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.

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Children grow up and become instant presto friends. There’s nothing like it!


Baloon Fun Time

Baloon Fun Time (Photo credit: andreasandrews)

 

Speaking from experience, once you have a child, they make it into you heart forever. There is no getting around it.  Maybe some people can forget about their kids once they reach 18, but that would be a person who doesn’t have a soul.

 

What’s great about adult children is that you can enjoy them on an adult level. Presto, you have instant friends. You will find that they might share your taste in clothes, food, and recreational activities.

 

My daughter keeps asking me if it’s weird having a grown-up daughter. The answer is no. It’s delightful.

 

The children they were stay in your memory and are in pictures, but  you readily accept them as adults.

 

It’s a plus.

 

Having children has been a fun experience for me, and an additional joy. I never expected to get all the benefits from it.

 

When they’re little, you get to experience life from their perspective. Who doesn’t enjoy watching your child ride the merry-go round for the first time? How about going to the zoo with them? There’s nothing like that first smile. Then there’s the first step. The first step away from you. But that’s your job. To help them grow up.

 

When they grow up, you can feel proud of them and share in their accomplishments and joys. That’s just as satisfying, of course, you do share in the disappointments too. That means like everything else in life, you” take the bitter with the sweet. ”

 

All in all, I think parenthood is a rewarding experience and well-worth the hard work.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

Dental work bites your pocketbook: Why is it so expensive?


Cover of "My Dentist"

Cover of My Dentist

I have always had good health, and I am really grateful for that. But, one part of my body seems to be falling apart, my teeth. Maybe human’s weren’t meant to live as long as they do now-a-days. It seems like teeth go before the rest of our bodies.

My teeth have never been wonderful. When the tooth fairy was giving out teeth,  she must have given me the second-rate ones. Maybe she knew I wasn’t ever going to be rich and famous and didn’t need to be photographed. It might also have something to do with the inheritance I got from both my mother and grandmother. They both owned dentures which they faithfully soaked in Polident every night. Dental Implants, which stay in your mouth permanently, are an improvement.

To clarify, I am constantly brushing and flossing my teeth. I have said aloud to anyone who was listening, “I no longer have to take care of children, but I always have my teeth to keep me busy.”  I guess I’d be completely toothless now, if I didn’t do that. I know people without teeth, and it’s not a pretty picture. People shouldn’t have to go around looking like that because they’re financially strapped.

In my sixties my teeth have become very high maintenance.

When I was a kid, I went to a dentist who was continually putting silver cavities in my mouth. One time when a new dentist drilled my tooth I complained about the way the Novocaine felt. So, he let me go without it. I would  not recommend this. I will never complain about Novocaine again.

The silver cavities have been replaced with beautiful white ones because the original ones only last so long .Now, I need crowns on my teeth.  A crown protects your nub of a tooth. ( The dentist files down your tooth to fit the crown.) A guess they call them crowns because they’re about as expensive as the one of the  English  crown jewels. (Okay, I’m exaggerating.)

Unfortunately, I lost 2 teeth in the past couple of  years.  I was going to a dentist who was having some  emotional problems,  and he told me not to worry about my teeth that were  slightly wiggling and a little mushy.  I should’ve known better, but I listened to him.

By the time I got to a good dentist, it was too late.  I had to get them pulled by a fancy periodontist in a fancy office.  It was a surreal experience.

Cover of "Cast Away (Widescreen Edition)&...

Cover of Cast Away (Widescreen Edition)

mainly, because I used to have dreams that my teeth were falling out. When the periodontist was pulling out my tooth I must have  had the look of  panic on my face. He said, “at least I’m not taking off your arm.” This put it in the proper perspective.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he later did surgery on 3/4 of my mouth. He opened up my gums and got all the gunk out, then he sewed them back up.   It only hurt when he put those 3 fancy shots of Novocaine in my gums.  He did this surgery that was supposed to “save my teeth.” He even called to see how I was doing the next day. I found that amazing. How many doctor’s call you to see if you’re still alive?  I finally understand what being long-in-the-tooth means. More gum then tooth, and you’re getting up there in years.

It worked for a while, but  time is marching on. Not only am I now “long in the tooth”  but some of my teeth are just not going to last. I have a feeling there are more crowns in my future.

I visit the dentist every 3 months, and the periodontist on the alternate 3 months. These are like my closest friends now. No offense to them, but I’d rather be socializing with other people.

The crowns are so fancy that each of these majestic coverings is going to cost me over $1.000.00.a piece. Yes, I do have Dental insurance, but it doesn’t pay for the whole crown. Only 25%. Does that mean they only care about  1/4 of my tooth.

I think the dental profession is getting away with overcharging all of us.

 I personally know elderly people who will not get the replacement teeth because it’s just too expensive. This doesn’t seem right to me. Isn’t there something undignified about going around with your teeth missing? Besides, you can’t do much else when your past 90, but eat.

To be fair I’m glad we have dentists, periodontists, and dental hygienists
My dentist is so good that my kids still use him when they come to visit. He’s a very nice guy, and I don’t think he would be overcharging if he didn’t have to. I’m wondering if it’s the dental labs.

There’s nothing worse than a bad toothache. Remember Tom Hanks in that movie, Cast Away; he was deserted on an island and had to pull his own tooth out. I could feel his pain.

Why is it so expensive?

Don’t they know that times are tough? Does it really cost thousands of dollars to make those fancy crowns and implants? How much do they make on each sale?

Am I just a whiner? Is the cost justified? Tell me about your experiences.

Should people ever hold grudges? Is there a time when a grudge supersedes resolving issues?


Resentment

You can’t expect to live life without running into problems. Sometimes people get so frustrated, that they decide to hold a grudge.  What’s so unsettling about a grudge is that it keeps the bitter feelings alive. It hurts all parties involved every time they think about it.

According to my New Oxford  Online Dictionary a grudge is: resentment, bitterness, rancor, pique, umbrage, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, bad feelings, hard feelings, ill feelings, ill will, animosity, antipathy, antagonism, enmity, animus; informal a chip on one’s shoulder.

We all know about grudges. A lot of times they occur between countries. Then, what we all end up is a war. It’s like we’re all little kids saying, “I’m right, and your wrong, na, na, na, na, etc! In the meantime, many innocent people are victimized. Look at all our brave soldiers that are killed fighting meaningless wars.

Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes the destructive force that grudges have. In one of the steps, people have to apologize and make amends to people they’ve hurt.

Family Grudges Occur Too Often

It’s amazing how many grudges occur within families. You often hear about brothers and sisters turning against each other. Sometimes, if happens after a parent dies and people have to decide what to do with remaining possessions or money. I’m convinced this all  emanates from childish feelings of jealousy.

I know someone who didn’t talk to his brother for 40 years because they got into a disagreement over a bottle of wine after their father’s funeral. One brother called the other cheap and poured his inexpensive bottle down the drain Unfortunately, by the time they talked one of them had Alzheimer’s Disease and didn’t even recognize his apologetic brother.  So, it never really got settled.

If a child acted like this, we’d put them both in time-out chairs.  After the time-out was over we’d have a little talk.  We would say, “Don’t call your brother cheap, and you apologize right now.”

It takes an effort

I guess if people don’t work to resolve issues, maybe their relationship was superficial in the first place. If you sincerely cared at all about the other person, you wouldn’t let your pride get in the way.

It’s true there are some relationships not worth salvaging; for example,  people who inflict serious physical and emotional damage are not worth talking to again.

Decide if it’s worth working out

If you are feuding with someone, and care about them, this is my advice: act like a grownup and resolve the issue.

You won’t be sorry. Someday, you might even forget what the fight was about, and that it ever happened.

You’re going to gain so much more than you’ll lose

What’s the silliest grudge you ever heard of? Do you ever think it’s a good idea to hold a grudge?

Remembering my first hair stylist: My mother


My hair in braids

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacape...

English: blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacapelli a casco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I went to the beauty salon the hair stylist put me under the hair dryer, and it reminded me of my mother.  I was a little girl during the 1950’s.

My mother was a determined hair washer. She didn’t finish the procedure until my hair squeaked.  She used some type of white shampoo that came in a round container.  It had a distinctive odor because I can almost remember the smell.

I liked it when my mom gently brushed out my wet hair, and used the old silver hand- held dryer to dry it. I liked the soft hum of the dryer, and the feeling of the warm comforting air. I remember that the coils inside the hair dryer gradually lit up when you turned it on.

I don’t think she was terrific at cutting my bangs. In all my old pictures, they are pretty short and a little uneven. I remember sitting in a chair while she attempted this tricky procedure.

Every day, when I was little, we’d go into the bathroom, and she would style my hair. We’d both look into the mirror. I vaguely remember our reflections. She always wore a “house dress”—an easy slip-on dress. If I was going to school, I had on a dress, or a skirt and blouse.  I remember her being so much taller than me. (When I grew up, I towered over her.)

We both must have enjoyed this, or why would I remember it?  She was gentle, but firm. My mother was like that in everything she did. She was a born leader, but didn’t garner our respect by being harsh. To this day, I’m not sure how she did it.

The hairstyles varied between a pony tail, two pigtails and sometimes two braids. My mother worked carefully to get my thick wavy hair into those rubber bands. She didn’t pull and tug. My thick hair didn’t fit into braids too easily. No matter how hard she tried, a stray piece of hair would escape. By the end of the day, it was a disaster. ( She only did this particular style when I begged.)

When she was done with styling my hair, we’d go onto the kitchen. She would take a ribbon, sometimes two, and smooth it with steam from the tea kettle. She’d carefully put it in my hair, and firmly tie it around my hair style for the day. Then, off I’d go to school,

It’s funny what we remember about our childhoods. I guess it’s good to know those people, so important to us, can be conjured up by the sound of a hair dryer in a beauty salon.

What are your memories of your childhood that you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be about hair!

I was caught looking my age: A humorous look (I might as well find the humor in it)


Time sure have changed since the year I was 20 3/4 and tried to get into a nightclub in Florida.  The guy letting people in the club, challenged my age. He thought I was way under 21. He might have been referring to my lack of cleavage. I was wearing what I thought was a sexy dress.

Not to mention the time, I got in at a ski slope place in Canada for under age 16. (I was 25). By that time, I was happy to be mistaken for a kid.

Now I am in my 60‘s. I remember thinking how ancient I thought my mother was at that age. Truth be told, she looked a lot better than I do now. (I have the photos to prove it.)  She was always a consistent size 12. And she smiled a lot. At least in her photos.

Okay, I don’t bother wearing makeup on my daily outings. I figure if my husband doesn’t wear makeup, why should I?  And I’m thinking, why hide underneath it? I did go out of the house today in a hurry. So, maybe my hair wasn’t at its best.  I didn’t even bother with a little lipstick.

I went to McDonald’s, and the lady behind the counter said, “How about a senior drink?”  I didn’t even ask. I didn’t even know they offered such things. (At McDonald’s).

After feeling like crap after eating junk food, I decided to go to a movie. I love to sit in dark movie theaters where (hopefully)  nobody knows me.  To me, this is the ultimate escape. It always helps if the movie is entertaining.

So, what do you think the guy behind the counter asked me before I paid for my movie ticket?  That’s right. He asked,  “Ma’am do you want a senior ticket?”

Two offers of a discount because of my true appearance within two hours.

By the way, the movie I saw was one of those modern movies that has an ambiguous ending. Maybe I’m too old to get it. I did still realize the star of the movie had amazing beautiful blue eyes.  I saw him in another movie. I’m sorry to say, I don’t know his name. (Signs of age)

So it was a completely frustrating day, and did not fulfill my need to briefly escape. I guess there’s no getting away from your authentic self. I do think that’s what the movie was about. But, I’m not sure.

A word to the wise: If you’re in a position of offering a senior a discount, wait until they ask for it. 

They might not save any money, but at least they’ll think they still look under 55. A good ego booster.

 In this society, even the older people, don’t like old age. I figured by this time, we’d have figured out a way to make it desirable. After all, there are a lot of us. Most of the time I don’t think about it. That is, until someone points it out to me.

Have you ever been insulted because of your age? Mistaken for too young or too old? Tell me about it.

A different kind of health group


There is one lone woman trying to inform people about natural health. She is Cheri Papier. She’s been holding a health group at her apartment for several years. She does have a degree from Harvard in public health. “I do this because I like to help people find out about ways to keep healthy,” says Cheri.

She does take the natural approach.  I’ve learned about homeopathic  and integrative medicine. She likes to talk about vitamins, the right food, and taking care of yourself. She is also a Reiki Master, and sometimes discussed mental health.

The women, and men who attend the group show up every week.  It’s more than a health group. It’s a social gathering. They ask each other how they are, and give each other emotional support.

I asked them what they got out of the group.

Here are some answers:

“It’s enlightening for a group with a common interest, eating properly and a healthy lifestyle, to get together to discuss it.”

“I’ve learned a lot, I pick and choose between what i want to learn. I come for the friendship

People meet weekly to talk about good health and share friendship too!

too.”

“Although I don’t always agree with everything Cheri says, I always pickup some good information. It’s always good to have an open mind.”

Cheri also brings in guest speakers who talk about their experiences with living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s very important to feel connected to other people.

It improves your health!