at a time
Blog: One word at a time
Books: One Chapter at a time”

If I hadn’t made plans to go out, I would still not have made that connection. I think it is kind of cool that I came up with this on my own, and that it has a lot of potential to help me to grow my brand. I just thought it was really neat.

We finished our night with makeup shopping. I bought 2 new lipsticks, a facial mask that I should use twice a week, a new moisturizing cream, and a new blush. As I used the optimum points, we were at the Shoppers we went to last time, I paid half price for everything when I cashed them in.  In December, I will write another makeup blog story. I have to get the most out of November while it is still November.

About my NaNoWriMo novel. I am working on it, and I am farther than I have ever been with it in the terms of writing a book. I have received fantastic feedback with the little pieces I have shared in a writing group, or talked about with friends. I may not get to the 50,000 words by November 30th, at midnight, but I will keep writing it, and I will publish the book when it is ready.

Saturday I had a rushed start to get my house presentable. I scrambled around and managed to do the best I could. Then I hosted a write-in for the local NaNoWriMo group. Two people made it. I have decided that it would be OK to host the Thank Goodness It’s Over (TIGO) party. We will be having snacks, and listen to some music. It is scheduled for a Friday in December, and I will write about it after it is over, in that weekend warrior. We had some writing sprints, and we all left with more words at the end of the afternoon, so it was productive. I had some things gathered as door prizes, so my guests left with smiles on their faces, too!

Today was spent catching up. I was catching up on social media. As an up and coming author, it is a part of my job. I helped my husband prepare a grocery list, and sent him off to get the groceries. I cooked a roast. We put away the groceries. I am washing my new clothes, which I am writing this blog. I participated in #Momentum18, a new challenge I found online that is going to help me with my entrepreneurial goals. It is a 4 week challenge, and I will share some of the things I am working on here each week.

What did you do this weekend?

 

 

 

Weekend Warrior #35

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

I spent a bit of time cat sitting this weekend.  That happens sometimes.  I like cats, and there may be a time when we need help from our friends, so I make sure I am available.
I watched some movies on Netflix with the cats.  Movies my husband has not expressed an interest to see.  I watched the Gaga movie Five Foot Two.  I enjoyed it.  It gave the fan a look from the outside into her creative process, showing her as a person that has issues like everyone else.  It also gave insight into the thought process behind her last album, Joanne.  Wow.  I didn’t know what that song was written about.  I had an idea, but the documentary really explained a lot about the title song.  There is so much more to her heart than I knew.
I also watched Hidden Figures.  That was a really good movie.  It made me mad sometimes, about the way things used to be.  I am glad that things are different, now, but I don’t think that they are better.  People are people, and we need to work on being nicer to each other.  Me too.

I watched the documentary Long Time Running too.  As a Tragically Hip fan, I was sad to hear the news last week that their frontman, Gord Downie, died after fighting his battle with cancer.  It followed the band and a bit of his solo project in the last year.  They had a concert that was aired commercial-free last year, and any show they were in since, whether it was on CBC or CTV has been aired the same way.  The last concert of their last tour was broadcast across the country in its entirety pretty much everywhere.  I watched it on a big screen with several hundred strangers and a few friends.  It didn’t matter, we all sang, watched and cried together.  I am glad I made a point of doing that, as I never got to see them play live.  This was as close as I was ever going to get, and it was such a memorable evening.

I have reflected about the musicians that have died in the last few years.  I don’t know of any that took a fatal illness and fought it head on to raise awareness for both the illness and a cause close to their heart.  Gord has made Canadians stop and think about many things this past year.  He had the support of his medical team, his band, his family, and his fans through it all.  What a legacy to leave behind.
Last night another Gord Downie hour took up my attention.  It was the concert of his mission, The Secret Path.  It is not my story to tell, but it made me sad to watch it last night.  It wasn’t that it was being aired after he passed away, but the raw artistry displayed in telling the story along with the animation and song moved me to tears.  It was not a story with a happy ending, and it has me wondering what I can do to make things better.  I cannot fix the past mistakes made in Canada, but I can try to help and heal.  Someone said to just reach out and be a friend.  I think it is an excellent place to start.

Around all of this, I had a really busy Saturday.  I had 2 separate events.The first one was the annual Boston Terrier Rescue Canada Recycling for Rescue Event.  I showed up and helped separate some cigarette packages for recycling.  I helped hang a poster and went on a coffee run.  I donated to get a BBQ lunch.  My husband also enjoyed lunch and had cashed in some bottles a neighbour donated for the rescue.  I got someone to tell him about a dog that needs a home through the rescue, but he said no.  We have to be in agreeance when we get a dog, it has to work for both of us, and for the dog.  So no dog for me yet.

I then jumped in my car after bringing him home and getting my laptop.  I went to the first NaNoWriMo Meet & Greet of the season.  I had a little too much caffeine in me, and I chatted everyone’s ears off.  I hope I didn’t scare anyone off.  😉 I was a little bubbly, and if I am saying I was talking a lot, I was.  I think it went well.  We all answered questions when asked, and I think it was a success.

I was so busy I am feeling like I am forgetting something.  I had to scrub my BTRC t-shirt in between events as it decided to be a magnet for coffee and mustard.  Then I found out there were puppy paw prints on it too.  LOL.  There were dogs a the event, and they were friendly.  I really don’t know how I got all that done in a weekend, but I fit it all in.  I am feeling rather tired still, so I am hoping to have a chance to rest up around the other project I am working on.

I KNEW I WAS FORGETTING SOMETHING!  I am hard at work on the website.  I want to launch it on November 1st.  The blog has moved, and I will be adding this to the other location and the other stories up until November 1st will be in both locations.  Then I will be working on the website for the blogging and other new adventures from then on.  Don’t worry, it won’t be hard to find, and I am going to share the links when it is ready for the launch.  I am finally pushing forward with this project, and I am getting excited about it.  It was a super busy weekend, with ups and downs, full of challenges and progress.  Next weekend is busy with Halloween parties, and if we are lucky I will have some pictures for the story next weekend.  Until then, sorry it was a little late, but I was definitely a winner this past weekend!  How was your weekend?

 

 

Weekend Warrior # 34

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

As another weekend comes to a close, I am going to spend a few moments with a quick summary for you.  I had the Lobster and Gouda Grilled Cheese with the crock of Lobster Poutine in good company at Claudine’s Eatery Friday evening.  We had family visiting this past weekend, and it was very nice to spend time together.

Saturday started slowly with a visit to Sweet Belgian Desire for a late brunch.  I had the Omelet Florentine with a side Greek salad and coffee.  It was delicious and on plan.  We then ran a few errands, and I bought a stability ball.  I will let you know how I make out with that purchase once it is assembled and I get a chance to try it out.

We then had a BBQ Saturday evening.  My guests were quite happily entertained with 2 back to back live stream concerts from home.  I also enjoyed watching them.  The Celtic Colours International Festival is well known for the music and concerts held yearly in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.  If you love traditional Cape Breton music and want to experience it firsthand, I highly recommend planning a trip to see some of the shows live.  If you can’t be there in person, like us, they pick one concert per night of the Festival and live stream it online.  They don’t reveal which one until the day of the broadcast.  It is available for 24 hours after the live stream is ended.  I started the Friday show and the Grand Finale was able to be watched also last night.  I am glad we found it, it was a pleasant way to spend time together.  I am able to use the tv and stereo for my computer, so it was a full-sized concert with surround sound that we watched from my living room.  It is nice to be able to watch events like that on my TV with excellent sound quality.

This morning started with coffee and tea at my kitchen table.  My family left for the next visit after that.  It wasn’t a rushed morning.  Roy and I watched a couple of TV shows together, and then we went to get a few groceries.  After this, I took a nap.  Sometimes, Sunday afternoon is meant for taking a nap.  Today was one of those days.  When I woke up, a friend had delivered some coffee K-cups for my Keurig.  I will gladly add them to my stash, and enjoy them.  We then went out to supper. I was craving Chinese food.  Since we were planning to go to Oromocto for Kingsman: The Golden Circle to see it in the early show, we chose to eat supper at Diamond House Chinese Restaurant, also in Oromocto.  We had combos and enjoyed the meal.  We had to hurry for the movie, it had just started when we got there.  We met up with our friends, chatted a bit in the parking lot after, and came home.

We ate out more than usual this weekend.  However, it was not an ordinary weekend.  I am going to be cooking tomorrow as I am not going to make it to Zumba, and I have things that need to be made.  I have leftover tossed salad saved in 2 mason jars to help start the week’s lunches off in the right direction.  I still have my picnic lunch ingredients too.  All was not lost in the planning this weekend.  I can also say that the cleaning is progressing nicely.  The dishes are being kept up and I still have a lot of organizing to do.  I made progress throughout the week like I needed to do.  The trick will be to start back at it right away this week.  Today, I needed to rest for the upcoming week.  And that is a wrap for this week.  I think I won again. 🙂

Her name was Susan. She was my friend. She won NaNoWriMo.

typewriter-801921_1920

My friend Susan died last week.  She was very brave and fought against cancer for as long as she could.  I decided to write out what I would like to say at her Celebration of Life Event today.  I am going to share that here, for those who could not attend to read about my friendship with Susan, and her husband, Andrew.  She was 47 years old. Here is what I had written to say, from several little pieces of notepaper, scribbled at 3 am one morning earlier in the week.

I remember feeling sad when Susan told me that she had cancer.  We weren’t the closest of friends at that time, but that changed.  I had met Susan’s husband before I met her.  I joined a gaming group as I was new to Fredericton, and needed to meet people and make friends.

 

Susan and I met later on, and we had a lot of things in common, including creativity and cats.  Oh, how Susan loved all of the kitties!  She would save as many as she could, and picked the ones that nobody else would choose.  She had a cat with one eye, and a cat that has medical issues that require frequent vet trips.  That didn’t matter because Susan loved her cats, and they loved her right back.

 

I attended a dance lesson in their backyard, once.  It was a gathering of friends, and we all participated in learning a medieval dance.  It was fun, although I would not be able to do it again without lessons.  I returned the favour by bringing Susan to a Zumba class with me.  It was after she had been diagnosed, and she did what she could.  There were chairs for her to rest in when she was tired.  I remember that she had fun, and wanted to go again.  That didn’t happen, but it was nice to share the love of dancing with Susan.

 

You might be wondering why I chose to wear this brightly coloured poncho today. ( I was wearing the same one that is in my profile pic here.) When I started to knit it, I was lost, and rather confused.  Knowing that Susan was an avid knitter, I approached her for help with it.  She took the time to go over the pattern, and we decided that I needed a chart.  She helped me to make the chart, and because she helped me, I have a completed poncho that she helped me to knit.  Simple, yet effective.  The perfect solution for me and that is why I am wearing it today.

 

She liked to knit socks for people.  I remember being out to buy sock yarn with her, and she was asking if the colours went together well or not.  She confided that other people didn’t always like the colour choices she made for knitting socks.  She wasn’t so fussy when it was for her own socks, they were just socks.  She had been getting feedback on other socks that she had knit for people that the yarn didn’t always match well, so she wanted to check on the colours before buying yarn if she was making socks for gifts.

 

When she found out I wanted to work on knitting, she lent me her Stitch and Bitch knitting book.  I think I kept it a little too long.  When she asked for it back, I actually went out and bought my own copy.  I never told her that.

 

I have attempted to join in on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) events.  For those that do not know what it is, it is a worldwide movement for authors to write a whole book in November, and it is an annual event.  I tried a few times, but have decided that it is not the format for me, and I am now a Nano Cheerleader.  Susan loved to host the events for Nano, and was very proud to show me her Nacho Hat platter that was used for the Nano events.  She was a great leader in the Nano world, and people looked forward to her launch and closing parties.  Unlike myself, she was a Nano winner.  She recently gave me a book she wrote, called “Freaks in Fredericton.”  I plan to read it when I feel ready, and I guess I will have to wait to discuss it with her in another place and time.

(I added a bit here about FredNoWriMo, the local branch, and that the theme is Superhero this year.)

When Susan was needing to be more cheerful, she would often turn to Youtube. Sometimes we would sit and watch cat videos.  Other times it would be music.  She introduced me to the guy that takes tweets from Twitter and turns them into songs.  Her favourite was the one with the ukulele and he is singing, “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows.”  That is the whole song.

She also introduced me to Post Modern Jukebox.  They take current songs and cover them in different styles from different eras.

 

(This was the end of page one, and the start of page two.  I had a harder time with page two.)

One thing I learned from both Susan and Andrew, her husband,  was that it was OK to talk to them about things that were happening in my life.  I didn’t want to bother them with my issues, they seemed to be insignificant when they were dealing with her diagnosis.  We came to an understanding that it was OK to talk about things and that we would all be real when we were visiting.  In a way, it might have helped them to have something less impactful to talk about, and as friends that talked about problems together, I think it helped them, just as much as it helped me to have a place that was safe to talk about anything.  It made me realize that because they realized that what mattered to me was important, that made me, their friend, important.  What a beautiful gift of friendship to share.

 

She often expressed a hate for cancer.  I agree with her on that.  One day, when she was having a particularly difficult time finding the right words to express her thought, she accurately said that she hated her brain.  I knew exactly what she meant, but I still don’t know how to correctly respond to that comment.

 

I wanted to be a good friend to Susan, even if I knew that it would tear me up inside after she was gone.  The last thing I said to her was, “See you later.”  I hate goodbyes.I hope to be a better friend because of my friendship with you.

It surprised me when people told me after that I did very well, and that I should be a public speaker, not a writer.  In the last few months, I have also been told I should be a comedian.  I try to be funny, but it doesn’t always work.  I blank out after speaking in public, so I don’t always know if it went well or not unless I ask someone after I am done.  I did read in Church when I was old enough, and they taught me the few basic skills I used today.  Pacing yourself, pausing to look at the people, and just making sure that you speak clearly into the microphone.  I did need a minute near the end, but I expected that.  I managed to do my best, and that is all I wanted to do.

It was not easy to do that today, even if it seemed like it may have been before page two.  I had to just focus on the task of reading what I had written.  Knowing another friend had given it a read before today helped, she said it was perfect.  What do you say when there are no words to express how you feel?  You think about the good times and write from the heart.  Sometimes there are no words.  I was blessed to have known her and to be able to tell her family just how important she was to me, as my friend.

Weekend Warrior #23

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

 

Oh my goodness!  I am busy, busy, busy this weekend!  It is great to have things to do, but again there are too many choices to do EVERYTHING I want to do.  As a result, I have been able to do some things, and I will write about that.

Friday night right after work I had to get groceries for the house and a party I was invited to on Saturday.  There was a potluck, and I like cooking.  My friend was having a party at her house, and so the first thing on my to do list Saturday morning was to get the chocolate macaroons aka frogs aka mud pies aka haystacks made and in the fridge to set.  I have finally mastered making them with cashew milk.  At least I hope it wasn’t a fluke. I also used butter, white and brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa, oats and unsweetened coconut.  Other times I have made double batches, and they never set properly.  They stayed gooey and had to be licked off the wax paper as they wouldn’t come off cleanly.  Still delicious, but messy.  Sometimes I goof up on the timing and end up making chocolate granola.  But the ones I made yesterday had that perfect consistency, they were slightly granular, just past the gooey stage, but not dry or crumbly.  I am quite proud that they turned out so well.

As soon as I had them in the fridge I took the chicken I was marinating in Kraft Greek Feta and Oregano dressing.  Yes, I was going to be at a BBQ, but I wanted MY prep work to be as close to finished as possible.  I then popped to the store for a last minute beverage run.  I had bought myself some rum and key limes but needed the mix.  I got some Zevia Cola to mix, and some Gatorade G2. (That is my anti-hangover trick these days, and it seems to work really well!) I needed more coffee, so I decided to grab two of my favourites, Folgers Black Silk and Kahlua flavoured coffee.  I tried the Folgers Intensely Dark, as it comes in the larger boxes, but it doesn’t compare to the Black Silk.  So I had to buy 2 smaller boxes, at least they were on sale.

Rushed home to keep cooking.  I made the biggest batch of Greek Pasta salad I have ever made, as the hubby was wanting some for home too.  That was to go with the chicken that was in the oven.  While I was boiling the pasta, I picked up small pasta shells on Friday night, I started cooking the ground beef to prep for the hot nacho sauce.  It is hot off the stove hot, not spicy hot, and goes so well with nacho chips.  This recipe can be made with soy ground meat replacement for vegetarians.  I packed the rest of the ingredients, and the pot to cook it in.  At this point, my host was starting to get ready to pick me and another friend up to go to the party.  That was AMAZING!  I had enough time to get everything done and packed before he was here.

We had a wonderful time.  We had food, snacks, drinks, music blasting,  we played Backyard Yahtzee and had a BBQ.  I am a little sore from the 2.5 games of Backyard Yahtzee.

 

 

We did have to call interference a few times.  My friends have dogs, and one of them would steal a wooden die every so often.  We’d get it back, and allow re-rolls if needed.

When it was time for cake, we surprised the birthday girl with a minions ice cream cake.  She didn’t even know we snuck it in earlier at the start of the party. She got some presents, and cards, and it was a nice time.  For those of us that stayed after dark, our host made a nice fire in the back yard fire pit.  We gathered around it and just enjoyed the quiet, watching the flames and the fireflies.

Today started off with a little slower pace.  I went to an afternoon matinee with a friend.  I am now finishing this story, in the company of another blogger, we are visiting and writing at the same time.  I am going to be visiting another friend after supper.  In the meantime, there are dishes and laundry to be caught up on.  This has been another busy weekend, and from where I sit now, I think I won this round!  What did you do this weekend?

Weekend Warrior #18

 

 

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

It’s here!  The first official weekend of the summer!  I am gearing up to run errands and host a BBQ today.  I have been working hard at my Spring Cleaning Challenge, and I am literally at the finish line!  I have made it to the Master Bedroom and Bathroom.

Last weekend, I worked really hard to have the floors done, the guest room ready, and the main bathroom was cleaned.  When I did this, I had to move things out of the way.  I moved them into the master bedroom.  A pile gathered on my bed.  When it was time to crawl into that bed, the only logical place to temporarily store these items was in the sunken bathtub in the master bathroom.

This means I made a lot of progress in most of the house, but not all.  Today I plan to work on that.  The word purge is now in my weekend plans again, and it does not refer to food in any way.

I have been working on this project since last fall.  I started with my clothing.  I then went through the kitchen and didn’t have a lot to purge there, but rather spent time cleaning and organizing.  I have purged my makeup to make room for new makeup.  I am still in the middle of writing about that experience.  Today I plan to purge and organize my craft supplies.

I have decided that I am not going to do this alone.  I have asked a friend to help me with this chore.  It is not going to be a hard thing to do, but it may prove to be difficult.  Remember when I wrote I had purged my makeup?  I gathered it all up and then was unable to throw it out until I bought the new makeup.  I wanted to start with a clean palette, but I was very worried that I would not be able to afford to replace everything, and I decided to not throw it out until I had done the shopping so I would not be left without a critical item for my new makeup collection.

As I wrote, I am working on that story, and I plan to have it published sometime this week.  If the zit I treated that promptly decided to cause a skin reaction to the treatment and blew up over my face would kindly heal and let me feel like I can safely try my new makeup on, that would be fantastic.

When I went through my clothing, I did it all on my own.  I reduced my wardrobe by 50%.  I donated it to a friend who upcycles fabric.  So far, the only items I have really missed were some of the more lightweight tank tops that I gave away.  One of my errands today is to replace those tank tops.  I have some, but I have not had a clothing shopping budget regularly for many years.  We have been working insanely hard on our household budget, and we are making some changes to that.  I am looking forward to the days when I don’t feel guilty about buying a new article of clothing to wear.  Or about buying a new book or magazine.  Things I like to buy from time to time.  Mostly beading magazines, and more recently, a writing magazine.  It will also be useful to know what I have on hand for craft supplies, so I don’t purchase items that I don’t need because I don’t know what I have in my stash.

The last area of my house that needs TLC is my office, a corner of my living room.  I have been building up to getting this area ready for spring cleaning.  It is where I plan to do my writing, and a fitting final task for all of the cleaning I am doing to prepare for writing.  I have organized the desk several times since I moved here, and it is long overdue.  Time to fire up the paper shredder when I am ready to tackle the last big area.  I am really proud of how much I have accomplished this year with my cleaning projects, and although I still have some smaller areas to work on after my deadline, the larger, more complicated projects will be done and over with, so I can feel confident about my home not falling apart when I start writing my book.  Maybe I will even be able to make time for more creative projects after it is all finished.

Phase 2 will be starting when I am settling into writing my book.  With the larger cleaning projects being finished, I will have to switch gears and get the maintenance cleaning done, to keep my home from ever becoming a disaster like it was when I decided to start the spring cleaning for real this year.

I also hope that this weekend is a start of more entertaining at my house.  I am feeling good about it, and not too embarrassed when I look around at the progress I have made here, the last 6 months.  Time to get going and finish this stage, so I can close the chapter of Spring Cleaning 2017, and open a new book to start writing it.

I hope my friend enjoys bouncing the house with me this afternoon, I need the extra push when it comes to purging craft supplies.  She is invited to stay for the BBQ as a thank you for her taking the time to help me out.  What are you working on this weekend?

 

 

Squeezing the Most out of Your Zumba Class

Accordion

The Zumba adventures continue even while there is no class for two weeks.  I have found another comparison between Zumba, my body, and a musical instrument.  First, though,  I want to take you back to my pre-Zumba university days.  Back to when I lived on campus and went out dancing quite often (who am I kidding, four nights a week) to party when I really should have been studying.  When I started university, moving away from home was a big deal, and I was in control of my life for the first time ever.  I made new friends and shared rooms with roommates.  One, in particular, comes to mind in relation to this story.  We were in different programs, and at times, there were personality conflicts.  It happens, and it is a part of growing up.

This roommate liked animals more than people and had a different taste in music than I did.  We would take turns playing our favourite music when we were in the room at the same time.  These days, that would not be a problem, because I am sure every Millenial out there has an MP3 Player of some sort with amazing headphones so the issue I ran into would not be a problem today like it was back then.  Yes, I am talking about playing music on a ghetto blaster, also known as a boom box.  Back then (yeah, I know this ages me some) we had cassette tapes, and CDs were still new.  It was a thing for us to play the music you liked for other people, and see if they liked it as much as you did.  Sometimes it was great.  Other times it was overplayed.  The worst was when you had to listen to someone else’s music that you hated because it was their turn to play their music.

Living with this roommate ALMOST ruined Bon Jovi for me.  She played it over and over and over.  My love for Bon Jovi returned after a few years, but it was iffy for quite some time.  When she decided to play a different band, I was open to hearing something new.  Oh boy, was that a short-lived bit of hope.  The other band she absolutely LOVED and wanted to play when she wasn’t playing Bon Jovi was a band called The Who.  I tolerated it the first time I listened to it, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea.

Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles still haunts me when I think of it. Twitch.  There was one song that I found amusing.  Squeeze Box.  It is a funny little song that has more than one meaning.  A Squeeze Box is another name for an accordion, but if you let your mind drift a little left of center, you know what the song could be referring to if you have any sort of a gutter based imagination.  Imagine my surprise when this song popped into my head in the middle of a Zumba class!

As of yet, we have not done Zumba to Weird Al Yankovic or any of his Polka Parties. (How much fun would THAT be)?  Weird Al is the accordion player that I listen to, and I really like his music.  I love the humour in his parodies, and the fun he inserts into my day if I am listening to his music.  I digress.  The Squeeze Box reference refers once again to my chest.

You see, I am rather curvy, and just as my hips sometimes get in the way of my bowling, my “girls” get in the way at Zumba.  I crack people up whenever I think this stuff up, because then I act on it, or tell someone the joke to see if it is funny.  A few weeks ago we were reaching in front with our arms.  Sometimes I feel like my arms are really too short, like T-Rex short.  So for the instructor to see, I pretended to extend my arms longer at my sides, and then cross them in front of my stomach like she was showing us to do, holding the upper parts of my arms straight down, and just bending them to reach to the front from my elbows.  I look really funny when I am flailing my arms like that.  She laughed.  She lost track of what she was doing for a minute.

Then, in another recent class, we were doing a move that involves crossing your arms in front of you while you make your legs wobbly and move your knees to touch each other, and back apart.  I know that might not be the best description, but if you think of the funny dance when you put your hands on your knees and move your legs like that and cross your hands back and forth, it is like that, except we are standing straight up, and you are crossing your arms in front of you.  So when we do this, I hold my arms straight out and cross them back and forth, but because I have short arms, the “girls” become my Squeeze Box, just like that song implies.  I shared my accordion thought and got the desired reaction from the Zumba Crew that heard me.  Another funny analogy brought to you by me, an old roommate, and Zumba.

As the summer time hits, and we are all working out in the heat, please remember to hydrate.  And when your Zumba instructor is encouraging you to show some fire in class, remember, it is about your dance moves, even if all you really feel like doing is putting out the fire with the Zumba move I am going to call the, “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”  If you decide that you NEED to try this out, and you want to deliver it with a bigger impact, throw in the T-Rex arms.  Hilarious, until you get the ambulance bill.

Oh, and by the way, my ghetto blaster is still working, as is my walkman.  Long live the mixed tapes and the local radio stations!  I am looking forward to my next trip to The Zumba Zone!

 

Weekend Warrior # 16

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

Here I am in the middle of another busy weekend!  I have been pushing hard at the Spring Cleaning project, as the deadline looms in the ever shrinking distance.  I am getting help around here this weekend, and it had been thoroughly appreciated.  Currently, it is too hot to do much puttering, so I am taking a few minutes to stop and write before I go back to work.

I have also been eating ribs all weekend long.  It is the annual Ribfest here this weekend, so I have sampled and eaten rib meals all weekend long.  I am ready for my last rib supper of the event tonight.  I have enjoyed the dinners, but it will be good to get back on plan tomorrow and start working on my healthy eating again.

I am planning to do some more work in the Master bedroom after I write this.  If I can cool down.  We are saving towards getting a heat pump installed here, and that will provide a more economical source for heating and air conditioning our home.  I look forward to that very much, especially on days like today.

I slowed down a little this past week, but this weekend has been the start of the crunch to get the Spring Cleaning done before crossing the finish line.  I am going to start in the bedroom while the sun is out.  It will be hard to not just flop on the bed and nap until it cools down.  I have a deadline, and I intend to keep it.

This means I will be working at this place constantly until I have finished.  I am going to have to putter all week long.  There is no Zumba for a few weeks, so my plan is to house clean instead, with music.  This will keep me moving, and get my project worked on at the same time.  It might not be the same intensity level, but moving any way at all has been my motto since I started Zumba.  I will continue.

It is a lot to accomplish in the time I have left, but if I keep at it, it will get better and over time become a list of completed tasks rather than an overwhelming list of things to do.

I am going to end here for this week.  It is so windy outside that I have experienced a couple of power brownouts while writing.  I hope the power stays on so I can continue bouncing the house.  It is much harder to stay motivated without music.

As the Spring Cleaning comes to an end, I am going to be changing the focus of these stories in July.  I will still be writing about my weekend activities, and maintenance cleaning routines as I develop them.  I am also going to start writing about the second half of this year’s project, writing my book.  The gears are going to shift here soon, and there will be lots to write about as I start a new adventure!

Relay for Life 2017

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Relay for Life 2017. Tish & Matty

I attended Relay for Life to participate in the Zumba at Relay.  My Zumba instructor does this every year, and when I am able to attend extra Zumba classes to support her and to get me moving more, I go.  I actually met her at Relay several years ago.  I have come a long way with my Zumba since then, and I will be continuing to go to Zumba as long as I am able to go. I do what I can, and I am feeling the rewards of stress relief,  getting stronger and healthier.

So many people are affected by the ugliness of cancer in their lives.  Relay is a fundraiser to help find a cure for cancer, but for many people, it is more than that.  It is a chance to reflect on loved ones who have lost the battle.  It is a chance to support people you know that are fighting cancer.  It is also a chance to celebrate with those who have looked cancer in the eye and beat it.  Sometimes more than once.

Members of my family have had cancer.  It is something I have learned to live with while trying not to live in fear of it.  I have been spending some time with a good friend who is not going to win her fight with cancer.  It is hard to face as a friend, but it must be even harder to face as a person with terminal cancer.  It makes me sad to know that her time is limited and that her family and friends will feel this too.  It is hard, sometimes, to know what to do or say.  We are becoming better friends because of this terrible thing that is happening to her.  We were friends before, but it is important for me to make sure that I am available to spend time with her now, while she is still here and able to enjoy the company of our friendship.

I went to Relay and did Zumba there.  I did not participate in anything else.  My focus this year was to go and have a good workout.  I promised another friend that passed away that I would take care of myself, and although it wasn’t cancer that he died from, in going I am keeping my promise to him.  The first few classes I went to after he died broke my heart.  I cried.  I fought to finish the classes, and I am still keeping my promise to him every time I go.

Relay 2017 1

They found a Rebel who was unable to convince them of the health benefits of Zumba at Relay.

I didn’t see the Storm Troopers in the crowd this year.  They were at Relay, but I am guessing Darth Vader ordered them to not participate in Zumba.  There were a lot of people there. I saw some angel wings, costumes, masks, and a little girl in a princess dress.  When Zumba was over, there was a song still playing on the speakers.  We all stopped, and the little princess walked over to me and wanted me to hold her hands and keep dancing.  So I did.  I don’t know her story, if she was sick, or if she was there because of someone else.  I knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  When a princess approaches you in a crowd full of people and wants to hold your hands and dance, well, you hold her hands and dance in a circle until she wants to stop.  I don’t know who she was, except that she was a princess for Relay.  I don’t know why she chose me in a crowd full of people, but she did, and I wasn’t prepared to walk away.  That is why I attend Zumba at Relay.  You never know what kind of memory you will take home with you, and it somehow makes you feel that even when it seems like the ugliness of cancer is at its scariest, if you are able to support a friend or hold the hands of a princess and share a dance, there is a glimmer of hope.  Be present in your life, and do good unto others while you are here.  Which left me with the message I am carrying in my heart.  Hope.

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Most of the pics are from my friend Matty.  There are two from Fredericton Relay For Life 2017 Facebook Page, all shared with permission.  Why do you Relay?

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Surprise at Zumba

A while back someone gave me a smart band to wear at Zumba Class.  I already had a pedometer, but this levels it up for me.  It also keeps track of my heart rate, which I also use now that I can.

It has been helpful to keep an eye on my heart rate.  I am able to work out a little harder because I know when I check it, the smart band will tell me if I am working my heart too hard, or not enough.

I report my steps on the Zumba page also.  When I started, I was told you can get up to 5,000 steps in a Zumba Class.  As there is a movement in the world to get a minimum of 10,000 steps every day and walk your way to a healthier lifestyle, getting 50% of those steps done in an hour is a HUGE ADVANTAGE.  So if you are thinking that it is just another dance aerobics class, you are setting your standards for Zumba too low.

I average around 4,000 steps in a class.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  My goal is to have it increase to the 5,000 steps (or more).  Since I got the smart band, another member of the Zumba crew is using my pedometer in class.  She is averaging 5,300 steps a class.  I have got to say, she is definitely in the Zumba Zone.  It is absolutely possible, and realistic to aim for 5,000 steps while in a Zumba class.

What else do I love about Zumba?  The Zumba Crew, the music, dancing, and having fun!  I don’t do all the moves, I’m not always confident that I can do them all.  I am changing how much I do all the time.  Some days I push myself.  Some days just being there and going through the motions is all I can do.  But I go, and I participate, however I can.

Sometimes I have to stop and check my blood sugars.  Most of the time, they are normal.  If they are low, it means I have to drink a juice box before continuing my workout.  If they are still low after that, it means I need candy and to lower my insulin dose before the next class.

I have missed a few classes this spring because I have been sick.  Nothing serious, but I was not able to go in the last few weeks.  I look forward to going back this week.  Monday is Victoria Day so the next class will be Wednesday.  If I am feeling better, I may just push myself to hit 5,000 steps.  It is something to work towards, and when I get there, I will aim higher.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?