Spring Break–Take A Break

Every time women of a certain age talk about Spring Break, we automatically think of Spring Cleaning.  We think of putting away winter clothing, changing the comforter, clearing out the pantry, deep cleaning this and that.  Why do we do that?  Is there an unwritten rule that we have to use our time away from the office working while everyone else is enjoying their time off?  What’s to keep us from doing the Spring Cleaning a little at a time after Spring Break?  This year I decided to do just that.

When I left work on the Friday before Spring Break, I went home and did my weekend cleaning that night–I was determined that this would be my Spring Break.  There would be no deep cleaning this Spring Break.  There would be the day to day cleaning, but nothing that would take all day and/or all week.

Here is my week of during Spring Break. What was yours like?

  • Sunday–great church service at Carter Metropolitan CME Church, and then dinner with my husband and our youngest daughter.  Then I did a movie (Creed) in my pajamas with my husband and popcorn and wine.
  • Monday–massage at Perfect Touch with Katie that made me want to lay there for a couple of hours.  Went walking with my sorority sister and made my steps then coffee at Starbucks afterwards. Then I decided to make homemade peanut butter cookies.  The kitchen was smelling good.  We ate them while we watched the movie again (it was rented for 2 days).
  • Tuesday–my guilty pleasure of a facial.  I absolutely love getting facials especially at my favorite place Ageless Perfection Skincare.  Miss Ruby is the best. Started reading “Natchez Burning” by Greg Iles for a book club I just joined. It is a very exciting read.
  • Wednesday–my best friend since second grade and I went to the Amon Carter Musuem of American Art to check out their latest exhibition–American Epics (Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood).  Yes, it is very good and educational.  Then we were off to West 7th Street to have lunch outside because the weather was just perfect.  We tried our tastebuds at Mash’d, a place we had never gone to.  The best lemonade bar none.  I like mine tart, my friend likes hers sweet, we were both happy. Then my daughter cancelled our walk, but I went anyway–got my steps in.
  • Thursday–manicure and pedicure at Zizi’s.  Even decided to have a glass of wine while I was getting serviced.
  • Friday–going to a networking event for women sponsored by the women’s division of the Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.  Got my TABC certification so that I can volunteer for the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.
  • Saturday–meeting with volunteer coordinator for Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival to get my assignment.  Then on to Fair Park to cover BeautyCon so that I can report about it to you, and see what they have for women of a certain age.

I started each morning with my prayers and coffee in my pj’s, and ended each night with wine and prayers in my pj’s. The house is still clean, yes the sweaters still need to go to the cleaners and be put away (well maybe, this is Texas weather). I’ll just drop them off on my way to work after Spring Break.

Spring Break is not for Spring Cleaning, it is for taking a Break during the Spring.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–you can clean next week.

Holiday Weight And Exercise

I love those people who say eat this instead of this for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas and even New Year’s. You know those people who say eat one cracker, a carrot, a lot of celery and drink sparkling water and you will be fine.  We’ve waited the entire year for this food, and we know the consequences of overeating and under exercising. It’s the holiday season which means it’s the no exercise and way too much food season. I mean good food, you know cakes and pies with specialty alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks to help the food go down. The holiday season probably started with Halloween when we ate the left over candy that we had.

wine and food trayThere is cheese other than American or Cheddar with a sprinkle of carrots and celery for show. There is Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day for gifts, for more food and drink and much more. There is so little time and so much to do so who has the time to exercise? What’s a girl to do? As we have matured our metabolism has gone down, and hips, bellies and everything else seems to get bigger doing the holiday season when they say we will gain 6 to 10 pounds in less than a month.

Let’s try to figure out what we can do to get our exercise in, and control our eating habits. I love the people who say eat before you leave home. Sounds good, but not feasible—it’s holiday food, not regular old food. There is someone bringing Christmas Cookies (I love that song by George Strait) everyday to work, and besides it is the holiday season.  Have a cookie or two; who eats one Christmas cookie if they are good? Go to the Christmas parties at work, eat the “good” cheese, another cookie, drink the punch and have fun. Don’t beat yourself up when you think about it. After the party grab your coworker and walk for 20 minutes, too cold outside then do it inside. If you have someone to walk with you, it will go fast. Walk at a brisk pace, but walk. You had your Christmas goodies and exercise too. Walk as much as you can atStarbucks-red-holiday-cups work during the holiday season. The party was at night then go home and put on old disco music, you know when you were in college the kind that lasted 15 to 20 minutes and dance like you did back then. If you want a special coffee drink, and there is a coffee stand close by—yes walk to it. Sit there and drink it and walk back to home or work. Take your marker with you so that you can draw your own Christmas design on the red cup.

You’ve got 2 or 3 parties in one weekend and you want to attend them all. What are you going to do?  A friend of mine says to wear the that body hugging outfit—the one that you can get away with. She says that since you are a woman of a certain age, and you can still rock it, you will not eat too much because it would spoil the effect. Sounds good to me. Food or fashion?

Another friend says never go in eating, wait for a while, talk with the people at the party. Find someone interesting even if it is just the hostess or the person you came with. Don’t sit for a while, stand and walk. Finally get food and drink, yep get them both. It’s kind of hard to eat a lot when you have two items to hold. Remember how hard it will be to take the weight off after the holidays. If nothing else, decide on which party you think will have the best food and drink. Be polite at the other parties eating a small amount. Save your calories for the good stuff.

Still running to the mall and shopping center to buy gifts. Make it an exercise day too. If you don’t have to go back to your car after buying your gifts, go back to the first store and walk the entire property once or twice as fast as possible in the Christmas rush. Don’t stop to look at something else, just walk.

You can start your walking routine during the Thanksgiving holiday. A lot of places have Turkey Trots featuring 5K and FB_IMG_144762941666510K races the morning of Thanksgiving. Make it an exercise tradition to do one of these walks. I am not a Black Friday shopper, but just to get some exercise go to the mall—leaving your credit/debit cards at home. Just walk.

Do not bring food home with you—leave it there no matter how good it is–not even Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Dream about it for the next holiday, but leave it there. Why do you think they are giving it to you?

Have to bake something for the Christmas season, bake your least favorite cake, pie or cookie, one that you rarely if ever eat. Make sure what you bake is tasty, just not what you like. The ones you like taste even better warm. Skip the cleaning lady, and deep clean your house after the holiday season, mop, vacuum, dust and more–it’s a great workout.

Do other things instead of just eating for the holidays, see what is going on in your area because who is going to eat carrots and celery for the holiday season?  Not me cause George and I sure do like those Christmas cookies.  Eat, enjoy and exercise.  Remember thisisyourbestyear”.

Oh Well–Plan B

I got up early, checked off needed items and got dressed. Then I went downstairs to make sure transportation would be coming at about 8 am.  After he located my name I ran to Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee and oatmeal. Then I sat and talked a while with people I had met over the last few days.

As the transportation arrives they called names to get on board– yep you guessed it my name was not on the final list. The guys are running around telling me to wait and wait I did. The bus was full but I could catch the next one.  No thank you I wanted to be on the one where I kind of sorta knew some of the people.

As a woman of a certain age I have learned that if it is not life threatening–let it go. They credited my card and are still apologizing as I am typing this on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2– trying to find something else for me to do. I keep thinking that if I could get a strong cup of coffee I would be fine because in less than 4 hours I have something else planned.

I can remember the time when it may not have gone this way, but again it is not life threatening.  I step back and the guys and I talk about other things to do, and we come to a sense that I am okay. Life happens, and sometimes it does not happen the way you want it to.

As I read my book and look at what God has created I remember that “thisisyour(my)bestyear”,  and I am gonna enjoy it. I am off to Old San Juan in now less than 3 hours. Educators always have plan B.
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Following Doctor’s Orders?

So your doctor has told you to do certain things for “your” health.  She has told you that for you to maintain or regain a good quality of life that you must make some changes.  Of course you have agreed while sitting in her office, and you have the very best intentions as we all do. Let’s go over a few of her instructions and see if there are some simple solutions.

smoking1.  Stop smoking.  This is one of the hardest habits to stop.  I have never had this one, but my best friend, my parents and others have. My father was able to stop cold turkey–no weight gain or anything, but then again he was my dad.  My mother never attempted to stop.  After two heart attacks, my best friend did stop, but her husband still smokes.  There are many products out there that will assist you in not smoking.

2.  Exercise more.  Well the gym cost money, and we all know that money is tight. There are not enough hours in the day for us to walking at workexercise.  My favorite excuse is “I don’t like to exercise”.  Why not take the stairs at work–no stairs just walk around the office a couple of times. If the weather is nice go outside and walk.  No one said we had to do cross training.  Why not take a dance class?  Just get to moving.

3.  Eat better.  Stop eating in the car.  We don’t know childs portionwhat we eat when we are in the car; it can’t be healthy because we can hold it in one hand and it is not a piece of fruit.  Why don’t we eat better?  Convenience is part of the problem, and I am guilty of this sin.  Remember when we were children, and we got a hamburger, it was about half the size of the ones they give us today, and we still eat the entire thing plus fries and a soda.  Get the kids’ portion at the fast food place, they don’t know it’s for you.  Not a cook, keep fruits and veggies on hand.  There ought to be some fruit or veggie that you like.  Don’t buy soda.  Remember when a can of soda was considered two servings, now it’s one.  Simple steps.  Have some cake, just not every day.

4.  Cut back on caffeine. You don’t drink coffee, but you drink soda, energy drinks and eat chocolate.  I love coffee–absolutely love it, but I have cut back to  just about a cup and a half a day if that.  I drink it in 1/4 cup increments, because I don’t like cold coffee. I detest decaffeinated, but I will do half and half.Starbucks

**Speaking of coffee when my girlfriends and I meet at the local Starbucks, we typically just have coffee and/or tea.  We are there mostly for the conversation so most of the time the higher calorie drinks are not ordered.

glass of wine5. Follow your doctor’s advice, it does help.  Way back when, my then doctor, Dr. Perkins, instructed me to have a glass of wine each night, and so many years later I am still following his instructions. I can follow the doctor’s orders.

Will these suggestions guarantee you perfect health–probably not, but they won’t hurt either.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Let’s take care of ourselves so that we can continue to help others take care of themselves.

Thanksgiving Traditions

Everybody has a holiday tradition that they do.  Some involve rituals, some it’s the food they eat on that particular day.

Every Thanksgiving for the last say 15 years, my friends, sister, husband—whoever doesn’t go out of town—we do the Turkey Trot without fail.  We get up, sometimes we have to bundle up, sometimes it’s so warm we strip down (smile).

We’ve done the 10K, but for the most part we do the 5K.  It’s a lot of fun with all the people out and about.

After we finish the race, we’re off for another tradition—our stop at the neighborhood Starbucks for coffee and conversation.

Getting up doing the race seems to get us going.  We make it home before 10:30, and in time for some of the parades that are on television.

What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions?  Share them with us!

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.   Looking forward to hearing your traditions!