Tag Archives: humour

It’s Good For You

Some people thrive on exercise. You know, the hard physical sweat of toting those bales and lifting those sacks. Being the 21st century, this is equivalent to the various metal monster gym machines that tests your physical abilities to the max.  Me? I’m the gal that loves anything stimulating the mind. If I can find an exercise that’s fun, stimulates the mind and gives a good work-out, you’ll find me there.

I’ve signed up for Jazzercise, Line-dancing, Golden Zumba, Burlesque-fit, Hawaiian dancing, Taoist tai-chi and the latest dance trend, Nuline dancing. All of these choices were fun and not at all like a dreaded exercise class.  I really enjoyed my “work-outs” as it also tested your memory in remembering the sequence of moves. They were all challenging and entertaining.

Recently, I signed up for the Yang style of tai-chi—learning 22 moves in 6 sessions. The lady registering me typed the last digit wrong and I found myself in a Qui Gong class instead. The brochure described Qui Gong as “These gentle, flowing movements combine breathing, movement and concentration to increase strength, flexibility and endurance while relieving stress.” Participants were further informed that Qui Gong was similar to tai chi, but easier to master as the movements were simpler. Well, here I was and I decided to give it my best efforts.

Glancing around the room, I noted there were 30 adults/seniors ranging anywhere from 55-80 years. I decided to stand near the oldest person in the room. This strategy would supposedly make me look more co-ordinated, especially if the elderly senior looked as if a puff of wind would knock him over. We chatted and his name was Ben. Ben was 82 and loved Qui Gong.

At first, the breathing exercises, movement of the arms and shifting of body weight did feel like tai-chi, even reminiscent of a hint of Hawaiian dancing. As the simple moves and holds progressed to more serious moves, Qui Gong felt like isometric core exercises with a dash of yoga thrown in.  If done correctly, it was like a “stretching” workout. Ben was doing it fluidly and effortlessly.

The instructor came over to assist me.

“I’ll support your arms above your head while you relax your body.”

Sighing, I stood straight. raised my arms above my head, bent my knees into a comfortable “sitting” position, relaxed my midriff by breathing through my belly button, tucked my chin onto my chest while fiercely concentrating on remaining loose and pliable. Then still gently supporting my arms straight above my head, the instructor whispered in my ear, “And don’t fall on me.”

Well  for goodness sakes, who can  hold that pose without laughing? I went home and glumly told my Hubby, “I will never make it as a monk.”

And he replied, “I hate to tell you this but women can’t be.”  Thank goodness. . .

 

Those After Christmas Sales

I sympathize with my California friend, Eva S, who lost a sock  somewhere in the stratosphere (www.notesfromthecupcakerescueleague.wordpress.com/). My loss has been much greater—I lost 3 giant rolls of silver and gold  embossed Christmas wrapping paper plus 2 boxes of sparkling-snow-scene-with-cute-puppies Christmas cards. I know I have them because I fell for that after Christmas sales of wrapping paper, bags and cards that were 75% off at the store. I felt I was a giant step ahead for next Christmas when I had my supply of cards and  gift wraps. And yes, I did put them away in a safe place so I could put my hands on them as soon as the month of December loomed into sight. It was tucked in such a safe place I couldn’t find it when I needed it.

After Christmas sales, also known as Boxing Day Specials—can be a boon to some but disastrous to others. First of all, there is no such thing as a “bargain”–not unless it’s in the technological field and at least 80% off, if they want me inside their store. I remember my friends camping out overnight just to be the first through the door when the electronics store opened on Boxing Day. Back then, there were some great bargains.

My dilemma with the missing wrapping paper and cards came to the fore-front when Hubby and I walked past the card-shop. Yep, there were boxes and boxes of cards plus stacks of glittery, Christmas-y wrapping paper AND all for 70% off the regular price. I’m not falling for that this year–besides  it was a bit more reduced last year. Hubby and I walked on by.

I know I have at least 3 past post-Christmas sales of wraps and cards tucked somewhere in a secret hidey-hole. AND I just know that when I need some special occasion wrapping paper, my Christmas ones will fall out of the closet instead.

So Eva S–don’t worry about your missing sock. It’s probably with my missing wrapping paper and cards. Somewhere, they are commiserating with other misplaced items until their owners  finally reunite with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Heaven

I love chocolate.  If it’s Belgian chocolate, 70-72% dark, that’s really great. But if it happens to cover small pieces of dried mangoes or tart cherries with roasted almonds, that’s the absolute best!  Costco is my favourite place for sourcing out any Belgian dark chocolate fruit or biscuit. Their supply seems to change all the time.

The big jars of 70%  Belgian  Dark Chocolate Clusters of Tart Cherries with Roasted Almonds, were available for at least three trips to Costco, before these jars disappeared forever. It was replaced with 70% Belgian Dark Chocolate Dipped Slices of Dried Mangoes and believe me, there was nothing “dried” about the mangoes. The entire chocolate treat was tasty and the fruit was moist enough not to taste like dried shoe leather. But then again, how can anything dipped in dark Belgian chocolate taste awful?

The mangoes simply disappeared one day to be replaced with 70% Belgian Dark Chocolate Almond Bark with almond slices sprinkled generously throughout the thin chocolate slabs. These almond treats were packed as thin pieces inside a sturdy paper bag. Needless to say, these replacement treats were too deadly to ignore. This involved several trips on the highway to replenish the dark Belgian chocolate supply of almond bark, but on that last trip, there was also a 70% Belgian  Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark as well. It too was deliciously decadent.

I was at Costco yesterday and the almond bark, as well as the pumpkin seed bark, has disappeared to wherever the cherry almond clusters and the mango slices in dark chocolate retire to. In a prominent place on the aisle, there were bags and bags of—yep, you guessed it–70% Belgian Dark Chocolate Dipped Figs. Figs? Yes, figs. And let me tell you, I’m not especially fond of figs, but in my case, I think you can chocolate dip a lima bean and it would be great—as long as it’s dipped in Belgian 70% Dark Chocolate.  Um-mm, anyone heading to Costco. . . ?

Oreo Thins

It’s a catastrophe of monumental proportion—Oreo cookies are made thinner.  Thinner?  Yes, that is the horrific announcement in this morning’s paper. Horrific enough to make you grab your cup of caffeine, gulp it down and grab another.

Oreo cookies have always been my favourite to twist apart and eat the chocolate cookie first before eating the side with the white filling. The filling is probably not good for you but heck, that’s all part of the Oreo appeal..  According to the article, these new Oreos are thinner and meant for adults who don’t twist their cookies apart to eat the two halves separately. These adults probably don’t dunk their cookies either.

I have never seen anyone trying to make thinner carrots or broccoli or Brussel sprouts, although there have been plenty of miniature veggies out there.

What’s with this crazy obsession with calories and that F-word? Remember when we were kids? Oreo cookies and chocolate bars were much bigger back then. Come to think of it, everything was much bigger back then except for people. People were too busy building and working and raising their families to worry about being too fat or eating too many calories.  Oops, I said the F-word. Anyway, we were all much more active and any extra calories never lasted long as it was burned off very quickly.

So, what happened? I think we should boycott the idea of thinner Oreo cookies because as soon as it gets thinner, sure as God made little green apples, Oreos will be much smaller. And, don’t fall for that old ploy that smaller is better and there will be more Oreos in the package. I have yet to buy a bag of cookies that are filled to the top. I am definitely not buying smaller or thinner Oreos in a bag that is only 2/3 full.

Mr. Christie–I don’t want thin and I don’t want small. Just leave me my supply of regular-size Oreos ’cause I still love to twist and dunk!

Fitness Queen

I’m a “gym junkie.”  Bet that caught your eye. In actual fact, I think I’m most motivated in the month of January. You know, all those fabulous eats from December so the “guilt” pops out now. Thanks to my amazing trainer, Tracey, I can step gracefully on and off the treadmill, Stairmaster, stationary bike and elliptical machines without looking like a total klutz. I know where to sit and place my feet on the vertical bench, pec dec, ab machine and seated leg press. Best of all, I don’t sit on anything backwards and I know exactly what to do. I have worked out in both public and private gyms.  From my gym experiences I would like to share my list of observations.

1) Why are there so many young, skinny, spandex-clad females tackling only the treadmills that conveniently face the huge front windows, while their tight, sexy butts face the rest of us poor “shlobs” in our loose tees and baggy pants who are seriously working on the incumbent bikes?

2) Why are the TV sets tuned to the Food channels at the Ladies Fitness Gym and to the Sports channels in the “Guys ‘ Gals” gym?

3) Why am I the lucky one to follow behind a 7-feet, muscle-bound hunk of testosterone who can lift 300 pounds AND leaves the machines set for his body, not mine!

4) The time limit on the popular equipment is 15-minutes and at least half my time is spent is spent adjusting the height of the seat, the length of the pulley and the drop in the weights. For a mechanically-challenged person, this is quite an accomplishment.  It wasn’t my fault that if one of the knobs on that springy thing fell off while I was adjusting the seat to my 5′ height. I still think I should have been compensated at least another 5-minutes.

5) Guys can be so macho when they do that male strut in the bar-bell corner, even though they pretend they don’t see you sneaking peeks–they do love an audience. . .

6) Why do I always feel so great after working my way through the entire circuit, then ruin it by treating myself to a warm, “jammy doughboy” even though I drank a healthy carrot/kale cocktail with it?

7) It’s a know fact that gals can do anything guys can do, especially if they have the advantage of spandex. All that bending and stretching is great eye-candy for the guys and most important of all, is a distraction to allow us serious gym junkies extra time on our favourite machines. Hey, if you’ve got it—by all means, flaunt it. This is hard work. . . .

See you at the gym?

New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve just discovered something interesting. Just because we have started a New Year, it doesn’t mean a lot of us are stampeding to make positive changes or promises in our lives. I find this interesting because every year, I solemnly make myself a promise to lose weight, get more active, write that book, reconnect with old friends and a myriad of uplifting, optimistic stuff that always sounds great and makes an impressive list. After the month of January flies past and that first successful flush of actually doing some of the list passes, the resolutions goes the way of the dodo bird—extinct, or maybe that’s extinguished.

Thinking about this further, making New Year’s resolutions is a bunch of hoo-hah just so others can feel righteous that they have made a list and plan to carry it through the entire year. Hearing about their intentions is supposed to make you guilty enough to produce a list of your own.  Guess that also makes it dangerous to your health–think of all that stress in sticking with your resolutions.

This year, I’m not falling into the trap of making any New Year’s Resolutions. After all, what’s the point of making a promise to yourself if you don’t keep it? Mulling this over, I have decided not to make any more resolutions–everFrom now on, if I feel like going to the gym, I will. If I want to indulge in eating chocolates all day, I will.  Realistically. I probably won’t–maybe nibble a few to satisfy that chocolate craving. . .and to ease that chocolate guilt, head for the gym, maybe.

It’s been said that a New Year signifies “New Beginnings.”  I like to think so–it’s a clean page to start anew; but, what about all the unfinished stuff from the Old Year? Because if you think about the projects left unfinished or incomplete, how important were they to begin with?

I find that projects with deadlines or projects that are important to me are definitely tackled first.  Anything else is either filed away for later or “garbage.”  It’s easy to file stuff away, but so difficult later to purge those hard-fought words, the witty repartee, the catchy beginnings and/or the clever endings, the numerous bits and pieces of writing meant for future books or short stories. Filed stuff were meant for something but like barely worn clothes in your closet, if it hasn’t been used in two years, toss it. Just close your eyes ands turf it out. I shred my stuff. After all, if I don’t read it, the recycling man can’t either!

January is just beginning. Did you make any resolutions? Once I purge my files to make room for 2015, I’ll be fine.

Hm-mm, some of these bits and pieces look like it may have possibilities—I’ll just start a new file. After all, some stuff you can’t simply close your eyes and toss. . . .

The Itch

Have you ever had the itch where you saw something that made you curious enough to want to see more?  Or heard someone singing a haunting melody that you wanted to follow the notes and just listen? You know, that wild impulse that comes out of nowhere, grabs you by the heart-strings and have you throw caution to the winds? That crazy, zingy feeling that has absolutely nothing to do with brain cells, logic or sex?

Good–you have.  Wasn’t it a grand feeling to do something utterly wild and free, for once, forgetting the sensible shoes and common sense? To follow your impulses?  That, my Friend, is the itch.

You don’t have a lot of people following their itches. Most are little kids who love the freedom to explore their world and of course, lack the sensible routine of their parents. Or, they’re usually retirees, who have the leisure time to scratch their itches whenever they have one.

But to so many others, the simple truth is when there are limited hours of the day, we don’t. Even when there is the time, we still don’t. So it’s with a sense of joyful glee when we actually succumb to the itch on stolen time–our stolen time.  And because it’s so impulsive and yet feels so right, we enjoy it all the more. I think we should indulge in our “itches” more often as long as it’s fun and legal.  I have to say that in case any crooks are reading this and nodding their heads thinking they have an itch to rob a bank or something. . . . .