Friday, June 26, 2009
You know how easy Tai Chi looks when you see the videos of people in China doing it in parks? And how we always notice that a lot of older people are all doing it, and not falling down? It looks so easy, but I have always questioned how they can all move together without someone standing in front yelling the next move out, like in jazzercise. Well, today I found out a little bit about it. I went to my "other place", DemandFitness.com and looked for a video on Tai Chi. I feel a bit lazy today, so thought what the heck? It's slow enough for me today, and still counts, right? Ok. Video One is 2 minutes, where Tom (the Master Tai Chi guy) talks about the history, a little of the movements and gives some information about what we are in for. I like that one. Then Video Two is where Master Gohring teaches proper breathing techniques while doing Tai Chi. I didn't know those people doing their community Tai Chi dance even WERE breathing. Good. Now I know that we do breathe. Ok. Actually I am pretty good about the "right" kind of breathing, because I have been a meditator for many years. So I plunge right into the next video, where we learn the first basic moves. Oh, they look easy. But we are told to watch while he does the moves a number of times, explaining the correct ways of doing it. I am not the most patient of people on the planet, but I dutifully wait and watch while he is doing these easy peasy moves. Now it is finally time for ME to move, too. HA. This ought to be a piece of cake. After all, it is only three moves, for heaven's sake? So I begin to follow him, and find out this is just too simple. But he keeps telling us what to watch for, and then we repeat our moves. Oh. I'm not supposed to do that with my knee. Uh huh. By the time I correct that, he is on to beginning again. So I start over with him, waiting to not move my knee like that again, and then he says to pivot on my right heel. I didn't see that little move before. So I pivot, move my arms correctly, or kind of correctly, then I am supposed to bring my left foot in and out, landing on my heel. While I am doing this move, I am also supposed to be moving my arms. I nearly tip over. Those of you who know me, know that I do not fall down. I TIP OVER. But this time, I nearly tip over, because the wall is right there for me to bang in to, which I do. But I manage to stay on my feet, and begin again. This is not quite so easy, but I think I am getting the hang of it. On to the next video, even though Master Tom says for me to practise and stay on the first three moves for a long time. Doesn't he know I am Super Woman and can grasp these slow easy moves in one session?? We begin Lesson 2 with the first three moves, which somehow feel more difficult. Then he presents more moves. Shifting our weight and pushing with our arms and stuff like that. Have you ever tried pushing the air? I have pushed bikes, cars, furniture, kids, and ideas, but never air. So I have to get myself psyched up to push the air. While I am pushing air, he continues talking about the next correct way to move. Wait up! My air isn't finished being pushed!! Now how am I supposed to do THAT when I am pushing my air too??!! But I keep trying, imagining myself as smooth as David Carridine when he did the series Kung Fu. I am thinking of trying to find a black Kung Fu uniform so I can do my Tai Chi. I mean, as smooth as I am, I ought to be fashionably dressed for the occassion. Now wait a minute. We are now going to put all the moves together, in sequence. OK. I am READY! This is not so hard after all. Uh, I moved my knee on that last move, and forgot to "shift" my weight over to the right leg, so get all tangled up again in bringing the left leg in and out. The wall and I have another intimate encounter. Bouncing back from the wall, I try to find my place in the sequence, and everything goes to hell. I am mixing up my squats (which don't go in Tai Chi) and my leg stretches with my arms moving like the video shows. I am taking dance steps that are not being shown, I try to get back into moving like Master Tom does, and twist my arms nearly into a knot. While my arms are knotting up, my feet have no idea where they are supposed to be, so they just plant themselves deeply into the floor. I need to stop and start all over again, but I can't catch up to the moves he is on without beginning at the very beginning. This stuff is deceiving! Sure, it looks easy. But those Chinese must have rubber in their joints, because my body just doesn't get it. Finally, the lesson is over, and I gratefully sit down in my chair, ready to write this blog. All of a sudden, I begin to feel pains and aches in muscles I didn't know I have. This couldn't possibly be a result of the Tai Chi!! I mean, I just finished! While I kind of enjoyed doing the lessons, except for the wall banging, I think I need more practise. But not today. Maybe tomorrow. IF I can move at all. I am beginning to suspect a bit of a sadistic nature in Tai Chi. It is supposed to develope flexibility, which is something my body needs, after all of the years of abuse I placed on it. So I am beginning to focus on finding workouts that will teach me balance and flexibility. Maybe I will finally stop tipping over. Hey, I want to take this time to say "Thank YOU!" to those of you who are regular readers, and are encourageing me to write professionally. I never thought of doing that, because I just don't know all those things writers seem to know. I don't have a tweed jacket, either, but that could probably be taken care of at Goodwill. I mean, writers are these pseudo-intellectual people, right? I obviously don't fit that category, either. I don't feel like I "write", I just ramble on over anything that jumps forward in my head. All thoughts which are usually very random, as you can tell. Some of those thoughts are not even worth putting down, and most of the others aren't either. No mental giant here. Right now the most prominent thought is getting something to eat. I have some bananas that should have been thrown away a few days ago or be made into Banana Bread, which I pretty much hate. Hmmmm, there IS some Cherry Chocolate Fudge ice cream in the freezer, though! Maybe I will just settle for a Bora Bora bar and pretend it is the ice cream. Does that make it more fattening??
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Yesterday was another quilt teaching day. I demonstrated how to quilt our painted leaves masterpieces, and we had a good, productive time. I will upload some of the class photos after I finish this blog so you can see how well we are doing. What a bunch of extremely talented, eager people! This time I brought 1/2 turkey and swiss sandwich with extra romaine lettuce for lunch. I did NOT bring those cookies!! I thought about it, but did not bring those cookies. I want you to keep that straight in your mind. I felt a little bit like a cheap-o in not supplying my students with a sugar intake, but then tried to convince myself that we would all be okay without the stupid cookies. Then Loretta informed me that SHE had brought cookies!! What a relief! I know I would not have been able to concentrate on teaching about threads and techniques if my mind couldn't get off the cookies. Loretta saved me and the class! I didn't tell her, because that would mean I would have had to tell her about the obsession I was going through. I mean, can you imagine having a teacher admit that she can't teach because she is obsessing about cookies?? So I go over to the cookies.........this time they are ALL Oatmeal Raisin or Oatmeal Cranberry (I looked for the macadamia white chocolate ones first!), so I know my cookie intake will be healthier. And besides. I am doing all this energy burn through the teaching process and going from student to student all afternoon, so one little half of a cookie won't hurt me. I eat that, then teach some more. I put the students at their own machines, and go for the other half cookie. This repeats itself until I have had 2 1/2 cookies. I did better, though, because by the time I had that last half cookie, the class was over, and the cookies were now gone. My feet really hurt yesterday during the class. I wore tennis shoes that were supposed to be for running. I saw the right one looked kind of weird, in that it seemed my foot was nearly twice as wide as the left one. Really weird! I even double checked to see that I didn't put on two different kinds of socks, retied the laces, and then just shrugged it off. But man oh man, were my poor little feet hurting and burning! I finally get home, and DH is just sitting on the couch, staring blankly. I don't know what it is about seeing a man just sitting and staring blankly that gets to me, but it does every time. I also see that he and his friend Don had coffee and lunch, because all the empties are sitting all over the kitchen. The grounds are still in the coffee pot, the cups, dishes, utensils, napkins, and soft drink containers are all over the place. Now I know they went to Quizno's for lunch, came back to my clean kitchen, and pigged out, literally. So I unload my car, making sure I am making enough noise that he knows I am lifting those heavy things MYSELF, then begin to make noises as I do HIS dishes and clean up HIS mess. I also go down to the freezer and get out two portions of lasagna, some of that chicken with peppers sausages and fling them into the oven with a bang. I am letting him know that I know he made a mess of things, while I, poor baby, was hard at work, teaching while he and Don were having the time of their lives. Of course, I don't SAY any of this, but you know how to do "silent scorn", I will just bet!! Then while the lasagna is baking, and the dishes are drying, I finally do the Big Sigh, say loudly to the dog "Oh Winsten, Mommy has been on her feet All DAY, and I am really TIRED". Then I plop myself into my recliner and start to watch Hannity. DH is still on the couch. I know I have gotten to him, because he is nervous and quiet. When the first timer goes off for the lasagna, he jumps up and says "Stay still, I can take care of it",which is exactly what I meant for him to do. I pride myself on not being a nag, because I rarely actually SAY what I am p....d about. I just do it with mime work. And he falls for it every time. Don't get me wrong; there are times when I DO speak right up, and then he really tiptoes around!! But today is another day. I am still experiencing sore feet and body aches, so I take a look at those shoes. The stupid soles are disconnected from the rest of the shoes, and rubber has turned back in on the foot pad, causing my feet to be placed over hard lumps and bumps. I look forward to throwing them in the trash with GUSTO! You know, of course, that there are a number of ways to empty trash, don't you? There's the one where we just calmly walk out and put the trash bag in the can and walk away, little or no emotion. Then there's the one where you find out company is coming. That's the one where you shove anything that is looking messy into the trash bag, hurry it out to the can, and only feel a LITTLE uneasy at having thrown some of the stuff away. And let's not forget the "cleaning day trash". That's where we nearly plow our way through the house, emptying every trash container in sight, search the computer desk for trash that might be on it, make sure we have the latest supply of used cat litter in the bag and dump it all into the can with a sense of being Super Woman. There is also the trash where we quickly empty it into the big bin because we have thrown away some stuff our DH thinks is a good thing to keep because "I might be able to find another use for that" or "I'm not sure I finished reading all that", and we don't want him to find out we threw the treasure away. That's where the shoes come in. DH is famous for saving shoes with glue. He really has this problem with throwing stuff out. This includes empty glass jars, bottles, and re-useable food containers. Old worn out T-shirts, pants, shirts, toothbrushes, steel pot scrubbers, egg cartons and shoes are also in the "wait a minute, I might need that some day" category. So I have to be very careful and sly. If he sees that stuff in the trash, he has been known to fish it back out and bring it back in. So how do I get those shoes in the trash without having a major discussion about "waste not, want not" from He Who Must Be Obeyed?! I put them in a plastic bag, go empty the litter box into the same plastic bag, and then empty the bathroom trash container into the bag. I double bag it because you can still see the shoes through the plastic. There. That's better. I calmly stroll through the garage with my bag, he asks what is in it, and I reply "Oh, just bathroom trash and used Kitty litter. Want to check?", to which he gives me THE LOOK, which, coming from a husband means "Are you NUTS???" No, I am not nuts. I am clever. Clever and Sly! Oh, so very, very sly.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Yesterday was Sunday, and that means it is my day off. It was a good day, and I didn't even go over my points! That's because I got busy online and was looking for "just the right fabric". Of course, I didn't find it, but I had fun browsing. My friend is doing a dye studio workshop this summer, and I am trying to find the fabric supplies she needs. I have a wholesale license, but couldn't find any of the usernames and passwords to get in to the sites, so I got to see what a lot of other places are featuring, which is actually more fun that those other places. Anyway, today is another day. I want you to know that I really did a strength workout today! I mean a REAL strength workout. In short, I over did it. My body is now shaking all over as if Jerry Lee Lewis was playing my song. Oh. That's an idea! So I shake myself over to my CD rack and sure enough, there is one with him doing "A Whole Lot of Shakin Goin On". Slip that puppy into the player, and before I know it, I am shaking all the shakes out, or increasing them; who knows? But I am doing the dance with gusto! My cat, YeowLing comes in to see what's up, and when she sees me romping all over the place, hisses, growls, gets her tail all fluffed and then rockets out of the room. Which brings in Winsten, the Golden Retriever. He finds this enormously funny, and starts to jump around himself. Now the room is not all that big for the two of us to be jumping and shaking, and the laughter begins. We are having a ball! I replay the song, Winsten and I are laughing and shaking, the cat is glowering in the doorway, and DH shows up. At first he is amazed to see us cavorting around, but then I ask him to join us in our dance routine. Surprisingly, he does. So now we have the three of us doing a whole lot of shakin, the cat has given up and left us to our madness, and now the real laughter begins. Winsten is trying to jump over the big exercise ball, DH is doing his engineer's frog in the blender dance, and I am twistin the night away! Calories are burning the midnight oil, let me tell you! Hey! Why not a little bit of Elvis? Jailhouse Rock starts blasting away, and DH and I do a bit of twist moves, then get serious about competing against each other with the twist. How LOW can you go?? Because of Coach Nicole and her torturous ways, I can go lower than DH, and I don't even tip over. We try doing a little jitterbug, but that is hard to do on carpet, so we just continue doing our own thing. Winsten has given up on jumping over the ball and is now sitting and giving us "The LOOK". You know the LOOK dogs can give you when they think their lord and master has become completely unhinged? Well, he is showing great concern, so we stop today when the music died. Time for nourishment and water! A great beginning of another day.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Hey Friends, I have heard from several of you who ALSO know Ms. Smarmy! That chick really gets around, doesn't she. I think she has cloned herself so she can sneak into any of our heads that she wants to. She and little Ms. Goody Twoshoes are sisters, you know. They have the same smugness, but there is a slight difference. Where Ms. Smarmy is always dressed to the nines, hair, nails, clothing and shoes just like she walked off Vogue Magazine, Ms. Goody Twoshoes is all gingham, huge blue eyes and curled blonde hair with ribbons in it, knee socks and white Mary Jane shoes, with her dainty little hands folded so neatly in her lap it makes you want to go over and slap her face off. She is the one who is always doing the perfect thing, subtlely letting everyone know that SHE is doing all the right things, while everyone around her are misbehaving and being very naughty. Well, I have news for HER! At least WE have some FUN! She reminds me of my cousin Diane. Diane has a sister, Janey, whom we would all love, but then there was Diane. Everytime they came to visit, we always had to play with Diane. She was a REAL Ms. Goody Twoshoes, let me tell you. Her pretty frock (she didn't wear dresses; HERS were "FROCKS") was all neatly pressed and perfectly fit, her blonde hair was done in long curls with ribbons to match the frock, and her white knee socks and white Mary Janes looked like they just came out of the box. And she always had this closed lip smile on her face. Like she was too good to come right out and say that she thought we were all inferiors and didn't know it. We lived in the country then, and had cows. I really hated playing with Diane, so one day came up with a grand plan to teach her a lesson, or perhaps, even better, to get her to stop coming over at all. I told her all about this beautiful place by the stream that had the most beautiful flowers growing by it you have ever seen. She was so taken with her own beauty she failed to see the devilish gleam in my eye. When I said the flowers would be really nice with her hair, her pride couldn't resist. Of course I would show her those flowers!! Yes, indeedy. So off we go, hand in hand, her with her halo and me with my horns. We get down to the stream, and sure enough, there were flowers. She started picking the flowers when I found what I had been looking for. Sure enough, she finally moved to the right area, right in front of a cow pie. Now how can she blame me when I "slipped", bumped in to her and she went flying butt down on that cowpie?? It was perfect. Horrified, she ran all the way back, screaming for her mother. I got over my laughter, then ran to catch up to her, yelling "Hey, Diane! Wait up!" I didn't catch her, but when I got back, I sure caught something else! Once her mother cleaned her up best as she could, in the car they went. Now my Dad was laughing so hard he had tears running down his face, and my Mom grabbed me and was spanking me, telling me how naughty I was. But by dinner time, even she was laughing. Diane never came to visit again. So THIS Ms. Goody Twoshoes better watch out! I don't have cows, but I still have those horns somewhere around. Today I did my weigh in and measurement thing. No weight lost, but no weight GAINED, either! Amazing after all those cookies and the apple pie with ice cream! I can only chalk it up to the exercise and workouts I did that I didn't gain at least 50 pounds of tonnage. I had quite a week. Lots of "acting out". There were minor changes in the measurements, but not enough to brag about. So anyway, I am on the site, and decide that I will read an article or two. I stumble upon this article that talks about how much I should weigh, and how to tell. It is several pages long, but oh, so worth reading!! It teaches about body types. DH is and Endomorph. He is tall, lanky, and can eat like a horse and not gain weight. I, on the other hand, am a Mesomorph. Short, stocky, strong. Endomorphs can actually burn calories sitting and watching TV! Mesos can look at food in a magazine and gain. Now I ask you. Is this FAIR?? I don't think so. I mean, it's like God likes HIM better than he likes ME. I have this God box, where I put all my questions that have no answers through this little slot in the top. Long ago, I painted the words "Answer me THIS one, God!" on the top of the box. Whenever I have a question that has no answer, like "why do kids get cancer while bad adults live forever", and "why can't I be as nice as my dog is?" I am sure you know those kinds of questions, and have some of your own. Well, anyway, now I have another. "Why did you make me a Mesomorph??" I actually put that in my God box. Now what are my plans for my box, you ask? Well, it's simple. The way I figure it, one of the following must be right. Group No. 1 is the Christians. The belief here is that we can either wind up in heaven or hell. Now, if they are right, then I don't think I have much to worry about, except that little episode with Diane. Group No. 2 are the Renicarnationists. You keep coming back until you get it right, or something like that. Well, not much to worry about there, either, cuz I will just keep spinning until I get it right. Group No. 3 are the Atheists, who believe in nothing. No problem there, because nothing feels nothing, does nothing, and doesn't even know or care about it. So! Looking over my lifetime, I can see where I have definitely made some major, much needed changes in myself. I am kinder now that I have ever been, and more in tune to other people's feelings and needs. Here is my plan for my box. When I get to the pearly gates, and St. Peter looks over the tablet and invites me in, I will hesitate and ask him to bring out God, because I have some questions for Him. St. Peter will be astounded, get God, and when He comes out, I will lift up my box to Him, and say "Answer me THIS one, God". Once I get all my answers, I will then tell Him how I feel about being a Mesomorph. If He can take it, I will go in. If He can't take it, then I will go looking for Diane and the cowpies.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Yesterday was a whole lot of fun, and a whole lot of tiring. I taught a painting quilt class to absolutely terrificly talented students. See my new photos for the first part of a series for this class. The students were enthusiastic, imaginative and eager to learn something new. We all brought a whole bunch of leaves, ferns, and other growing things, and painted them. Now I have to tell you "the REST of the story!". I think I already confessed to you about buying those Costco cookies. In case I didn't, here it is. I wanted to get some cookies "for the students" of the class, so I get one of those boxes of 24 cookies baked at Costco. Hmm. Maybe, with 15 students, I should get TWO boxes. I get home and take one of them in to the house "to share with DH". We had some cookies that night, and the next day was the class. I pack a lunch of salad and watermelon while eating a banana, made my coffee and notice that I am doing all the right things. I get to the class, and hide the box of cookies from the other members of the quilt club so they can't have our class cookies. I sit with the students, we eat our lunches and then set up for the class. Not before I get our cookies out, and have a half one. We are all set up, I give the "how to" lecture, and release the students to their paints, leaves, ferns, and fabrics. Then I can't find my coffee cup. I look all over the place for it, getting louder and louder about not finding my cup. This goes on for about 1/2 hour, then I finally spy it under a table, right where I put it when we were covering the tables with newspaper. Ok. My feathers are all smoothed down again. I work through the students, giving encouragement and help where needed, then I spy those cookies sitting on the counter. I only had a half one; I wonder if the other half is there? No. Ok. So I will just break another one in half. The white chocolate madacamia one, like before. There is a good supply of cookies left, because the students are getting their hands all covered with paint and don't want to go wash it off just to have a cookie. What control!!! I keep up my teaching responsibilities, and have a wonderful time seeing what these ladies are turning out. Truly, they have no idea yet just how terrific their works of art are going to be when finished! I, having taught this class many times, do know what the results will be, and there is no expressing to the artists just how wonderful their piece will be. We meet again next week to begin doing the quilting, and that will really produce lots of ooooohs and aaaaahs from them, once they see it coming together. I can't wait to post the next session of photos on this site so you can all see them! All will be one of a kind masterpieces! As I look back today, I can see that I kept a pretty good watch over those cookies. The supply seemed to be holding up, and I am content with that. So content that whenever I see someone near them, I go break off another half of a cookie. I AM watching my fat intake, you know, so I only eat a half cookie at a time. Of course, I ignore those OTHER halves I have already had. By the time the class is over, and we get all cleaned up, the students are gone and it is time for me to get packed up. I load my stuff in the car, always remembering that I have to get the left over cookies to "take to Ted". When I am all lpacked up and ready to go, I go back inside, and can't find the cookies. I ask "Where are the rest of the cookies?" and one of the students says "They're all gone. I just ate the last half cookie that was left". I hide the feeling of being deprived. Home I go. I get in the house, and look for the other box of cookies. THERE it is!! I grab two more (whole) cookies and stuff them down. Then after eating chili, a half bagel and glass of milk for dinner (I AM watching my fat intake, remember?), enter my points and am blown away that I stayed within the ranges EXCEPT for the fat intake. Well, that's pretty good, isn't it? So I eat two more cookies before I go to bed. Today, I awaken tired. I am not going to work out today. I did too much yesterday. Today will be a day off. A day of REST. I con myself into thinking this is all justified, and that I am tired from all the walking and teaching, NOT the overload of sugar ingested. Then that "PERSON" who is emerging within me says "You know, you need to do your workouts and cardio today". I ignore her and start to read my emails. I have no intention of even logging in to SP today. Then she nudges me. I hate being nudged. I tell her to leave me alone, but she won't. She says "YOU ARE IGNORING THE TRUTH THAT YOU NEED TO DO YOUR WORKOUTS AND CARDIO. GO LOG IN". I tell her to shut up and leave me alone. Then I send out a couple important emails and make my play in the online scrabble game Bossy Daughter and I have going. Nudge, nudge. "REMEMBER ALL THOSE COOKIES?" says Ms. Smarmy. She smirks at me when I try to concentrate on something else. Ms. Smarmy is developing quite a smirk these past few days. By now I am cognizant that what I am really going through is a sugar withdrawal from the damned cookies, and regret eating them all. Ms. Smarmy makes me log on "just to see if any emails or comments have been made on your web site". I fall for it. I do NOT intend to do any workouts or cardio today! I am too Tired!!! Smirk, smirk. So I spend too much time uploading photos from yesterday's class, fiddle around, and finally cave in "just to look at what I have scheduled in fitness today". Oh, man. I don't feel like doing THOSE! I know, I can CHEAT. I will just put in that I did exercise, get my points and be on to the rest of my day. I mean, who would know that I really did not do those workouts?! "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE ACTUALLY THINKING OF CHEATING ON YOUR WORKOUTS"! I tell her to shut up and leave me alone. I am getting ready to cheat on the first workout, and "YOU KNOW, DON'T YOU, THAT IF YOU CHEAT, YOU ARE ONLY CHEATING YOURSELF". Sanctimonious creep! Why can't she just take it easy and relax? Ok. Ok. I will go to my fitness page and LOOK at one or two of the exercises scheduled. Oh, I like those two. I will just do THEM. Smirk. smirk. 'AND JUST WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE REST OF THEM"? Ok, ok. I will do just those othe two. I click that I did (honestly) those four exercises, and I kind of like the points I get for them. Well, I will just take another peek at that list. Oh, I only have those to go. I can do them easy peasy. Click on for more points. Ok. That's enough for the day. Then Ms. Smarmy, whom I thought had probably left to go get her crown, appears again. "REMEMBER ALL THOSE COOKIES YOU ATE YESTERDAY, MS. LARDO?" That's IT. I have had it with her and her smirks and smarmy attitude. MISS LARDO, INDEED! Who does she think she is talking to???? I will show HER! Ok, Ms. Smarmy, see if you can keep up with THIS! I proceed to do a very rigourous cardio dance video, and don't even stop when I get all tangled up and lose my place and can't do what is on the screen. I keep doing these workout breaths, and pumping my arms. I pump my legs, push with my arms, try to hop, do marching, to all kinds of strenuous motions, and then my time is up. Not one peep out of Ms. Smarmy. I KNEW I could shut her up!! Now, I will continue to ignore her and go about my day. After all, I have a lot to get done.
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