Category Archives: Healthy (Mostly) Eating Experiences

Deaf Puppies, Firemen and Squats

Had an exciting day with my trainer – the one that I hate because he’s trying to kill me but also love because he’s trying to make me healthy.

Anyway, today — as I was pumping iron — I noticed the boxing side of the gym getting very busy.  They have a new trainer who works with people with Parkinson’s Disease and they all seemed to arrive at the same time.  And then a guy carrying camera equipment came in and joined them.  Look for a story in the Kansas City Star.

While that was going on, another trainer was trying to get an older woman up on the stair machine (even I could have told her that was a bad idea).  The woman yelled, “I’m going down!”  Someone appeared with a chair before she hit the ground, but there was no getting her up from that point.

About five minutes later, two firemen arrived.

Two minutes after that the EMTs arrived and started weaving a gurney through the weight benches.

The owner’s of the gym have just adopted a deaf puppy who tried to escape each time the door was opened so there was a lot of shouting at her, which obviously did no good.

A guy walked in an wanted a tour of the gym.

The phone rang.

Did any of this dissuade my previously gentle trainer from shouting at me to do 15 more squats?  I think you already know the answer.


Sweating Like a Glass of Iced Tea in August

I’ve been working with a trainer for about a year.  Before I started, I had a long conversation with him about how I’m not motivated by yelling.  So, I really love him because he’s very sweet and gentle with me.

He’s the same one my niece goes to, but we’ve always gone at separate times.  Yesterday I went with her to her session.  What? The? Heck? was I thinking?

We bounced around from leg lifts while lying on a pool noodle to kettle bells to a contest to see which one of us could hold plank position the longest.  While my niece sang along to Madonna, I was huffing and puffing and sweating like a glass of iced tea in August.

At one point, as I balanced on the end of a weight bench doing a billion crunches, I looked up at my sweet, gentle trainer and said, “I hate you.”

Evidently, in trainer world, that’s the biggest compliment you can give.  It also means that the evil exercise gets added to my workout forever.

Crazy is as Crazie Does

Good health gone bad

Good health gone bad

This is how I started my day – with liquified spinach exploding from my blender and spraying all over my kitchen walls.

Even though I’m tempted (by the turmoil in my life) to eat cases of Snickers bars, I’ve made a commitment to stick with healthy eating which means I start the day choking down enjoying a protein shake.

My life has been topsy-turvey pretty much since… well, since January, when we put our house on the market and sold it the same day. I know, I know. That should be a good thing. And, really, it is. But, along with the good, comes all the bad.  Sorting years of crap, selling years of crap and packing up the rest of our crap.

Then we spent six months in a tiny apartment that had some kind of weird Karma. I’m not kidding. My big, lazy dog, Lola, would be snoring away on the living room rug, then suddenly jump up with a yelp, and run away to hide in the bathroom with her tail between her legs. I kind of new-agey, so I purchased a Smudge Stick at Whole Foods and came home and waved it through the rooms, paying special attention to the corners as advised.  And even though it stank to high heaven, I did this at least once a week, which did seem to help for a while, but the next day I’d find Lola quivering in the bathroom again.

Then we found a house and started work on remodeling it into our (well, my) dream home. And even though every person I know warned me it would be awful, it turned out to be a bigger deal than I ever imagined. I’m trying to stay organized but when I tried to look for a pair – any pair – of reading glasses in my purse, this is what I found.

IMG_04201. The first third of the world’s longest receipt from Walgreens, where I purchased two items.
2. A gas receipt for $65.13 (18.40 gallons of gas.  My car readout said I had 12 miles left before I ran out.)
3. The business card from the woman at Capitol Federal who helped me cash in sixty-two $25 savings bonds from my Aunt Kathleen’s estate that I carried around for two weeks in my purse.
4. One of the hundreds of receipts I have for Home Depot.
5. Every pair of my reading glasses.
6. Receipt for my, now daily, mini chocolate shake from Freddy’s.

IMG_04217. Middle third of world’s longest receipt.
8. An inkjet cartridge that I’ve been toting around since March, waiting to be dropped off to be refilled.
9. Receipt from Restoration Hardware for a can of the only kind of white paint I like and therefore was willing to drive 30 minutes to the Plaza to pick up. I frantically purchased said paint, when I found out I had one day to paint all the baseboards in my house before the floors were done.
10. A mostly broken pair of headphones that I use because my bluetooth system in my car (that I insisted I needed) doesn’t work right.
11. My snack bag I carry around to keep me from eating unhealthy food. (It’s filled with bacon.)

IMG_042212. Bottom third of world’s longest receipt.
13. Receipt from dry cleaners where I left with two heaping handfuls of their free Tootsie Rolls.
14. A note with the number of electrical covers to replace at the new house. The switches and outlets are white, but the covers are tan. Not going to work with my OCD.
15. Phillips and flathead screwdriver to install said covers, if and when they are ever purchased.
16. Note to buy olive oil – which is used on princess dog’s food.
17. Flyer for alterations – needed after daily intake of mini chocolate shakes.

I Swear, I Don’t Know How These Things Happen to Me

To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite bloggers, Donna Louise, I swear I don’t know how these things happen to me.

Recently, Husband and I talked about downsizing to a home more appropriate for our new lifestyle. Without the responsibility of a house and large yard to take care of, we could walk out the door and travel to the south of France for a month or so.

This House Is Too Big

This House Is Too Big

We have no tickets to travel to the south of France yet, but we imagine if we change houses, we would.

One Friday morning I thought I’d take a step toward that carefree lifestyle and said to Husband, “Hey, let’s put our house on the market today.”

We did. It sold in three days.

Suddenly, we had a little over a month to pack up fifteen years of life and move to…well, that’s just it. We hadn’t decided where we wanted to move.

Time was running out for us to find a new home and then, my favorite aunt fell ill. Within a few days time, I was required to fulfill her end-of-life requests.

Certain if I made a choice on a house in the middle of this, I’d wake up six months from now in a Victorian B&B and wonder how I got there, Husband suggested we try apartment life for a while.

We spent an entire weekend talking with flaxen haired twenty-year-old Kimberlys and Kendalls and being treated as if we were a couple of twenty-year-old deadbeats and then were asked to pay $100 for the privilege of simply filling out an application.

This One is Too Small

This One is Too Small

We settled on a Teeny Tiny Place because it only required a seven month lease. Actually, we chose it because it was one of the few places that allowed our 70 pound  60 pound dog. (We stopped at one place where you could have any number of pets as long as their combined weight didn’t exceed 50 pounds. I didn’t want to think about what that might include.)

Back at our house, I packed and packed and packed some more. I designed an elaborate color-coded labeling system that included where each box went for the apartment move, what’s in the box, and where the box will go when we buy a house.

Moving day arrived and within minutes of getting to the Teeny Tiny Place, I discovered I’d over-estimated the amount of furniture that would fit.

Uh Oh

Uh Oh

We quickly rented another garage — and then a third to hold all the crap treasures I’ve collected over the years.

In our Teeny Tiny Place, we have the privilege of paying $20 per month more for “hardwood” floors, which are actually linoleum printed with a wood image. The walk-in closet is rendered un-walk-inable once clothing is hung on both sides. And, we have the luxury of a master bathroom with floor to ceiling mirrors on three walls – which not only gives me a multi-imaged look at myself in my least attractive position, but also depicted several dozen images of the look of horror on my face as the toilet backed up on it’s first use.

Settled into the Teeny Tiny Place, I got back to looking for a home.

No, wait. That’s not right. Somewhere in there I had a garage sale. We left on a long-ago planned trip to Disney World and from there, a flight to Hartford. And, oh yes, I went gluten-free.

Maybe I Could Stand to Lose a Few?

Maybe I Could Stand to Lose a Few?

Tune in next week to discover if the house we accidentally put an offer on, is now ours.

I swear, I don't know how these things happen to me.

I swear, I don’t know how these things happen to me.

Evolution of a Crazie Personality

Evolution of a Personality

My first week as a senator’s spouse, I was invited to lunch with several other wives and informed not only of my “duties,” but was handed a list of all the senators. Each name either highlighted or crossed out, indicating who we should and shouldn’t speak to.

When I told my husband about it he said the whole thing was ridiculous and I should just do what I wanted. What great advice!

Of course I ignored it completely and started my evolution from Farm Girl

Farm Girl Jeans

To Senate Spouse

Senate Spouse Uniform

Fast-forward fourteen years and my husband’s decided to retire from the Senate, which means I get to evolve out of my Senate Wife persona. I can be/wear whatever I darn well please. Only… I don’t know what I darn well want to wear anymore.

On the last day of my recent trip to the east coast, I was packing my suitcase and I realized that if an archeologist examined this bag he’d deduce that the woman who packed it was a schizophrenic.

Suitcase of a Crazie Person


The first layer of the archeological dig would reveal that I’m still unable to completely let go of the Senate Spouse Uniform so had packed the same type starched shirt I’d worn for fourteen years.

but got a little wild with the skirts.


The next layer in the suitcase revealed a hippie phase.  I can still remember wearing long flowing skirts and baggy sweaters.  Maybe I should try that again?

Hippie Fail


I’ve never been a person to wear sparkles, but was it time to start?

Sparkle – splat!


Probably, I’m a gritty urban woman who wears earth tones to blend in.

Urban Urbane


Then again, maybe I want to stand out.

Colorful Casualties


What the?  Now I’ve transformed into a clown?

I don’t care what you say, I’m wearing these. They’re warm!


When I got home, I eventually evolved into a new personality – The R-Teest.  One filled with flowing tops and black leggings.  Now this was a uniform I could stick with. Kicking it up a notch, I layered on multiple sets of jewelry and scarves until I looked like a blinged out, multicolored popsicle walking around on two short black sticks.

Then, Saturday night the consequences of such a carefree and comfortable uniform bit me in the…uh…ego.

I had one last senate dinner to attend and when I tried to slip on my old uniform, nothing fit. First, I squirmed into my industrial strength Spanx, after which I barely managed to get the top button of my slacks secured. Then, I struggled in to a starched shirt (unable to fasten the last button around my stomach), added a sweater and, hoping to camouflage my middle, topped it all with a jacket.

Evidently my latest evolution of a crazie personality has a downside.   When you always wear pants with elastic in the waist, it seems you magically believe you can have ice cream and chocolate after every meal without any consequences.

Will this setback stop the evolutionary process?  I hope not.  I certainly don’t want to end up a wooly mammoth stuck in a tar pit one day.


Crazie Camper Caper Update:  My 1955 Aljoa is still stuck in the camper hospital as they try to repair her enough to get her road worthy.  I’d wanted to add running water, but when the estimate climbed to over $500 I decided I could do without it.  Also, after carefully considering my budget ($0.00) I’ve discovered I won’t have enough funds to have her painted just yet.  The upside of this, is that it meant I could finally come up with a name for her.  The Ugly Duckling.  

I’m sure we’ll survive just fine until I can afford to turn her into a swan – speaking of which, click the picture of my book on the right of this blog and buy it – please? (Nice segue, huh?)

Mid-Life Crisis + Wild Hare = Boondoggle

Still struggling through my mid-life crisis, I decided I wanted to buy a camper to take out to The Aunt Farm so that my husband and I could spend romantic nights out under the stars.  Well, not under the stars literally, because I don’t like bugs much and I can’t sleep unless it’s on a mattress and…well, you get the picture.  I liked the idea of spending the night in the woods, I just couldn’t put it into practice.

So, I hopped on Craigslist to see what I might be able to purchase for a few hundred bucks. Zoom!  I was off like a wild hare leaping from a basic “I need something to keep me off the ground” to hey, look at these cute vintage campers turned into designer digs.  I spent an entire day surfing the  net and by mid-afternoon had contacted an owner of a 13-foot trailer that, according to the pictures, still had a strong “vintage” flair to it.

One slight issue (there were many, but let’s stick to the time line) was that said camper resided 150 miles away.

“Boondoggle!” I shouted to my friend/office mate, Sharon who immediately said “I’m in.”

In the old days we’d jump in the car and go just about anywhere.  This time, she was responsible (don’t you hate that word) for her middle-school-aged son so we brought him along.  We spent the first 30 miles teaching him to say boondoggle – as it came from him as “hot doggle?  dog boggle?”

We drove

enjoying the varied scenery along the way.

We arrived too early to meet the owner of the camper but thanks to Sharon’s sister, we were informed we were within a mile of the famous Juaraz Bakery.  Off we went to hang out for a half hour.  Unfortunately for my waist line, you can buy a lot of pastries in a half hour.

Finally, we met up with the owner and stepped inside the magical camper that would transport me from mid-life crisis to Nirvana. She opened the door and I gasped as I stepped into…my mother’s 1970’s living room complete with dark wood paneling and worn out blue polyester cushions.  The cooktop had been removed and the electrical wiring didn’t work, but the good news, as the owner pointed out, she’d placed a portable toilet in the closet.

Now, I’ve got a pretty good imagination for design – When I bought my home it was filled with pink flocked wall paper and although the floors were covered in red and orange shag carpeting, I could see it’s potential.  Not here though – all I saw was a flash back to the tiny half-built bedroom from my teenage years.

We left without buying the camper and Sharon’s son was strangely quiet for the first hour on the drive home. We finally got out of him that he was sad that his first boondoggle had been a bust because we went all that way and didn’t buy anything.

“Exactly!” Sharon and I high-fived each other.  “That’s what a boondoggle is.”

Still not sold on the idea that we’d accomplished anything interesting I suggested he tell the story that he’d driven 150 miles to taste the pastries at a famous Mexican bakery.  He agreed that made a much better story and we dubbed him an official Boondoggler.

I wish I could tell you I got the wild hare out of my system but alas, there’s more to the story.  Returning to craigslist and upping my price range, I went out the next day for another long drive to look at a 35-foot trailer.  No good.

Upped the price again and drove another hundred miles to look at an mint condition 1988 RV, complete with lined and pleated curtains. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it was clean and that’s worth something, right?

I drove home and spent the next two hours trying to convince my husband to drive back the hundred miles to test drive it with me.  Strangely, he had no interest in that and had the nerve to suggest that maybe I should sleep on it and make a decision in the morning.

I did and he was right.  Dammit.

According to the internet, a mid-life crisis is defined as the search for an undefined dream or goal and is manifested in behavior such as the acquisition of expensive or unusual items like motorcycles, boats, clothing, sports cars jewelry, gadgets, tattoos and piercings.

No mention of campers – so maybe I’m not having a mid-life crisis after all?

Killer Shoes – Embarrassment Continued

Would you laugh if you saw Lucille Ball slipping on a banana peel?  Evidently the tourists of Crazie Town would, because I’ve been asked to give more humiliating details of my ego killing shoes.

Last Friday, I was invited to lunch on the Plaza (Kansas City’s equivalent to LA’s Rodeo Drive) with several ladies that I used to work with at Big Corporation.  I knew these women would be wearing their hippest duds and I was looking forward to dressing up — as I’ve spent the last few weeks wearing tattered sweats, hunched over my keyboard, frantically working to finish my first novel by the end of the year.

Evidently, I’ve also spent the last few weeks stuffing my face because when I attempted to pull on my “cool” jeans, they wouldn’t fit.  I pulled out my industrial strength Spanks and tried again.  Success!  I slipped the Killer Shoes on my feet, took one last satisfied look in the mirror and tottered out the door.

I met my fabulous looking friends at the entrance to the restaurant and then, we paraded single file behind the hostess to a table in the back.  With a haughty smirk, I strutted my stuff past several booths of perfectly dressed Ladies Who Lunch.

BAM!  In a prat fall that would have made Lucille Ball proud, my feet shot out in front of me and I was on the floor.  I blinked a couple of times, wondering why my view had changed from people’s faces to people’s feet.  A woman in the booth I’d collapsed in front of, leaned down and whispered “I almost did that same thing.”  Was that supposed to make me feel better?

When I realized my friends had not noticed my ego-busting move, I climbed back up on my towering heels and shuffled quickly to the table.  I would have made a clean getaway, except the manager came over to see if I was all right.  I waved him off, with my left hand and spent the rest of the meal trying to ignore the throbbing in my right wrist.

There’s the story, my inquiring friends.  Oh, one more question that several people asked.  Did I finally shout a curse as I fell?  I am sorry to report that the two words that escaped my mouth were…Oh My.  I also vividly remember hanging on to my purse, evidently in case I was mugged while lying on the floor.

When did I become my Great Aunt Marjorie?  I guess I should be grateful I didn’t break a hip.