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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anyone old enough to get my literary reference? I don’t think “A Tale of Two Cities” is required HS reading anymore.

Actually, I was referring to my week – both real life and through TV.

I began the week in a very sad mood (Tuesday’s blog post) and ended on a happy note. Three of our grandchildren are spending the long weekend with us. Their parents are out of town and Friday was DH’s birthday.

Yesterday we watched a lot of TV. They don’t have cable/satellite at home, just over the air channels and Netflix. We finally got satellite access when I could no longer follow the football action – too many ghosts – the downside of living way out in the country.

I recorded a few movies and shows ahead of time.
“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” - This was a cute 2008 Disney Movie, happy ending of course and even an uplifting social message.

Then back in time to my childhood (1955) - “Lady and the Tramp”
Same kind of message – pampered pup and streetwise companion who saves the day.

Both had good guys and bad guys. In 2008 the danger was a demon dog, “El Diablo” who looked ready to tear you apart and his gangster owners who looked ready to do the same. In 1955 the danger was the dog catcher LOL.

TV Sitcoms – my childhood – Andy Griffith, Donna Reed, Father Knows Best.
For kids today even on Disney – Sorry I don’t remember the titles, but lots of “smart ass” kids.
I asked, “What would happen if you talked to your parents that way?”
The response: “They would take away our WiFi!”
Good!

I will not become a crotchety old woman complaining about “kids today” or longing for the “good old days.” Older people have been complaining about the younger generation since Socrates and the old days had a lot of stuff that was not so good if we’re truly honest about it.

Still, it seems so much harder for parents to raise children today and I give you all a lot of credit for the effort you’re making. It’s similar to trying to live a healthy lifestyle, with or without children. We have so much more information, but it seems that there are more outside influences working against us. I suppose we have to be that much stronger. Fortunately, there’s strength in numbers and hanging out with those with similar goals really helps.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 1/21/2013 9:00AM

    Things are definitely more challenging for parents of today. My folks used to let me and brother walk down to the lake (a mile away), go swimming, go exploring, and just having a great time outdoors. Parents can't do that anymore, unfortunately - too many dangers there now. Dealing with all of the electronics has also got to be a challenge. Some of it is great, but not at the expense of never getting outside and getting some good healthy exercise in.

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CELIAMINER 1/20/2013 7:28PM

    Love uplifting movies. Most of TV today seems to have bowed to the political tide and turned from minimizing women as brainless organisms in need of male protection to bashing men or portraying them as imbeciles. NCIS at least seems to strike a balance.

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:44PM

    Sounds like a great ending to your week: lucky grandkids!!

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DR1939 1/20/2013 12:15PM

    Read A Tale of Two Cities in one day because I had messed around during Christmas Break and had a book report due the next day. Nonetheless much of it stuck with me.

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KARRENLYNN 1/20/2013 10:12AM

    It's all about perspective, I think. In some ways things are easier and some ways harder.

I also give credit to those doing their best to raise good kids against all the bad influences out there.

I'm also thankful to have family and friends (online and offline) to give and take support from, like yourself. Sticking together makes it so much easier than going it alone!

At the end of the day, all you can do is the best you can, and hope we catch each other if we fall.

Have a great Sunday!
Karen

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KANOE10 1/20/2013 9:56AM

    I have the same reaction to many of the modern tv sitcoms. The humor is often cruel and makes fun of other people..both the kid shows and the adult shows. No wonder we have trouble with bullying in our schools.

I am not complaining about the younger generation, but it is not an easy time to raise kids. I agree with you. It is hard to lead a healthy lifestyle in this society. Thank heavens for support!

Great blog.

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KELLIEBEAN 1/20/2013 9:46AM

    AMEN! I'm so glad I'm not raising kids now!

I raised my kids in the late eighties and early nineties. I watch my sisters with their kids now and their attitudes and I think to myself, 'kids today!' Then I think 'oh no, did I just say that??! emoticon

Every generation gets harder and harder. I'm glad your week ended on a high note!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/20/2013 9:39AM

    A great, nostalgic blog!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/20/2013 9:39AM

    A great, nostalgic blog!

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NELLJONES 1/20/2013 8:49AM

    Our own youths seem easier in retrospect than they really were. At least your grandkids have family that cares, the most important component in a child's life since, well, Socrates' time.

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SWEDE_SU 1/20/2013 8:05AM

    we have had many of these thoughts and discussed how different things were when we grew up in the 50s, and when we raised our kids in the 70s/80s/90s. definitely do not envy today's parents...

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SLENDERELLA61 1/20/2013 8:03AM

    Brilliant blog! You are so right about being stronger to overcome negative influences. It is like trying to eat healthy in a culture that is obsessed with the best taste rather than what is best for our bodies.

Time with grandkids is precious. I must run get our two in just a minute! Take care and have a great day. I sure appreciate your support on my blogs and page!!

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What does your shirt say about you? “Do you box?”...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

... he asked me as we stood at the grocery check out counter.

It happened last summer. I haven’t been ‘hit on’ in decades and this would have been one weird pick-up line anyway. I was old enough to be this guy’s mother, maybe grandmother.

As I responded with “Huh?” he explained further. My workout clothes said “EVERLAST” in large letters across my chest and Everlast makes boxing gear.


I just picked the shirt out of a clearance bin – great quality for only $2. I was wearing the shorts too, but fortunately the logo wasn’t plastered across my butt only the waistband.

I thought about this at the gym this week when I got comments about this shirt


This tells people that I keep my clothes a very long time.
Regardless of the title, it’s unlikely that anyone running 5 miles on New Year’s Day actually had a hangover.

It also indicates that I like keeping the memories of races past. On that day I remember settling in to run behind 3 guys, dressed as The Three Kings, following a 4th guy carrying a large star on a pole. It was the only time I remember running while singing a Christmas carol to myself. O, star of wonder, star of light…westward leading, still proceeding… It was very effective as we circled the DC Mall twice. Grab motivation wherever you can.

My favorite shirt is this one.


The words are on my back and I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from runners following behind me. We’re a friendly bunch – that bottom 30-40% of the pack. That quote, originally from my daughter’s HS Cross Country team, is my tag line here.
It can be applied to so many areas of life beyond an actual foot race.

So, whatever type of “race” you happen to be in, or whatever journey you happen to be on, just hang in there!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIE871948 1/22/2013 11:27AM

    My favorite t shirt is a huge black one with a happy face in the middle of it, and the happy face has a piece of duct tape over it's smiling mouth. Then it says:
Silence is Golden
Duct tape is Silver

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WILSONWR 1/21/2013 8:44AM

    You definitely have me beat, but I have a few old T-shirts. I still work at the ranch with a T-Shirt that says "I use Windows 2000, do you?" I might get a few comments if I wore that one in public...

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KA_JUN 1/20/2013 11:26PM

    Nice blog! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:45PM

    Great shirts . . . and I'm another who keeps clothes for a long long time!!

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BOILHAM 1/19/2013 7:08PM

    Love that thrifty side of you which has you keeping your old clothes! I'm hoping leisure suits will come back into fashion. Or Nehru jackets.

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CELIAMINER 1/19/2013 6:07PM

    Okay, you have me beat. I have a volksmarch shirt from 1994 that I wear now. It's still wearable because of all the years it was too small.

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LEB0401 1/19/2013 1:38PM

    I love the last one!!!

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WINDSURFNERD 1/19/2013 11:19AM

    Good blog! I have many old race shirts too! I suppose my shirt says I have a history of spending "too much" money on race entry fees and not enough on "decent clothes"! Or maybe it says I care more about a PR than current fashion...

I figure I earned my quirky look! emoticon

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DR1939 1/19/2013 10:02AM

    Very motivating.

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DAISYBELL6 1/19/2013 10:02AM

    I loved seeing your different t-shirts!
emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 1/19/2013 9:20AM

    Good for you keeping all those shirts! I've thrown away more race T-shirts than I currently own T-shirts, I'm afraid.

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KANOE10 1/19/2013 8:45AM

    I like that last shirt quote. Keep running! I find shirt logos amusing. Like you I workout in any shirt.. I had no idea everlast was related to boxing.

Great job of staying fit and maintaining. emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 1/19/2013 8:40AM

    Very good!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/19/2013 8:40AM

    Very good!

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The Junk Food King & I – One day in 1963 changed the course of my life

Friday, January 18, 2013

When I was 15, I attended a party and met a COLLEGE GUY. I never knew anyone who had gone to college. In my working class neighborhood it just wasn’t the norm. This guy was studying to be an aerospace engineer. I wasn’t even sure what engineers did although there were a few at my father’s factory. Dad was a welder.

We started dating - Joe and Me in the summer of ’63


He told me that I should take the SATs. Although I was entering my senior year, no one ever mentioned that to me. This was my 3rd high school because of family moves and although I had excellent grades and an academic program, in NYC it was easy to slip through the cracks.

I didn’t know that CUNY (City University of NY) had free tuition.
I didn’t know the state gave “Regents Scholarships” based on test score results.

We married in 67 just before my 20th birthday.

I finished college in 3 years. I REALLY wanted to marry him.

And here we are today, a retired math/computer science teacher and engineer.

Happy 68th Birthday to my DH!
But my mission to reduce the junk food will continue!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 10/8/2013 11:12PM

  Lovely story! And congratulations again!

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SUNSET09 10/6/2013 1:24AM

  emoticon and what a revelation as I was directed to this page 50 years later! emoticon As once you know, you KNOW! emoticon emoticon

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JULIE_DV 10/5/2013 7:45AM

    Beautiful! Happy belated birthday to your dear husband! emoticon emoticon (No sweets!) emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 1/21/2013 1:11PM

    I love this blog! You two are just a beautiful couple and your story is wonderful.

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:47PM

    Such a sweet story!

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WILSONWR 1/20/2013 9:30AM

    Great story and I loved the pictures! Happy birthday to your husband!

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WINDSURFNERD 1/19/2013 11:12AM

    Beautiful story of love, and the pictures are awesome...you are a well-matched pair! DH and I are engineer & engineer/mathematician so it's nice to see another "nerd couple"!

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KANOE10 1/19/2013 8:42AM

    That is such a sweet story. You are a lovely couple. I hope your husband enjoyed his birthday!
I loved your pictures. emoticon


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MJZHERE 1/18/2013 9:04PM

    Thank you for sharing this! Love it. Happy Birthday to your husband.

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WONDERWOMAN 1/18/2013 7:39PM

    What a cool story. Happy Birthday to the junk food king.

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FITFOODIE806 1/18/2013 1:25PM

    What a great story! And beautiful pics.

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STRIVER57 1/18/2013 12:19PM

    lovely story and lovely pictures.

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SOUTH_FORK 1/18/2013 11:51AM

    Happy birthday to your sweetie- I hope that the years will find me and my guy as happy as you two look! How awesome that he gave you that little push to take the SATs and go on to college so you could go on to give to others through teaching!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 1/18/2013 10:41AM

    Very sweet story. Congrats on your years together. What a blessing you have been for each other.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/18/2013 10:27AM

    You guys are a cute couple. May you have many more years together!

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TINAJANE76 1/18/2013 10:20AM

    I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Happy Birthday to your husband too!

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KANDOLAKER 1/18/2013 10:11AM

    Happy Birthday Joe! Thanks for sharing, and love your photos!!

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PMRUNNER 1/18/2013 10:05AM

    Thanks for sharing! I love the story!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/18/2013 9:41AM

    And you two are just as cute as you were!!

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KARRENLYNN 1/18/2013 8:44AM

    What a great post! Sounds like you hit the jackpot when you met your sweetheart. And that is a beautiful picture of the two of you.

I hope you have many more happy years together!

Karen emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 1/18/2013 8:43AM

    As one who is married to his bride of 43 years, thanks for a wonderful blog. My wife was finishing her RN and I was working for IBM (still am).

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HAYBURNER1969 1/18/2013 8:39AM

    What a wonderful, sweet post! :) Happy birthday to Dad and I'll see the both of you later for cake!

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DAISYBELL6 1/18/2013 8:39AM

    I love your story and pictures. Life is good with the right person even if he is the Junk Food King! emoticon emoticon

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LOLATURTLE 1/18/2013 8:36AM

    You're so cute I could DIE. The both of you. Happy birthday to the (hopefully less and less) Junk Food King!

I love your beach photo. You look like movie stars. It's making me go "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!" with happiness.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/18/2013 8:21AM

    A wonderful life!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/18/2013 8:21AM

    A wonderful life!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/18/2013 8:21AM

    A wonderful life!

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NELLJONES 1/18/2013 7:50AM

    Where did the years go?? It's amazing to look back and see how far we've come in 45 SHORT years!

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ONMYMEDS 1/18/2013 7:49AM

    A great looking couple, then and now. You look like an ad for a Frankie and Annette beach movie.

Happy Birthday to Mr. Junk food. emoticon

Let the mission continue.

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SWEDE_SU 1/18/2013 7:29AM

    great story - thanks for sharing!

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CORGIGIRL2 1/18/2013 7:01AM

  You look as happy today as you did in 1967!

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ANNIEONLI 1/18/2013 6:31AM

    emoticon Happy Birthday to the hubby!!!
Loved the story too!!! That is so sweet and wonderful!!!
emoticon You two crazy kids!

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Strength training: Past, Present & Future – My visual reminder

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My living room would make a decorator cringe. Displayed prominently are these.


The past: The 2 sets on the right (1 & 2 pounds) are the ones I bought for my mother. Her poor muscle tone was impacting her daily activities and I turned into quite a “geriatric personal trainer” to try to stem the tide of time.
Lesson learned: Don’t wait until you are in your 80s to get serious about this.

Mom complained and asked “why aren’t you doing this?” Well, because I thought I was fine. At work I actually once won a “bicep” contest where they measured the difference between your unflexed and flexed muscle. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I always thought I was fine, even as I gained weight. But Mom persisted and to keep her motivated I bought the next dumbbells in the line – 3 pounds - and Mom and I “worked out” together.

Mom, approaching 90, never progressed to heavier weights, but she was able to do more reps. I was happy to graduate to the yellow 4 pound pair.

The Present: I use the 5 and 6 pound pairs now, three times a week and when the exercise calls for 2 hands, I pick up the 8, 10 or 12. The 8s and above were a present from my daughter. She has higher goals for me than I had for my Mom.

The Future: I have the mate to each 8, 10 and 12 and I hope to progress to that standard eventually and justify my daughter’s faith in me. I even have a pair of 15s. They’re currently serving me well as door stops in the basement. I really don’t see myself using those, but who knows.

Now why must I keep these in plain sight? Because without this visual reminder, I would never bother with them. Also, keeping Mom’s weights in the line reminds me that it’s possible to really lose muscle tone as we age. Those are my genetics after all.

There’s another fitness tool I keep in plain sight – my scale. It’s at the entrance to my kitchen. Another decorator no-no! Daily weigh-ins became necessary as my Mom lost interest in eating and her weight steadily decreased. I joined her in daily morning weight checks and nutrition tracking as a means of keeping her as motivated and as healthy as possible. Little did I know that it would put me on the right track as well.

Related Blog entry: My scale is at the entrance to my kitchen
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5072424

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:49PM

    Wow! This is my style of decorating, absolutely. Out of sight, out of mind.

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WILSONWR 1/20/2013 9:25AM

    Great idea! Lots of memories there and a great reminder to keep in shape.

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LOLATURTLE 1/18/2013 8:37AM

    hahahaha! I think they're pretty! I have dumb bells in my living room also, but they are much, um, dustier...

I do use the ones at the gym. I should use mine at home more, though. I think I will dust them tonight and commit to doing some strength training whenever I watch some TV!

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AUTUMNBRZ 1/18/2013 7:26AM

    emoticon emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 1/17/2013 8:54PM

    Tell the decorators to go stuff it. You are focused on health today.

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CELIAMINER 1/17/2013 12:45PM

    Good for you! Off in a few for ST with my trainer.

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MJZHERE 1/17/2013 12:41PM

    My weights sit in my living room - where I dusted them off and put them a while back. They probably need dusted again. I have finally learned that it takes me a while to actually "start" something. In the meantime, having them there is part of the process for me. Your blog is a good reminder not to wait too much longer.

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DR1939 1/17/2013 12:31PM

    I am very lax about this. I keep my weights and bands where I can see them, but I manage to ignore them. I'm not going to include a smiley because it really is not humorous.

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/17/2013 10:00AM

    I have a roll like that in the library. I don't use them. I worked out with weights regularly for more than ten years. I'm now more into cardio. I do some weights at the gym, but not at home presently.

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KARRENLYNN 1/17/2013 9:48AM

    I'm so much better at cardio than strength training. I enjoy your blog posts very much and today was no exception. It's amazing how fast we lose muscle tone and mass without consistant effort.

Good for you, keeping you and mom on the strength training game.

Karen

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KELLIEBEAN 1/17/2013 9:38AM

    Love your decorating! Very motivating. I'm working on using my 8 lb weights more. Slowly but surely.

My mom had been getting into sit and fit classes at the facility they live in. Surprisingly she likes it. I wish she would hand gotten into this 40 years ago but live and learn and I'm learning from her experiences to keep myself strong and healthy!

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KANOE10 1/17/2013 9:19AM

    That is so cute and inspiring. I was just doing my 8 pound weights last night. Good idea to keep them and that scale in sight for motivation!

I had not weight trained in years...but try to do it twice a week. What amazes me, is how quickly you lose your tone if you skip it!

You are doing great and staying on track.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/17/2013 9:05AM

    They're nicely color coordinated, too!

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DAISYBELL6 1/17/2013 8:53AM

    Great motivator!

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FITFOODIE806 1/17/2013 8:24AM

    Your decorating faux pas are great!

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SSUSMITA 1/17/2013 7:04AM

    Inspiring!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/17/2013 6:51AM

    Beautiful! A rainbow of weights. Keep on using them!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/17/2013 6:51AM

    Beautiful! A rainbow of weights. Keep on using them!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/17/2013 6:51AM

    Beautiful! A rainbow of weights. Keep on using them!

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SUNSET09 1/17/2013 6:45AM

  I've used the 20 lb weights for side bends, and overhead lifts while on the exercise bench. It's a great idea to keep them in sight and that your Mom's condition has encouraged you to work out. Your daughter is looking out for and that's a good thing. We can start from right where we are and you all are keeping healthy as a family! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 1/17/2013 6:41AM

    Very thought provoking. You need to add a couple of kettle bells on the string and you'll be all set. I have not worked on my muscle tone much and I am noticing a big difference as I age. Time to lay out the weights that I have. I can make a line just like yours. Thank you for the encouragement and warning.

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Can money buy happiness? At least it will buy me a new heat pump

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

While sitting in my cold house yesterday, I read the SP article “Can Money Buy Happiness”?
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes
s_articles.asp?id=1776


It’s strange how SP often emails me a link to something I really need to read.

The answer is “it depends” and the comments seem to support this.

I wonder:
What if I were unable to pay for a new heating system?
What if I were unable to pay my electric bill?
What if I were homeless and cold all the time?

With that kind of stress I would find it very hard to be happy.

Yesterday I wrote that I had responded to my temporary stress and sad reflective mood by consuming lots of comfort food. (Easily accessible since I live with the junk food king).

If I lived with constant financial stress, I would find it hard to live a healthy life also.

Statistics say that obesity rates are highest in areas with the lowest average income levels. Part of the problem is cost and accessibility of healthy food options. Constant stress plays a part as well. Oatmeal, potatoes and some other staples are comparatively inexpensive, but fresh fruit and vegetables are another matter. Occasionally we read about families who are able to defy the odds, but it’s not the norm.

If you can’t provide for your children the way you wish, it takes a very strong person to resist their request for a cheap candy bar or bag of chips. The recent “Weight of a Nation” documentary visited low income areas and compared the cost of junk vs. healthy food.

My comment on the SP article was:
“I think the key is "once basic needs are met." After a certain point, more money doesn't add to happiness, but it's very hard to be happy when hungry or homeless or without the ability to pay for medical treatment”

It’s hard to be healthy also.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 1/20/2013 8:42AM

    You're so right. The people who need to work on their health the most are often the ones who can least afford to do so. The stress levels of just living from day to day add to the difficulties.

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MOOSLADY 1/17/2013 4:13PM

    I would say no, money can't buy happiness. My parents are an example. My dad worked as an engineer/chemist and made a decent living. My family lived as if we were much poorer than we were because my parents were determined to save up enough money to feel secure. Fruit, fresh vegetables, meat not on sale, drinks away from home, were all "wasteful" because money was to save, not use. When my childless aunt died they inherited her large savings and stocks. Still they lived as if they were on the edge of poverty. Never new clothes, cheapest food possible, sleeping in the car in rest areas when traveling. Now they are going on 89, their health and energy isn't what it used to be, but they still buy the cheapest canned food(never junk food, too self-indulgent) and worry they are going broke. Just taking care of their investments takes a couple hours per day. Sure, they can pay their medical bills, and replace their heating system but don't, unless they can do it without touching savings. They still balk at eating any fresh food as they believe it is too expensive. They demand that family do all their home maintenance and home health for free rather than pay someone. They consider it too expensive. To put some prospective on them, they live on around $88,000 per year, around 2/3 of that interest income and live in a rural area with very low cost of living. They worry and stress constantly that they are too poor. They have all their basic needs met and still are in a constant misery about money. Thus, I cannot even agree that meeting basic needs plus, will make you happy.
My husband and I on the other hand, make a little over half what they do, could never hope to replace our heat if it died, often choose to go without medical care and just hope we or the kids get better, drive 20+ year old cars that need repair constantly and run out of food money regularly. That said, even though we stress sometimes, we are generally happier with our life and find more meaning and satisfaction with life then my parents do. I am doing exactly what I have wanted to do, raising my kids and teaching, are surrounded by a large loving family of 5 kids and 3 grandkids, are constantly occupied with an active church community, in good health and eating healthy in spite of a limited budget. I tell my kids that money is like grease, it can smooth out life but will never make you happy.

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CAROLCRC 1/17/2013 8:21AM

    Interesting discussions! I'm always shocked at the requests at our annual "adopt-a-poor-family" drive at work - they always need size XXL or larger, even for the kids. You can eat nutritiously on little money, but it takes dedication and knowledge to do so.

Once your basic needs are covered, I think it's more a matter of what you decide to do with your life than how much money you have that makes you happy.

That said, I'm certainly enjoying having enough spare cash for nice vacations! emoticon

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MJZHERE 1/16/2013 9:21PM

    What is interesting is what people consider necessities. Trying to help people "struggling" with finances, I run into common roadblocks - cable, internet, cell phones along with the service are non-negotiable, seen as necessities. Also there are ways to get healthy foods cheaper than junk foods in the city - pricematch at Walmart.
I am not without compassion - help the homeless- but I am always amazed at what people think they have to have, and will allow themselves to end up homeless rather than do without some things and save for a "rainy day."

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DR1939 1/16/2013 11:42AM

    I taught Health Psychology at the university level for many years, also Social Psychology. Both of these areas address the issue of money and happiness. The research clearly shows that not having enough money for basic needs and to meet emergency expenses, particularly along with not having social support to aid you, interferes with happiness. You are correct, once basic needs are met, then it depends. As with most things in life, the equation is not as simple as money = happiness, but rather a very complex set of issues.

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SOUTH_FORK 1/16/2013 10:33AM

    Thanks for bringing this up- such a complex issue. For those who are living above that "able to provide for basic needs" baseline, the question of "enough" is so crucial. When do we have enough?

People make fun of me because I'll not purchase something I want- even for a few dollars- simply because I don't need it. I know that the minutes of enjoyment it brings won't make me happy.

As a family, we've had to defer medical testing because it was simply too expensive. Although this is upper tier "basic needs" its a painful choice to make.

At any rate, the idea of money=choice is a powerful one.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/16/2013 10:19AM

    Not having the time to cook healthy is a factor, too. I ate my first frozen meal in YEARS over the weekend! At least it was Lean Cuisine and did no permanent damage.

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SPEEDYDOG 1/16/2013 9:14AM

    Great blog. I am glad you have a new heater. There is always a question on what is enough money. I live comparatively well. But I consider that luck.

You are correct that many healthy food options are expensive.

Bruce



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COCK-ROBIN 1/16/2013 9:09AM

    I agree. And it frustrates me that healthy food is more expensive than junk. And it should be the other way around.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/16/2013 9:09AM

    I agree. And it frustrates me that healthy food is more expensive than junk. And it should be the other way around.

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OPTIMIST1948 1/16/2013 8:50AM

    Money doesnt buy happiness. It buys CHOICES. And then you can choose the decision to increase your happiness. In this case being warm increases your happiness. You can also redefine how to increase your happiness. Sweet candybar or sweet fruit. Icecream or greek yogurt. Chips or popcorn. Lood guck!

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CELIAMINER 1/16/2013 8:48AM

    Very though-provoking blog, and I'm glad you are getting your new heating system.

Beyond food, I think I've used the *things* money buys as a substitute for happiness. Both DH and I grew up in lower-income households. While we were not below the poverty level, the gap between our house and more affluent ones was painfully apparent, as my clothes came from others' cast-offs, and we couldn't afford all the neat things my friends had. When I got out on my own, I started buying *things* like there was no tomorrow. Not in a hoarder sense, but the things piled up. When DH and I combined households, the result was bulging closets and a maze of boxes in the basement. As we look toward retirement, it feels as if we will never stop being owned by possessions we haven't even looked at in over a decade, but we WILL get there.

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WATERMELLEN 1/16/2013 8:48AM

    Very true . . . it's easier to stick with sensible eating when not under stress financially or otherwise . . . and junk food is so cheap that the temptation is tough to resist.

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NELLJONES 1/16/2013 8:42AM

    I guess I remember the old days when we were shown photos of poor families in Appalachia. No one was fat. My parents grew up during the Depression, and I knew many people that age who were hungry as kids, some who were excited to join the Army because they would finally have enough to eat. My how things have changed!

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SYNCHRODAD 1/16/2013 8:29AM

    Having money does not bring happiness, having lots does not necessarily bring happiness. I think John Bogle is happy. Here is a pointer to an commencement address he gave in 2007 just before our country's financial implosion. Happiness most likely has the greatest opportunity with "enough."
http://johncbogle.com/
wordpress/wp-content/uploads/20
07/05/Georgetown_2007.pdf

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KANOE10 1/16/2013 8:16AM

    I work with low income students. They start off thin and by 3rd-5th over half of them are overweight. They live on junk food. It does not help that our school offers pizza daily.
I agree with you..it is hard to keep thin and be poor. Those stats are right. Quite honestly we do spend money on getting good healthy food.

Great blog and interesting thoughts.

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MYBULLDOGS 1/16/2013 7:39AM

    money can buy happiness. try doing anything without money. if your short a penny most stores will not sell you the item

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