Let the Fun Begin

So, yesterday, I did something I have not done in years, as a matter of fact I cannot remember the last time I had to do this particular thing. I went to a laundromat, I had to even google where to find one.

My washing machine broke about a month ago, I have been trying to have it fixed since then. The part is finally in and the repairman will be here next week to fix it.

In the meantime I ran out of clothes and towels, here is the thing, I have a lot of clothes and towels. I have so many clothes I didn’t have to do laundry all of this time. However, yesterday was a desperation day, I had to do laundry or go buy new clothes.

I decided to go to a laundromat instead of bothering one of my children because I could wash everything at once and bring it home to dry. I probably should have dried the towels there, so many towels. I was down to my beach towels, so that will tell you something.

Anyway, I found a place in McKinney so I loaded up the car and headed out. The establishment actually had an attendant who was very sweet to me and helped me find the right machines and figure out how many quarters I needed to complete the task. It was a lot of quarters, just FYI, and I washed my things. I didn’t take everything that needed to be washed, I took a lot, but I didn’t take the sheets and the whites. I like to bleach my whites and I have a particular way of doing it, where it takes three cycles to get it done.

Once again my closet and dresser drawers are full and I am relieved. I can wait till Wednesday to do the sheets and whites.

It is officially my birthday month, this year is going to be a great birthday month! Last year was very literally the worst birthday I have ever had, this year is going to be the best. I already have plans with great people the evening before and the day of is with some of the best women I know. I am so excited to usher in this new year of being on this earth. I know it is going to be one of my best years, in terms of me being just me. I really do love who I am, I know, huge surprise for everyone.

But if you can’t love yourself for who you are, then how can anyone else love who you are? I am a really incredible person, I’ve lived through some things during my time on this planet and I have wisdom to impart. Maybe not wisdom, humor, I have humor to impart. Knowledge, I have that as well, maybe some wisdom thrown in for good measure. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Anyway, today is going to be great, family dinner to celebrate Elizabeth Anne’s birthday. Picking up Tessa, I missed her the last time due to the flu, it has been way too long since I have seen her. We have planning to do for our week of fun in July. Never too early to plan.

I feel the need to mention I spent last Saturday evening with Dean Cain. Never mind that he was on my television screen and I was three dimensional in my living room. It counts as a date, right?

I have to go now, I have things to do, peace out peeps. As usual, any comments, criticisms or praise can be left here or sent to angie@angieworld.com.

Happy Birthday Tessa

Today is my amazing granddaughters 10th birthday. As she enters into the double digit territory I am filled with memories of her as a baby, toddler and finally a little girl.
She enters into the dubious world of pre-teen, and all that entails. There are certain hopes I have for her.
I hope she never loses her wonder of learning new things. I hope she always keeps that innocence about her, the ability to trust and the knowledge that the people that love her will protect her.
I hope I always have the relationship with her that I have now, the one where we laugh at the silliest things and have sword fights. The one where she insists I tell her stories before she goes to sleep when she is with me. They have to be true stories, then she guesses who they are about.
I hope she always keeps that sense of excitement about her, where she very literally jumps for joy at the things we think are simple as adults.
I hope she never outgrows me, that she’ll always want to spend time with me.
I hope more than anything that as she grows up, she understands that she can be anything and go anywhere she wants.
I am picking her up in a little while and we begin our week together. I hope she will want that every year, even when she is grown up.
I know that is unlikely, that she will want to spend time with her friends when she is a teenager. That eventually spending time with Gigi won’t hold the allure it does now.
I will treasure this moment in time, this magical time, the time where for a brief moment I am fun and she enjoys being with me.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful granddaughter, may your whole year be filled with wonder and surprises.

No Snow

Well last week was it, the week of my birthday, I turned 51, yes, I said it, 51, what an interesting age this is. Especially shopping for clothes, they are either too old or too young; it is disheartening. Especially as I continue to lose weight, I want cute clothes, not old woman clothes.

I don’t want to dress dowdy, I want to wear cute, fitted jeans, I don’t want to wear loose clothing. I do like pajamas, however, I can’t wear those outside the house, which is one rule I will never break. Elizabeth Anne, take heed, never, ever let me leave the house in pajamas when I am senile. Make sure I have real clothes on.

I took the week off of work and it was glorious, I had a lot of lunches, I napped, I spent time with two of my children and Tessa.

I was never much of a nap person, until last week, I found them lovely, considering I was up early and working out the nap was awesome.

Speaking of working out, I have lost another 6 pounds and 8 inches overall, I continue to shrink and what is even better I continue to gain strength.

I did have cake, but that was on Valentines Day, at the Chocolate Angel, my good friend Wanda arranged a couples dinner and we were on the invite list.

It was so much fun, there were 7 couples and I only knew two of them, the others were so fun. They were engaging, witty and like me, they seemed like they had never met a stranger.

It was fun getting dressed up in one of my Tahari dresses and heels and having a wonderful meal with great conversation.

I also had a Friday the 13th last week; those are my favorite days as they are good luck days in my family.

The only thing that put a damper on my week was no snow; this year I did not get snow on my birthday. At first I felt neglected, it is after all how God shows me He loves me. At least that is what my mom always told me, snow is my friend, it comforts me, it turns everything drab and ugly into a glistening wonderful world. Filled with hushed silence and a weight that envelopes one, it simply speaks of love without saying a word.

I have to think that perhaps someone up North needed it more than I this year, maybe they were particularly lonely and needed the cool embrace that comes with snow. I’ll never know, I just shall pin my hopes on next year.

Well, I am off now, to more torture at Infinity Personal Training, where I sweat the weight away and get into zombie fighting shape.

 

 

 

Cloud Coverage

One week down with no sugar, no dairy and no grains, so far so good, oh side note, coconut milk is gross. I do find it challenging finding enough to eat, to get in the calories that they want me to have. 1200 to 1500 a day. Dairy used to be a staple, cottage cheese, yogurt and well, cheese, not to mention whipping cream in my coffee. I really miss that, tried coconut milk in my coffee, literally thought I was going to die. I finally found some non-dairy, sugar-free creamer and it is ok, not fantastic, but better than the coconut milk.
I am muddling through the working out, I feel clumsy and clunky, but I am doing them! I am already starting to feel better, I know what sugar does to me, I always feel better when I eliminate processed sugar, no bloating, no tired feeling at the end of the day. It’s crazy how things that we have eaten all of our lived really effect our bodies. We don’t even realize it until we give it up.
Today I will be trying spaghetti squash; with organic, sugar free pasta sauce, this will be interesting. If it works out, then I will take leftovers for lunch tomorrow, I am getting tired of protein smoothies. I hate protein powder, no matter what else I put in it, banana, peanut butter or almond milk, nothing masks the taste.
A few weeks back when I picked up Tess from school, there were all these big, fluffy white clouds in the sky. I asked Tessa if she had noticed them and weren’t they pretty. The following is our conversation:

Me: Tess, did you see all of the pretty clouds?
Tessa: yes I did, God must be doing a lot of flying today.
Me: What?
Tessa: Gigi, you know that when God flies over us to check up on us He uses clouds to cover up.
Me: I forgot.

At that moment I look out of my window and I see a cloud in the perfect form of an Angel, I thought to myself, she’s right. God was doing a lot of flying that day; I will never look at clouds the same way again.
Children are amazing, they see things we have forgotten about as adults, things we take for granted are truly miracles in this world. Even something as simple as a big, fluffy white cloud.
I shall report back on the fitness journey, if you are thinking of making a change, Fitness Together is the place to do it. If you are like me and have yo-yoed your way through life then call them. I think they still have the Groupon; you can give them a try for a few weeks and see how you like it. After one week I am seeing a huge difference. Even people around me are remarking on it, my son and a couple of coworkers have said they can already see a difference.

My Journey Begins

Well, here I sit, doing it once again, going all in on a weight loss episode, only this time feels different. I have joined a place, Fitness Together, that works on the whole thing, physical activity as well as nutrition, I have been asked to give up diary, grains and sugar for a month. I am going to do it, I know when I give up sugar I feel better, I am less bloated, I feel less tired and am clearer headed. So for a month I shall give up these things and begin a work out regimen four times a week to begin with.
At the end of the month we shall see how I feel giving up those things, they said at that time we will add things back in. this way we can see if I have a food sensitivity, which makes sense.
I am going to miss cheese and milk the most, I give up sugar all the time, so that won’t kill me, plus I can still have honey in my coffee so I’m good there.
So, this weekend, before I start on Monday, I am eating popcorn, cheese and cereal, maybe some ice cream in there somewhere. I need to say goodbye properly to things I love, and I do so love cheese and popcorn.
Going over what I currently eat, I was told I am not eating enough, and really not enough of the good things. I would tend to agree with this, so I am going to be going on 1500 calories a day, which will be a challenge to get in for me.
I used to have energy, I could come home, do laundry, clean up a bit and stay up later, now I find I come home and just want to sit down. And I sit all day! There is no excuse for this. Fitness Together is owned by a husband and wife, Ray and Amy, Amy asked me if I was tired after eating a baked potato, because carbs tend to cause your body to wind down so it can digest them. I didn’t know how to answer because I am literally tired all of the time. I go to work and I come home, I rarely leave my home on the weekends, I just want to sleep, if I am not sleeping I am sitting.
Not a good way to live, there are times I don’t even feel like shopping, yes, I said shopping, and I love shopping. A lot.
After watching my friend Gladys, go through this amazing transformation over the past year, I decided to give her place a try. She, along with BBFF another friend, Vicki, have inspired me to take my life back, my health and my fitness. I am incredibly tired of being, well tired; it is time to wake up. The older I get the harder it will become; it will be a challenge as it is at my age.
50 is old to begin this intensive of a workout, however I am determined, I shall do it, and I shall do it for good this time. I need to live a really long time; I have so much to live for, my children, Tessa, friends who need me to give them advice well into my dotage. Ok the last part was made up, but it does make me smile to say it.
I, of course, shall take you all along with me while I suffer through the withdrawals and the pain of getting my muscles back. I come from incredibly strong people, physically as well as mentally; I have no doubt I will be channeling them and persevering.

Tired

Another jam-packed weekend is done; I am exhausted, trying to think of when I will have time to sleep. Not anytime soon. Next weekend is the family reunion, so excited about that! I can’t wait to see everyone, I will only be able to go up for one day, not the weekend, but it is one day I will get to see everyone.
This weekend started with me getting Tess after work on Friday, she got to spend the night! Saturday morning was up early, we had a girls breakfast at IHop and then shopping for the day’s festivities.
Everyone came over; by everyone I mean Jeffrey, Elizabeth Anne, Alex, Tessa, the Irishman’s three children and his ex-father-in-law. A packed house, seeing that it is summer it was time for hotdogs on the grill and pool time afterward.
I am still exhausted, I awoke today to rain, thunder and lightening, I so want to go back to sleep! Alas, I am still in class and cannot call in for a vacation day, so up for coffee, picking out something that will help me stay relatively dry and off for more learning.
Training is going well, I think we only have one or two more weeks, not really sure, then it is on the floor we go. I am excited to get to the work, nervous as well, like any new job. The only real way to learn it is to get thrown to the wolves.
Well, it’s a short one-today people; I am off to get dressed to begin my wet, soggy drive into work.

Blood Will Tell

Today I am coming to terms with what I thought I was; yes what, as in ethnicity. Family lore has it that we are part Native American on my grandmother’s side. A claim she vehemently denied, one we seriously thought she was not telling the truth about.
Allow me to digress for a moment, for Mother’s Day Jeffrey and Elizabeth Anne got me the Ancestry DNA test, I sent it in. The results came yesterday, I have always wanted to know exactly what I am. Now I know.
0% Native American, not even a small trace, I have more Spanish than Native American. Scandinavian, now that one was shocking to say the least, there are zero Viking stories in our family history. I now understand why I am so fascinated with Norse Mythology, this is starting to make sense.
The strongest bloodline that I have is Western Europe, which totally makes sense due to Thomas Testerman coming from that region in 1774. No Dutch or Scottish the way Grandma always said, surprisingly Irish, which I never believed.
I don’t know where to go with this information, I am not what I thought I was, I now begin a new journey finding out more about the genetic code I am made of.
Scandinavian makes sense in a way, because I am in 1642 in my research of my Grandmother’s side of the family and I am still in America. Since the Vikings discovered this country earlier than anyone else and settled here, it is not surprising we are made up of these brave people.
So, here is what I am: 52% Western European, 23% Scandinavian, 16% Irish, 4% English, 4% Spanish/Portuguese and a trace amount of Western Asia (Turkey/Syria region).
All in all, 100% American.
I told Tessa we are not Native American and she said I could have told you that. Then I told her we were Vikings, she nodded and said well yes, I have the hat. I should have just asked her what we are. Throw in Italian and Czechoslovakian
and you have my children. We are all such a mixture, it makes us who we are, whom we identify with is up to us.
I will have to adjust my inner thinking about my ancestral bloodlines, the research will continue and I will continue to be incredibly proud that I came from people that knew what they wanted and survived great hardships to attain it. To carve out a place for their progeny and future generations, and I will also be purchasing a Viking hat and Thor’s hammer.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has come and gone, I know I usually talk about my own fantastic mother, however, I thought I would tell a little bit about the people that enable me to have that title.

First and foremost I am so beyond grateful to God that He gave me the ones he did, I seriously cannot imagine life without them. I don’t want to, the thought is unimaginable. I wish I could take credit for their personalities, quirks and genuine awesomeness.

Jeffrey is the most caring father, I love seeing him with Tessa, guiding her, sharing a sense of humor with her and loving her. He builds Legos with her on the floor and plays petshop as well, he really is an amazing father this this wonderful little girl. I could not be prouder of the man he has become, I wish I could take credit, however, I can’t. Jeffrey has a quiet strength, a quiet sense of humor; don’t mistake his quietness for weakness. He is one of the strongest people I know, I am so happy that God entrusted him to me.

Elizabeth is the most capable person I have ever met in my entire life, whatever needs to be done, she does it. Watching her with her four-legged children, and two legged, her birds only have two legs, I should have said fur and feathered children, is a revelation. She has always been good with animals, from the hamsters, birds, chinchilla, dog, cats and everything in-between, you can see what kind of person she truly is. Animals and children love her, she reminds me so much of my grandfather in that respect, animals and children flocked to him as well. She is now engaged to a man who comes with a child, she tells me that is her contribution to my grandmotherhood. I’ll take it. Her sense of humor is well developed and she has a knack for firing off zingers. Once again I cannot believe I was chosen to be her mother, incredible.

Alex is the baby, and in my eyes he will always be the baby, he has gone through a lot to find the path to manhood. I am incredibly proud of the way he has gone through certain things at a young age that would fell adults. He is turning into the man I always knew he would, thoughtful, sensitive and intuitive. I am in awe of his fortitude, I know he will continue to grow and thrive in spite of the adversities that have been thrown his way.

All three have a wicked sense of humor and when we are all together the zingers fly around the room at a pace that is hard to follow for a lot of people. We once had a guest for dinner that likened us to the Adams family, I’m not sure that is an apt description. We don’t moonbath, nor do we have wilted roses as centerpieces, I think this particular person had a hard time following the humor. There is nothing that gives me greater joy than having them all here with me. Listening to them regress into childhood insults, then flying forward to adult concerns is such an awesome thing to watch.

These are the people responsible for me being able to celebrate Mother’s Day; I celebrate them on that day. Their awesomeness, their humor, their caring spirits and their ability to make their mother still feel like she needed.

Whirlwind

It has been a long week, I am enjoying being in a new environment, I miss walking into my other building and seeing everyone, hopefully they will be able to join us after we are done with training.

I actually got to sit with someone who I used to sit by in my other job; it was good to see all of the tools and what they do. I hope we start learning those soon, they looked interesting and a more in-depth look at the line than what we had access to.

Yesterday I did get to pick up Tess, not at school of course, at her Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather’s house. We had a good talk on the way to my house, we talked about two creepy dolls that she has, she is convinced they can open doors. I remember thinking a few of mine could do that at her age as well, she was cracking me up with her description of how she thought they could preform such a feat.

We decided to have our weekend gathering to Sunday, it is Mother’s Day after all, a cookout is in order. Alex is out of town; he has already called me twice to tell me where he was on his drive and to let me know he arrived safely. I do not care how old they are, a mom always wants to know her children are safe.

Today I am taking Tess shopping for new spring and summer clothes, I love doing it, she hates shopping. I seriously do not understand this; I guess she inherited her dad’s attitude towards that activity. I told her after shopping we could do something fun, she loves going to Old McDonald’s (her name for the much maligned fast-food place) and another place that I will not name as there are not that many and well people are crazy.

I don’t know which she will choose, but we will have fun no matter the place, that being said, I am off to get ready for our day of fun. I hope everyone has a great day, a wonderful weekend and a fantastic Mother’s Day!

Funeral Planning

Am I really the only one that wonders what people will say at their funeral? I wonder that a lot, what words will be spoken when I am gone? What stories will be told of my life?

I asked the Irishman last night what he would say at my funeral, he said he would not be able to speak at all, as he would be too upset. Then he said he didn’t want to talk about it, he doesn’t like to think about death. I think about it all the time, one of my hobbies is planning my funeral. You have to prepare for these things, I have been to a lot of funerals and you cannot leave things to the living.

If you want something done, then you have to do it yourself, why would you leave your final act up to someone else to plan? I would not do that; you never know what people are going to do with you.

I am not one of those people that say things like oh just put me in a pine box and throw me in a ditch. Yes, I have actually heard people say that, horrifying, why would you want that? A funeral is actually for the people left, a chance for them to have closure, to say goodbye and see you later. It is their opportunity to reflect and be happy that you’re free, free of earthly constraints, free of aches and pains, free of heartache. You have made it, you are going home, this is a celebration!

I do wonder though, what will my children say about me? What will Tessa say? Will Elizabeth tell stories of my clumsiness? Will Jeffrey tell about the time I took him to a Rangers game? Will Alex talk about our lunches? Will Tess tell about the times I took her to the park or Old McDonalds? Will they know how much I loved them? That they were my entire world?

A funeral is not for the empty shell left behind, so plan well my friends, this is your last opportunity to plan a great party that will allow the people you leave behind an opportunity to say goodbye. To begin their life without you in it, a pine box and a ditch is not comforting. It is ridiculous to say things like that, and thoughtless to the ones left planning it, do your own planning.

If you plan your own funeral it takes all of the guess work out of it for the ones left, they don’t have to make decisions, they can just reflect, smile, laugh and cry without the stress of picking out a casket, songs they think you would like and a service. If you do this for them you lift a burden from their shoulders, it is your final gift to the ones left behind.

It is not only my hobby planning my own funeral; it is my final gift to my children and granddaughter. I am taking everything out of their hands so they are stress free and can actually begin their grieving process unburdened by decision-making.

So, what would you say about me at my funeral?