Flipping that Fitness

We had our Flip Fitness class tonight, and we had a few more people than last week which was great.I don’t know if it was due to a slight cool front that had moved through.It made the exercising a little more tolerable.

Our instructor,Jackie was there along with Jess, the young instructor who will have us for the nest two weeks.Jackie is going on vacation so we get to break Jess in solo. It’s funny, because Jackie started the class and then handed the class over to Jess.We were kind of razzing her last week about being so young, but she does know her stuff!

We keep busting on Jackie that each exercise that she has us do, there is a certain number of repetitions we have to do. Well, when Jackie does the count, the numbers go flying magically out the window. We usually do up to a count of ten when we do repetitions.Jackie doesn’t care for anything but ten. We decided to keep a loud verbal count so she’d know we know how to count too!

I have met some good friends through the class, and it’s great to be out among women who are enjoying some time together working on ourselves.We forget that, though, because laughter, being the best medicine, makes our hearts happy and the rest of the body falls in line.

Getting the body moving? It’s good to be able to do it!

20130603-154012.jpg

Daily Public Transit-The Good,The Bad, The Ugly

I am climbing on my soapbox again to talk about my daily commute.

Back in my prior life, when we lived two blocks away from the train station, life was sunny. A nice morning train, a brisk walk to work;in short, no worries.

Then our house sold and we moved two miles further from the train.There lies the rub: the bus.

I honestly hate the commute. In order to get into the city I take the bus onto an expressway, where I lose forty-five minutes to an hour one way.It irks me because it is time I’ll never get back again in my life.Traffic usually sucks.If you aren’t entertained by someones’ blow by blow description of how their life is going, how their **fill in the blank here: sex life, date life,third marriage is going, well,I know, I know, read or something** Well, there’s only so much to read or listen to. I refuse to be chained to Verizon and use my hot spot to be on-line. Then, when the bus reaches center city, I get off the bus and wait for a second bus.

Did I mention I hate personal trivial conversations on a cell phone on public transportation?
**Sigh**

Fortunately, I hope to God I get through this last stretch before I retire taking public transit. Pretty sad when I get to “treat” myself, thanks to my Flip Fitness class and physical therapy,and walk to the train station to get on a train that spares me the expressway.The indignity is I have to get OFF the train to get back on a bus to get home.

I won’t miss this at all.

IMG_3351trainear

Monday, Monday…

Talk about a rough Monday.

It has gotten to the point that we can’t bring ourselves to come up on Sunday nights anymore. We are really in no hurry to come back to the city, I mean, after all, we ARE home.Why should we rush up to get away from home?

IMG_3350daybreaktraffic

So the above picture is of what has been our past two Monday mornings. It’s a shot of the dawn traffic coming back up from the shore into the city.It’s bad enough that you are bleary eyed enough, trying to wake up and face a brand new day, but then, to add insult into injury, you have to make a 90 mile drive back into a sea of humanity.

The only comforting thing that we have is that there is, indeed, a time stamp on how much longer we have to make this trip.True, we talk in the car about the fact that someday, maybe, just maybe, we’ll miss making this trip…..I doubt it.

Compostman strikes again

If you remember in a previous post, the former Shingleman, Jim, now known as Compostman, has gotten into organic gardening. I, for one, am shocked at the degree that plants are coming up in the grow station where he planted them. Perhaps it is the compost,I don’t know. We have tomato plants, pepper plants, peas, beans, kale and other things planted there.

Today Compostman resurfaced, and decided to make a raised flower bed.This was due to the fact that we got another round of seeds.He decided to used materials left over by the builders when they were done here at Undisclosed. He worked for a few hours, amidst the mosquitoes, humidity and sun, and did exactly what he set out to do. We went out and got more soil so we could finish it off properly, and he planted carrots, cucumbers and winter squash.

I admire my Compostman. He has embraced the idea and to see things actually growing is quite rewarding.He’s a good guy.

Below is a shot of our new garden bed!

IMG_3343gardenbox

Blog #1,000

“I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song.
I’m twenty-two now but I won’t be for long
Time hurries on.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown….”

Paul Simon wrote these lyrics for a Simon and Garfunkel hit circa 1966 called ” Leaves that are Green”.I thought this was an appropriate start for the blog numbered 1,000.

I started this blog in 2011, when I was 51 years old. I was sharing care-giving duties for my Mom with Dementia with my brother.I was married for 9 years back then. I had crappy knees and was waiting to get knee replacements.And yes, I was thinner,

So on the occasion of this blog #1000, so much has changed.

Mom is gone, I am happily married, next month, for 12 years. I have new knees and a belly because emotion still gets the best of me.I am working on that, though, and trying to get things together.

Jim and I have a new home and we’ll be occupying full-time in a few months.I, knock wood, am on the road to retirement.My girls are still with me: Zush is 12 and Kasia is 5. Jim and I are trying to set up housekeeping and farming down here at Undisclosed.The emotions are mixed at folding up our tent and leaving the big city, but more times than not, we are more than ready to leave it behind.

This blog has been therapy for me to vent and also to keep the memories of what has happened, be it good, bad or indifferent. It also has been a way for me to share my stories and experiences with you, dear reader.Thanks for reading and being here for me. I appreciate the fact that you check in with me and the family. For that you have my thanks and a giant hug.

Thanks!

And to quote the tag line from the Beverly Hillbillies…”You all come back now, hear?”

005

You say to-MAH-toe

All my life my summers have involved tomatoes.

When I was little, and we would go down the shore, Dad would always stop at farm stands for New Jersey tomatoes.My mother would roll her eyes after a while, but she kept quiet because she loved them as much as he did.

The backyard of the house where we lived had a plot to plant in and of course, tomatoes were involved. My Dad was even one of those people who when they came upon a type of tomato that they like, Dad would save the seeds on a paper towel and when they dried up, he would put them in a brown envelope, mark the type of tomato on the front, and you could bet they’d be planted nest season.

Dad is no longer here, and he would have appreciated the fact that I am over the bridge and close to water.More importantly, I have successfully planted my first, bona fide, home-grown Jersey tomato.It gave up its’ life for us for dinner tonite and it was tasty.

IMG_3338njtom14

Dad? This one’s for you.

Nothing like a long night

After the work day was over today, I was beat.

I decided to get to bed early and get some sleep. I have some minor procedure scheduled for tomorrow and figured I’d try to get a good night sleep.

HAH.

It is a cool night tonight,and the air conditioning is off.Yet I can’t sleep. My mind just won’t shut off and I am tossed and turned out.I think part of the tossing is that I am wishing we were down the house, so we could sleep on our real bed,after a real shower with water that won’t scald you.

Is it 2015 yet?**counting the days**

IMG_2418

A laughing good time

There weren’t that many of us in our Flip Fitness class tonight, but we still had a blast.

Our teacher, Jackie, plays a variety of music for us to do the exercises to.Some from the fifties, sixties, all the way up to ” Happy”. With Jackie, tonight, was Jess, who was training with Jackie and she is just a baby, in a matter of speaking She just had a baby a little while ago, and looks fabulous forty pounds thinner.It was too funny, though, because when the seventies music was on,and I/we were singing, I was teasing Jess, saying that she didn’t even know WHO Three Dog Night were.My fellow classmates chuckled, as we are in the same age bracket.The kids today are a hoot, because sure they know all the songs: they either google or you tube them. As the class went on, we talked about transistor radios.I jokingly told Jess she needed to bring a nine volt battery for class next week for her transistor radio.

It is good to be able to exercise. It is better to exercise in a group.It’s the best if you can laugh while you are doing it.

20130505-110406.jpg

Stick a fork in them…

Yes, the sound you heard at the beginning of the baseball season was yours truly falling off of the Philadelphia Phillie bandwagon.

I was on board since 1973,kept fingers crossed whenever they got close, and rejoiced when they won the world series in 1980 and 2008.Even I learned how who is being traded, what teams are in the cellar,watched the local station for the sports round-up.

But not this year.

Don’t get me wrong: the game is on in our house.Jim is watching it, not me.When we go out to our watering hole at Undisclosed, the game is on there, and I admit, I do glance up on occasion, but not like I used to.

The games are no longer fun, The motivation and movement of the players, well, some American Legion teams play better than what the Phillies have put on the field this season.It’s as though I am watching a team that doesn’t even care.They can phone the games in more times than not.

I am ready for football.

Sorry Phillies. Better luck next year.

IMG_2574moyershirt

The Summer of George

The summer of George was a product of the Seinfeld series. His fiancée dies and he is going to have the time of his life that summer, doing whatever he intends to do. I believe a hunk of cheese eating while in boxers was also involved.

This is not the summer of George that I am referring to.

I am writing about Prince George of Cambridge, who is celebrating his first birthday today.

Having grown up around Diana, Princess of Wales, wedding to Prince Charles,the flicker of interest in the royals across the pond flames up.Hell, the people are OUR age and look what they are wearing and doing.Look at the styles they are rocking.We followed all the adventures, missteps,and eventual tragedies that hit the house of Windsor.

But there was always Prince William and Prince Harry.They matured nicely, and with Harry acting the role formerly held by his uncle, Prince Andrew,and managing to keep it in the family. William settled down and started the next generation.

002

George of Cambridge was born one year ago today and England is all abuzz with hopes and speculations of the future for the one being labelled “The most eligible infant”.

Happy Birthday Prince George.

Hiking the area

Jim and I took the girls to a hiking spot in the area today.

Ponderlodge, as it was called back in the day, was a golf course and conference center.It was located over a few acres in the area, and when business went bad, it went on the market.Evidently no offer met the sellers’ level, so the state stepped in and turned it into the Cox Hall Creek nature area.

There are three looping trails around Cox Hall creek,and the shadow of where the conference center was. In most of the area, as signs throughout the grounds state, nature was allowed to take its’ course.New pine trees, new cherry trees, new cedar trees-all trees local to the area are growing tall, along with brush for the various animals that now call it home.

It’s a great area for exercise and I am so glad we found it!

IMG_3234ponderlodge

Keeping moving

Between physical therapy and my flip fitness class and getting to and from work, plus walking the girls, I try to keep moving.

Jim added a wee bit to that today.

He cleared out the cottage that we lived in every weekend for five months and actually set up my recumbent bicycle for me. I have been warming up in therapy on it for ten minutes before going on to my exercises so I actually used mine today.In therapy it is on slight tension, and I replicated it here, so hopefully I won’t be too sore tomorrow.

It feels good to have done the ten minutes today, and just as a thumb to nose gesture to myself,I did an extra thirty seconds, well, just because. Hopefully this is a step in reclaiming a home life that isn’t quite so depressing, a home life that will put us back in lockstep with the life we had at our old house that was pretty damn good.

**fingers crossed**

sandywave

The Pause that refreshes…lol

…and I am not talking about Coca-cola or Pepsi.

I am taking about a night out with Jim at our local watering hall, down here at Undisclosed. It was complete with some dinner and music.

I was feeling a little low, and it was magic. A good group called Twelve String, some vodka and cranberry cocktails with dinner, and I felt far better than I had all week.There is something about good music that is of your time frame, where you can sit with everyone else and join in on the songs.No stress,no pressure, just fun.

Just what the doctor ordered!

IMG_3320

Malaise

A beautiful night we have tonight, and I took the girls out.

I am back sitting in my parent’s home.I am typing in the room where both of them left this world in. Granted, my mom had passed away in January, but this time of year always takes me to my Dads’ passing in August of the year. So many memories swirl in my head, and they are mine alone, since I was here when Dad passed. Jim and I weren’t married then.

I’d like to think Dad would be happy about the move to Undisclosed, especially since the former Navy man loved the water.You think back about so many things and how you wish they physically were there with you. Yes, I know, they are both here in spirit, but, how wonderful it would have been to see their reaction to things.

Then I stop and think of my Mom and thank God that I still have the memories, because, Mom didn’t.I try to savor every day and everything, and hopefully, I have the memory of happy times for a long, long time in the future.

Until then,it’ll be a daily struggle to cut through the fog of malaise. Clear skies can’t come soon enough.

20130322-184512.jpg

Blech, blech..complaining again.

In the office today getting ready to see the physical therapist again.

With my leg. The leg that wasn’t hurting me until this past Monday, AFTER I finished physical therapy.

I went to my flip fitness class last night and what a difference when you gently do something and when you did 10-20 repetitions of something that wasn’t that strong to begin with. I am hobbling around and am getting bummed out.I am walking like I need a knee replacement…oh yeah, I had two already.

I can understand the premise behind physical therapy and have benefited from it in the past. After the initial go round this time though, I can only wonder.

004

Transportation Cocoon

004

We had a little stretch of weather the past two days.

As George Costanza from Seinfeld would say “The sea was angry that day, my friends.”Well, we have had some angry weather here around quitting time. You go and join the rest of your fellow office workers waiting for a bus to go home.
Winds blowing,trees bending,rain starting,juggling of umbrella positioning so you don’t bang into anyone…get the picture?

Then,up the street,comes your bus.

You have never seen so many people get on a bus in a quiet and orderly fashion, so happy to be drying off in that cocoon that only public transportation can offer.No glares of folks whose toes have been squashed, backpacks swung around. Forget the fact the entire bus knows that we will be stuck on a major traffic artery for at least an hour to get home in this rain.

Thank goodness for the bus!

Maybe the right bone’s connected to the…

005

…well, you know the rest of that old song.

I had physical therapy yesterday and was pretty excited. I got to officially go on the stationary bike for 10 minutes and learned a few more exercises. I was sore but felt good.

Until this morning.

You know when you sit too long and you get pins and needles in your leg(s)? Well, it was scary. I was leaving the house with my right leg, which is the leg with the hip bursitis, half with pins and needles.All I could think is what if I fall? I went very slowly to the bus and have been walking rather gingerly in order to get to work in one piece.I called my physical therapist as soon as I got in, ate some breakfast, took some Aleve and am waiting patiently to see what direction I should take. I also have a frozen small bottle of water on my lower back. I have no idea what to do, and will wait patiently.

**sigh**

The Perfect Storm

Compostman, aka Jim, took me out tonight to the Cape May Coast Guard Base for a date!

He knows how I loved the Perfect Storm.I have read Sebastian Junger’s book of the same name, and have read other things written about the event.So when the local paper had an article that Commander Bill Mueller, retired, was speaking, he knew I’d love to hear him.

Commander Mueller,who at the time was an ensign, was in the Coast Guard, serving on the Tamaroa. It was the ship that was on duty on the night of Hurricane Grace in October of 1991. The storm merged with a storefront coming out of Canada and another storm in the Atlantic to become the Perfect Storm.

It was intriguing, because of the movie, people right away think of the Andrea Gail, but there were many other rescues that were either attempted and failed or were successful,and to hear of the state of the sea with those waves, steel that was moaning from the wind, well…it was a scary, sad story.

The night and the talk really made you appreciate having two legs on terra firma.

IMG_3294

Saturday with the Former Shingleman

If you enjoyed reading about my better half, aka “Shingleman”, then you’ll love his new persona, “Compostman”.

We are trying to put together a growth tower so we can put together some organic vegetables. A large part of this is an introduction of something new and exciting in our lives***read heavy sarcasm here*** and that is composting.

Now we are reading up on what can go in for composting and what will not break down. Never mind the fact that I put a ton of veggie scraps together for the pile, but obviously I am a composting trainee. Compostman followed me and cut it all down to manageable size for the growth tower.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Stay tuned.

IMG_3034

Crash and Burn…the saga continues.

I gave two pints of blood yesterday during the blood drive at the office.

We had gone out to dinner and Jim had ordered himself pizza.

Not me…

There was a filet of sirloin on the menu and my dragging butt, looking for some iron to replace some red blood cells, jumped on it.So here I am, 5 hours later, just awake after a nap where I was sated in red meat.

Fortunately, I have some clothes that I had the foresight to put in the washer before I fell asleep. Now I just have to finish while they are in the drier,so tomorrow, there will be another day, another full schedule. but I will have a little wiggle room.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

100

Road Show

For giving the gift of life, that is, giving blood, my employer offers 4 hours free time in appreciation.

Translation: it’s Friday, I’m in the office to give blood, and leave at 12:30, without losing comp or vacation time.It’s what I have to do to keep my streak of Friday time going, and if I have to give blood, well, so be it.

Hope you have a good weekend. Jim is left packing up the pups and car since I am in the office and once he comes in town to pick me up?

Let the roadshow commence!

005

Really?

006

I am tired of folks walking into me with cell phones.

It started today, rather this morning, when I was on the bus.People getting off the bus looking at their phone when they get up from their seat, walk toward the front and bang into me because they have no clue of what is by them.Really? Candy crush and you tube are that important?

I got onto the train and got off in center city. Instead of folks walking through the air-conditioned mall to go to work, they are reading Facebook as they are walking, or something of that nature.Really? Your office is how far away that you can’t wait?

The lobby of my building has college age students in they’re coming in to test in the morning.Plugged into phones, staring at them…now the infamous purple Kool-Aid has dialing abilities?

What I’d love to see are the statistics for broken bones and injuries for this new addiction.

Life is short, folks. Take a minute to look up from your phone and take in life.

Wild World of Physical Therapy

I’m back!

I went to this spot for physical therapy before and I am sure**insert heavy sarcasm here** they are just going to LOVE seeing me again.

The orthopaedic doctor I saw for my hip seems to think that a dose of physical therapy might be all I need to get the party started, and, for once, I am hoping he is right. I caught an earlier bus today and got off to take the train that actually would require me to walk to work. Fitting, I thought, since getting fit is what I need to do. The only thing I really don’t care for in the physical therapy world is the initial “You have to come in a half hour early to fill in paperwork.”, which is something I really think they can do without.

I top off the day with my Flip Fitness exercise class tonight, so hopefully I won’t be too sore, considering the amount of things I’ll have done in therapy.

Here’s hoping!

024

So surreal

I had been looking for something on YouTube and came across JohnF.Kennedy Jr.

It’s almost 15 years since he took that fateful plane ride that cost him his life, along with the lives of his wife,Carolyn Bissette and her sister,Lauren.

Fifteen years…wow!

One can only stop and think of what could have been if the outcome had been different.Would he have embraced his heritage and run for public office? Would there have been children? Would he have been the first Kennedy to escape the “Kennedy curse”? Might we have had someone different in Oval Office?You can only wonder.

How difficult it must have been for his sister Caroline. As a practicing Catholic,you take some comfort in knowing he is reunited with his parents, but I know that the surviving family member can be very lonely.You are grateful for memories, but there comes a point that they are bittersweet.

He is in a better place,and his place here with us is left with a giant void.

Heatwave

There’s due to be a three-day over 90 degree heat wave here at Undisclosed.

I shudder to think what’s due for the big city.

I have been breaking in the washer and dryer down here and making sure my lighter stuff has made the pile of things that have to make its way back up to town.It goes without saying I’d prefer to be down here, but alas, bills still have to get paid.

Wrapping up the weekend with a plan for light meals in my head and hopefully, we’ll be spared, somewhat, on the weather front. I know Zush is with me saying that we were probably only the two people who miss the snow. Kasia is easy either way, and Jim, the former bagel baker, well…I think that heat is actually starting to catch up with him, not that he’d admit it.

Stay cool, folks!

20130421-222753.jpg

Kicking it back

Jim is out on his bike taking in the crowds down here that are waiting for the fireworks that will start in about one and a half hours.

The girls and I are here, resting after a good hike this afternoon in an old golf course that the state has turned back to an Environmental area,that is,they are letting it turn back into a forest! There were new pine trees everywhere, and we saw a bunny but the Kasia girl was sniffing up a storm so the other animals are definitely there.

We had a nice visit with my friend, Duch, her daughter Joanne and her granddaughter, Rachel. Duch had never gotten a chance to see Undisclosed Deux completed and it was a joy to see my buddy and her family. It was even nicer to realize that once I leave work, Duch and I will only be a stone’s throw apart!

In all, a good day, and you can’t get better than that!

20130322-184512.jpg

Waiting yet again..

Hurricane Arthur has scared a ton of cities and towns around here from setting off their fireworks last night and tonight.

It is an unspoken rule around these parts that the various municipalities try to have fireworks on different nights, so people can take them all in, if they wish to. It’s a win-win situation: people see spectacular fireworks, township get a temporary rise in income from folks hitting ice cream stands, gas stations and the like. Now with the weather skating most of the folks to have fireworks tomorrow night or Sunday night, well,lots of places will be taking a financial hit, because you certainly can’t be all places at once.

Tomorrow our little hamlet holds its’ yearly fundraiser, and fortunately the weather is due to hold its’ own. Hopefully that will include tomorrow night for the fireworks.

Zush and Kasia ask that you give your pups plenty of love during the fireworks, as this is the time where a lot of pups get scared from the noise and run away.Keep them home and safe and happy, and you will have a happy ending to your fourth of July weekend!

blog-firework-dream

Nothing like a rainy 4th of July

The collective sound of disappointment is from all the collective people who made plans for activities for the fourth of July.

Here at Undisclosed Deux, it is raining buckets.Allegedly the rain will finish later and Saturday and Sunday promise to be nice. The rain I, for one, welcome, because yesterdays’ humidity was a little much,and the front has brought the temperature down to manageable levels.

Have a good fourth with family and friends!

013

Sleepy Thursday

The girls and I just don’t want to get going today, but, because the 4th of July is a Friday, well…we must!Even the news said about it being the busiest travel day of the year!

Jim is working through the morning, so we are going to pack things up for a precious three-day weekend.I’ll be hanging with the girls Saturday night, because weather/Hurricane Arthur caused tonight’s fireworks to be moved to Saturday night.As much as I’d like to see them, well, I like the girls to be at ease too!

Here’s hoping you enjoy the holiday and have fun, but please,dear reader, be safe!

blog-firework-dream

Phone parking for utilities

I am on the phone with our local gas authority.

I work customer service, so I know how important it is to pick up a phone, help a taxpayer, or at least try to, and do your job. Now I am told my estimated wait time is 4 minutes.What an improvement! Yesterdays wait time, dialing in at the same time of day was 31 minutes. Don’t utilities realize the amount of customers they have to deal with? I just don’t get it. People who have to wait for me for 2 minutes on the phone let me know they have been waiting. I think the utility just wants you to tire out so when you have to talk to them, you are too tired to argue.

Just saying….

002

Lube and Oil

Having an appointment this morning to see how the lower back and hip are making out. I have been kind of gentle with it, and yet I did fall the week after the shot at Undisclosed.

I am mixed up with emotion. Part of me KNOWS physical therapy would probably be the way to go.Another part of me says swimming is the way, but the pool I would use in the city really doesn’t have lap lanes at convenient times.I know there is a public pool at Undisclosed, but really do not know what their schedule looks like.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Doctor has to say regarding the issue, to see if my lower back has dodged the bullet,and what’s coming down the pike.

001