A humorous look at finding the Fountain of Youth: at the health club


Two years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution  to exercise every day  and it’s stuck. Why? I like the high! It gets the blood to my head, releases endorphins. Half-way through I start feeling marvelous.

I look at exercise as an alternative to the FDA’s solution,  pills.

I had to find my own way until  I figured out a routine that suited me.

Seeking the Fountain of Youth at the high-priced Health Club

I’d been doing swimming aerobics at the health club pool for a while, but I thought, why not try for the heavy-duty exercise, the land exercise. Why not try a personal training group?

The first step was signing a contract, and handing over my credit card.

An extra $15o.00 plus monthly membership gave me entry into the newly formed group.

The second step was evaluating my fitness

The next day I headed up to the gym to get my fitness tested. I had to wear headgear that looked like a scuba mask to check my oxygen level on the treadmill. I carefully placed a little gizmo into my bra to record my heartbeat.

When I started by walking as fast as I could, the heart gizmo did not read my heartbeat. I went several times to a back room to put this heart monitor  closer to my heart and aging, sagging bosoms, but to no avail.

” I have another appointment coming, and you’ll just have to try tomorrow,” said the sheepish, red-faced  trainer who was about 19.

I  slowly limped out of the gym, thinking I was already a failure at land based exercise.

The next day, the gym manager, a shapely muscled 24-year old woman, figured out another way to detect my pulse. She read it off the machine somehow, or just made the whole thing up. I was glad to find out I wasn’t heartless or clinically dead.

Joining the personal training class

The next day I showed up bright and early to attend my first class. It was a variety of women of all persuasions. I was the oldest, but I wasn’t the heaviest! They all were running on the treadmills, so I joined them.

Then, the trainer rounded us all up to start our real exercise session.

The affable trainer, Greg, running the session was like a friendly drill sergeant. I furiously rowed on a rowing machine,  rapidly bounced a rubber ball off the wall,  held a plank position, and startled the entire gym when I awkwardly released the weights on a machine and sounded a loud clang.

The worst was the stair-stepper

I would only recommend the stair-stepper for people trying to get information out of a terrorist. They just have to make the thing automatically go really fast. I seriously feared for my life while on this contraption. As my heart began to jump out of my chest, I yelled,” How do I stop this damn thing.” After finding the emergency stop, I thankfully climbed off.

I did last about three months, and I did attempt things I thought I could never do again, like 100 sit ups, burpees, planks and push ups. My stomach was shrinking. I was proud of myself, but I wasn’t  looking forward to the personal training sessions. After a while,  I arrived later and later . Finally,  I didn’t come at all.

So after spending extra money, and torturing myself, I discontinued my contract.

What I needed to do was accept my age and have fun! 

I decided to try things like bike spinning, Zumba dancing, yoga,  running on the elliptical ( while I watch TV with my headphones), and lifting weights with Silver Sneaker (Medicare sponsored) exercise groups.

I also bike ride with my husband, take long walks in the woods, get down on the floor with my grandson and play like a two-year old.

To be truthful, I was never admired for my svelte figure. But I do believe the Fountain of Youth resides within yourself. The right exercise for you, and attitude are important parts of it.

I do have great blood pressure, and an athletic pulse. I have a lot of energy and feel great. Okay, I’m not at an ideal weight, but it’s been worse.

Taking those extra steps makes it possible not to keep 30 or 40 pills organized.

A lovely California wedding


 May 7 didn’t start out as a usual day. What was different? My husband and I were  going to spend the next few days celebrating our  son’s impending marriage.

When I got off the plane at The Bob Hope Airport in  Burbank, California, the weather wasn’t wedding friendly. It was a drab, cold day. Was this a joke? Isn’t it a rule that the sun is always supposed to shine in California?

So, after rolling our suitcases for at least a mile, (Okay a 1/8 of a mile that seemed like 5 miles), we  rented a car at the airport and headed to Hollywood. My son lives there, and booked us a room at a Best Western “Hollywood Hotel.”

Hundreds of movie stars were permanently residing at this hotel. Unfortunately, most  of them are no longer with us, but their likenesses and autographs were everywhere: the elevator, the bedroom, the hotel walls, and even the bathroom.  Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne are only a few of the featured principals. Millenials wouldn’t have a clue to some of their names. “Fame is fleeting.”

I encountered the other two wedding guests in the hotel lobby, my lovely daughters. ( My son-in-law and grandson could not attend). My mind’s eye flashed back to 1982. I saw myself and three little children going around the neighborhood block; my eldest daughter leading the way,  pedaling her shiny, blue, two-wheeler with training wheels, and her brother and sister in the double stroller. After a few seconds I catapulted back into the 21st century. In front of me I saw three responsible likeable adults.

The next day the family headed toward Santa Barbara, the wedding destination. I thought, how can this be bad when the place and I share the name, Barbara? The place is breathtaking. How can you go wrong with the Pacific Ocean, and mountains, and no honky-tonk; The shopping area is away from the beach and is very quaint.

My son’s  future wife is English and is a woman with good looks and spirit.  With her English accent, she sounds so “proper.”  Many things are “lovely.” During one of our conversations, we learned that people often wear hats to weddings in the UK.

The next day we got up, and went to the shopping district sans the bride and groom. One of my daughters saw a hat shop, and suggested we make it a “proper” English wedding. We happily tried on hats for an hour. I almost bought one of those english hats that they wore to Kate and Will’s wedding, but I figured the royals aren’t going to invite me, so  I settled on an American style  floppy white one.

Finally, the day of the wedding arrived. We arrived at the beach where the wedding was going to take place. It was an idyllic setting.The officiate, wearing an appropriate white blouse and black slacks arrived and told us where to stand.( Nobody minded the cute little dogs walking the beach with their owners.)

As if on cue, the sun decided to shine. It was like an old-fashioned film. (The era before they blew up buildings, people and chased each other in moving cars.)

The officiate earnestly performed the ceremony she’d written, based on the information the bride and groom gave her. She brought up William Shakespeare and his views on marriage. She also acknowledged our long 42-year old marriage. My daughter-in-law picked her parent’s wedding anniversary to marry. What a tribute!

Finally, they exchanged unique rings flown in from Hawaii. They were finally man and wife. The passionate kiss after the pronouncement made it official.

The small intimate wedding they planned together was lovely.

10 things volunteering can do for others and you!


1. There’s nothing like giving to others. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
2. People do need people. Although some animals need help too.
3. Meet other people you wouldn’t ordinarily ever come in contact with.
4. Share your knowledge about something: for example, art, writing, music…
5. Helping older people is a good thing. Some of them are very isolated, and this is not a good way to live. There are many children who need someone too!
6. Put good karma in the universe. ( I’m not sure there is such a thing, but
who knows?)
7. You would be surprised how many people you help will want to pay it forward and help someone else.
8. Maybe learn a new skill while you’re volunteering.
9. Stretch yourself further than you thought was possible.
10. In the process, you will make some good friends.

What have you gotten out of volunteering? Share your experiences and thoughts.

Why I Like the TV Show, “The Little Couple.”


imageThere aren’t many reality TV shows that hook me in, but I do like “The Little Couple.”

These are people who suffer from a genetic disorder that makes them shorter than the rest of us. When watching the show, it’s quite easy to forget about their disabilities in the first few minutes. I guess you could argue that it’s like a freak show, but I don’t agree. I think it is allowing people to see that little people are just like the rest of us. They have personality flaws, and good points too. This particular couple are very appealing because of their positive attitudes and love for each other.

I went to graduate school with a little person, and I did forget about her disability in no time at all. I must admit that I wasn’t sure how I should interact with her at first. I quickly figured out the only real difference between us was height.

Naturally, being that small presents enormous problems with every day getting around. Reaching things like car doors, cooking in the kitchen, etc. The show, “The Little Couple” addresses these problems. It shows ways to cope with them.

This little couple is very accomplished , judging from the house they live in and the jobs they hold. Bill is a business owner, and Jen is a doctor. They both have engaging personalities and are truly in love. The show is all about their marriage. Recently it’s been about them adopting two children ( also little people) from different countries.

Three year old Will seems to be a very insightful, compassionate and a smart child. He comes from China and calls Bill Baba (Chinese word for dad). When the couple adopted Zooey (from India) she was quite upset, but in recent episodes she appears happy and well-adjusted. The little couple are good parents and seem thrilled about parenthood.

You can’t help but like Bill because he is so easygoing and interacts with the children in such a sweet, caring manner.

Jen is little, but she has a big presence. Watching her go through chemotherapy for a rare cancer, and putting her newly adopted children above herself is truly inspiring.

I’m not alone in liking this show. It has a huge following on Facebook and on TV. Everyone needs inspiration, and they get it from this show.

Are you a fan of this show? Why?

Leaving the grandchild


I’ve been gone from my grandchild for a week. I do miss him terribly.

It reminds me of the first time I left my three children when they were small.
I convinced my husband that we deserved a trip without the children. I had a babysitter I could trust, so I didn’t feel the least bit guilty. Not at first. But, as the week went on, I realized I had a big empty hole in my heart that the children filled.

Later, when they went to camp it was hard too. It did prepare me for the time they would grow up and leave.

Now, it’s been a long time since I had children. Like my mother always told me, “it’s like a dream.”

The Grandchild Brought It All Back
I feel fortunate to experience those feelings again. Naturally, I come in a very far second or third. But, his little smile of appreciation when he sees me brings those memories back. It’s nice to get a little piece of heaven again.

Harmony Project gets loads of bikes to give to kids for Christmas


305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_n305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_nHere’s what can happen if people work together, and do something positive. The Harmony Project, a philanthropic group that sings and shares had a one day drive in Columbus, Ohio, to buy bikes for foster kids.  It worked!  In one day, enough money was raised to buy 155 bikes!

In light of what has happened recently, this is encouraging news. If we put our minds to it, we can do anything.

We just need to believe in ourselves, and what we can accomplish! Picture by David Brown, director of The Harmony Project!

Help buy a bike for a foster kid in Columbus Ohio: read about it here! : Another Harmony Project post


Teenagers sharing with People from the Unison Project and Harmony Project

Teenagers sharing with People from the Unison Project and Harmony Project

IF you are one of my followers, you already know about The Harmony Project. It’s a wonderful group that came into my life. It’s a combination of singing (a 200 member choir that performs) and sharing.

Today, we’re buying bikes for foster kids in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a social media event. You can give as little as a dollar, or as much as you want. A woman called the “Bike Lady” purchases bikes for us.  We’re putting resources together to give as many bikes as we can in one day. Join our effort. We know it’s a hard times and the holiday season. But, you can be a part of this. How about feeling terrific for a dollar or two? There’s nothing like it!

Here’s a letter from a foster grandparent

A letter from a foster grandparent…yes, even the smallest contribution can yield a significant return:
“I am writing this letter to encourage you to continue giving our young men the mental, spiritual and material tools they need to prepare them for a better future. The bike is a material thing, but it taught my grandson so much. He learned about sharing and taking care of something he cares about. Most importantly, he learned that people who don’t even know him care about him and other children. I remind him often to pass it forward when he is able. Thank you for your support.
Sincerely, A grateful grandmother”

I get absolutely nothing out of this. But, I’ve gotten so much out of sharing my time and helping. You can too!  Please donate, and if you really want to do a good thing share this over the web today. It’s just plain exciting and fun!

By the way, I intensely dislike  selling stuff or asking for money. I really do. But, this project has given me so much! It’s really a blessing. Now it’s your chance to “pay it forward.”

Trust me, you’ll feel good all day!

On 12/12/12, click http://www.harmonyproject.com/bikes    Here’s the link!