Excuse me sir, do you have anything for the Dengue Fever?

Note: This post has been in the making for nine months, kinda like a baby except it wasn’t baking to perfection. I am just a Self-Proclaimed Procrastinator of the Universe.

As many of you may or may not know, I turned fifty last April. DH is and always has been Numero Uno in the birthday department. He makes it his job to be sure I have the perfect birthday every year.

For my fortieth, he gathered fifty of my closest friends and family and a big boat and we cruised around NY harbor to gaze at Lady Liberty under the stars. How can you outdo that one?

By taking your wife on a much needed vacation. When he asked what I wanted for my fiftieth I didn’t hesitate to ask for a tropical getaway. I was in dire need of a real, live vacation with palm trees, blue waters, and sand. Oh, and margaritas and rum punch. Lots and lots of margaritas and rum punch.

A drink boy would have been nice too, but I do have DH and he is totally nice to look at. Also, he likes to bring me drinks, so he would fit the bill.

Ahhh

THIS is what I was talking about

My DH does not like traveling so I knew he would be less than thrilled, but it was my birthday wish. And birthday wishes must be fulfilled. It’s a rule. You know, in my rulebook.

After much research and reading every travel site known to man, I chose Providenciales. One of the islands of Turks & Caicos. Also, it was highly recommended by some friends and from my research it is known to have some of the best beaches in the world.

Who am I to turn away from the best beaches in the world? I would keep my toes in the sand my entire life if I could, so going to the best of them was right up my alley.

Also, this body of mine was depleted of Vitamin D (true story). Too much sun is bad for you. Too little sun is bad for you. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

The Kid wanted to be a part of the festivities, so I chose a week in May after school got out and before she started summer activities. Three weeks before the rainy season begins there.

We rented a private cottage on a private stretch of beach. We could have gone to the other, more commercial side of the island, but in addition to needing a vacation I really needed peace and quiet.

Sadly, this is the only sun we would see for six days

Our private stretch of beach and cabana. This is the only sun we would see for six days

When we disembarked, the heat from the sun was enough to make your skin melt off and the sweat factor was set at 165%. We all arrived in jeans because when we left New York it was chilly. I almost had to resort to scissors to get them off.

Sadly, that was the last of the sun for a week. Just to give you an idea of what we were dealing with, it is said to rain six days a year in Turks & Caicos. We saw four of them.

This is why I don’t play the lottery. My luck is so bad, I would probably owe the lottery people money.

Did I mention the vegetation?

Did I mention the vegetation?

Now don’t get me wrong. Our vacation was very nice. Our little cottage was sweet. Private and quiet just like I wanted with lots of vegetation right outside our back door.

But along with vegetation comes bugs that were on an apocalyptic level. It felt more like we were in a scene out of “Them!” than paradise, so any dreams of sitting on our beach were quickly swept away with the first bite from a sand flea.

But I couldn’t really complain. I mean, we were in Turks & Caicos. Turks & Caicos, people.

Our beach umbrella turned rain umbrella

Our beach umbrella-turned-rain umbrella

Besides the fact that our beach umbrella was used to keep out the rain instead of the sun, we had a lovely time. We were together and healthy so that’s all that mattered.

Until the “healthy” no longer applied.

Let’s just say I used my fair share of toilet paper and my stomach was cramped up in a vice grip from Day Two until well after our vacation was over.

When something disguised as Typhoid or Dengue Fever or parasites hits you like a fast ball at a Yankees game, it could be a vacation wrecker. But who was I to let a little diarrhea keep me from enjoying my vacation?

18527747_1533950103306137_5883110691456930816_nI powered through. I put on my snorkeling gear and spent the better part of our week with the fishies. When you are in the sea, you can’t really feel the rain falling on you. Also, something about the lightness of the water eased my cramping.

Sucking it up, putting on a brave face, and drinking a margarita dammit!

Sucking it up, putting on a brave face, and drinking a margarita for the sake of humanity

Remember I wanted lots of margaritas and rum punch? I may not have had lots of either, but I insisted on ordering a cocktail with my dinner every night whether I was in the mood or not. I swore that is what I wanted to do on vacation and that is what did do dammit.

The obligatory vacation photo with feet

The obligatory vacation photo with feet

And I sat on my cabana and watched the sunless sunset and drank a glass of wine from the $30 bottle of swill we bought at the local grocer, because the cost of all things there is astronomical.

All whilst being bitten to death by mammoth sized tropical bugs. But hello? Private cabana on private beach. Bugs or no bugs. It had to be done. If even for ten minutes.

So, I must know. Does something happen to our stomachs when we age? I’m not talking about how it heads south.

That is more obvious than knowing mimosas go with breakfast.

But this same thing happened to me in Ireland a couple years ago. Hmm.

After having testing done of my stool (yes, that was as fun as it sounds) when we hit American soil, all things alarming were dismissed. It looks like it was just a good old fashioned case of Montezuma’s Revenge.

Yup, traveler’s diarrhea.

Swell.

In closing, when life gives you lemons, you add tequila. And Imodium. So, bring it on Monte. I’m ready for our next adventure.

Dragon Flies and Boys to be continued….

I apologize to all my email subscribers, but I inadvertently hit the “publish” button on my “Dragon Flies and Boys” post and it was unfinished. That’s what I get for drinking wine while writing. Will I ever learn?

You will have to wait to hear the juicy ending. To come soon so stay tuned. Thank you for your understanding!

PS: I also know “Dragonflies” is really one word, but this was a draft so I get a pass.

Dragon Flies and Boys

When I was a teenager I was a little boy crazy. My mom completely disagrees with me, but she doesn’t know the full story. Because, well, why let her think otherwise, right?

Sorry, mom, but you were wrong.

There was this one boy who I was head over heels in love with. Well, I thought it was love. I was sixteen and couldn’t see past my nose, so what did I really know?

I’m going to call him BT, kind of like a bacon and tomato sandwich, but not. I’m sure he’s still around so I can’t really say his name out loud, although if he reads my blog (I highly doubt it), he’ll know he is the subject of my latest story.

Anyway, this guy was everything a sixteen year old girl could want. He was artsy, and cool. He smoked just the right amount of pot and wore a leather jacket. He wasn’t great looking. In fact, he was fairly homely, but he had this certain air about him. Aloof and indifferent. He knew how to act to get the girls. And it worked.

Son of a bitch.

Anyway, let’s just say the dating of this boy set me on the path to making a complete ass of myself for the next, umm. I can’t even remember how long it lasted, it seemed like a year, but I’m sure this all occurred in a short span of ninety days or so. Which was my track record for boyfriends back then. Three months. A dragon fly lives longer.

 

 

Sweating With the Oldies

My deodorant collection. I

My deodorant collection.

It started on a chili day last October, a mere six months after I turned fifty. I was wearing my favorite royal blue long sleeved polyester blend blouse. One of the few that I can wear without my boobs pulling on the buttons and showing the entire office the girls. Which, by the way, look more like a couple of deployed air bags than breasts these days, but I don’t want to talk about it.

Anyway, did you know I have a closet in my house designated for clothes that used to fit me? Well, kind of designated. They hang among my child’s First Christmas dress with dried up mystery spit-up from 1998 and my wedding dress that bears a twenty-five year old champagne stain where my lap would be if I tried it on. If I could get it on, which I can’t. But that’s a story for another time.

What I plan on doing with these old clothes that used to fit is a mystery. Stay tuned on that one. Although it may be a long wait.

I’m sitting in my chair at my desk at work. The chair that I determined is going to be my demise. The new thing now is if you sit for too long, you will take literal years off your life. At this rate, I should be dead by next Tuesday.

Where was I? Oh, right…my death chair. I feel wetness under my right arm. I’m not talking about a slight dampness, I’m talking there is a straight up flood. If sweat didn’t contain so much salt and, well, come from our body, I’m pretty sure I could ease the thirst of every person in the Western Hemisphere just based on the wetness factor.

The River Nile

The River Nile right here on the East Coast of New England

I look down slowly. And I mean slowly. Because I am terrified by what I will see. If I feel a flood, surely there IS a flood.

Lo and behold, peeking out from where my arm creases, I see dark blue. Not the bright blue my shirt was intended to be. No. This blue is sinister. A Sinister Blue.

Except we aren’t in Crayola Land.

I knew something was wrong. Terribly, awfully wrong.

Without lifting my arm, I proceed to my very stylish and beautifully put together co-worker on the other side of the wall that we share.

“Hey, umm, Andrea, do I have a sweaty pit?” And proceed to lift my right arm. Andrea throws both her hands to her mouth and gasps. I can almost hear all the heads collectively turning in my direction.

“Is it really that bad?” I ask her. I’m thinking I may have to get the defibrillator hanging in the hallway two floors down because she is unmoving. Finally, she comes to and verifies what I feared the most.

And this is how it has been every single day since. A constant battle to try to stop The Flood from seeping out of the hollow of the darkest recesses of my arms.

Me and the deodorant aisle at the local grocery store are now intimately involved. Although the aisle has since failed me because I have tried every scent, strength, and brand. I have even crossed over to the men’s section. How is it that it’s strong enough for a man, but not for a women going through menopause? Certainly a man can handle that.

Hmm, maybe not. Please refer to the “Man Cold.”

Actual dress shields I purchased from Amazon

Actual dress shields I purchased from Amazon

So, what do I do? Enter Amazon and dress shields. And this is how it goes down:

Day One: Stuck to my arm in the wrong place missing exactly where it needed to be and defeating the whole purpose.

Day Two: I stuck two of them in the pit of my shirt but there was a fight and they wound up in a blood bath in the bathroom trash bin by noon.

Day Three: Umm, let’s just say that nothing says, “I wear sanitary napkins in my armpits” better than when one is sticking out and tickling your chin.

Needless to say, after “wearing” these for a week, I gave up. I’m not sure how they have a 4-star rating. I’m guessing people use them for things other than their intended use. Like maybe to care for a wound, or blot the grease off a face. Or yes, even as a sanitary napkin.

How have I remedied this situation? I wear dark colored shirts. Dark as in black. The blue shirt is now collecting dust in the closet with my clothes that no longer fit. I wear cardigans over my shirts to hide whatever may still get through. Because it gets through. A steel trap can’t keep the moisture at bay.

And I don’t lift my arms. Tripling up on three different deodorants is now part of my morning ritual. Does it work? Well, no, of course not. Hence, the reason for this post.

All I can say is, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Join who, exactly? I’m not sure, but I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out. In the meantime? If you see a woman in the fetal position on the floor of the deodorant aisle, keep on walking. It’s just me.

It’s Balmy Around Here

Courtesy of practicallyprimal.com

Courtesy of practicallyprimal.com

Hi, my name is Mo and I have a lip balm addiction. I’m not really sure when it started. I do remember that it was a slow progression and built up speed. You know, like time. Or that old song “Beep Beep” by The Playmates. If you haven’t heard it, google it. You’ll see what I mean.

I only did it at night, before bed. You know, once in a while when my lips were actually chapped. Hence the words “Chap. Stick.”

Then it eventually turned into an every evening habit. And then after I brushed my teeth. Warning: the act of brushing one’s teeth causes the lips to feel dry. This is something they don’t teach you in middle school health class.

Suddenly, I was a full-blown, out-and-out lip balm addict.

And I’m not picky either. No. I don’t care if it comes in a tube, stick, tub, or barrel. Hell, it could be synthetic car oil, or WD-40. Whatever. As long as it gives me the fix I crave.

Just for the record, I have a large collection and wide range of lip balm.

Lip Balm

This isn’t the half of it

I have three forms of lip balm in my car. One of which is empty but I keep “just in case.” I’m thinking I may be able scrape some off the inside of the tube in case of an emergency. What? It could happen.

I have one in just about every room of my house. Two at work. Five in my pocketbook. In drawers in the kitchen. Drawers in my bedroom and bathroom. I have them in pockets of random articles of clothing. I have lip balm where you wouldn’t even think lip balm would belong. (Yes, I found one in the garage one time. Also, I dropped a stick down my shirt once. Does that count?)

So, this little habit of mine got me to thinking — and I’m wondering if it’s a conspiracy. Do the makers of these tiny little sticks of power add something to make us want more?

I had to find out, so I took to the interwebs. And in approximately eight seconds, I had my answer. Although there isn’t anything “addictive” in them per se (there are products that are drying; therefore, creating a viscous circle), there is such a thing as “compulsive application.”

I’m not sure I am completely satisfied with this answer, but I do know that there should be a picture of me next to that statement. I should be the poster child for Lip Balm Compulsive Applicators.

I slather that stuff on every few minutes at work. I go through a stick of lip balm every couple of weeks. My co-workers for sure think I’m insane, as I can’t get through a conversation without reaching for my stick of lip balm I keep within arms reach next to my computer monitor.

And if we’re at the water cooler or somewhere other than my desk? Well, have you ever had to interrupt your boss for lip balm? Not a good idea.

DH fills my Christmas stocking with these guys. And you wouldn’t believe my excitement over this. I’m like a kid getting a new bicycle except it’s better AND cheaper. It fits in my pocket. Also, I can’t get hurt.

The other day, I needed to run into the store and I didn’t feel like carrying my large bag. So, I grabbed my phone and wallet and started for the door. Then remembered that I might need lip balm.

And Poo Pouri but that’s a story for another time. If you haven’t tried it, you must. It works. I swear. This too, I carry with me everywhere I go. You’re welcome.

Anyway, I backed up and threw my phone and wallet back into my bag and lugged that thing around. I did this for lip balm. Lip balm. Does anyone else besides me see the insanity in this?

Yeah well, it’s too late for me, but please. Save yourselves if you can. Otherwise, I’ll see you at LBA –Lip Balm Anonymous. Surely, they must have a chapter around here somewhere. Right?Lip balm 2

 

Weight For It – A Random Tale of the Girl With More Than One Chin

Courtesy of Pinterest somewhere

Courtesy of Pinterest somewhere (Dobardor.com to be exact)

I am at an all time high in the weight department.

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Me in Florida a few weeks ago. I’m wearing a fat suit on my face. I’m sure of it.

See? I told you.

See? I told you.

Ok, so I was about 24 here. Why can't I look like this again? WHY????

Ok, so I was about twenty-four years old here. But why can’t I look like this again? WHY???? God, if you let me look like this again, I’ll…oh, never mind.

I had never really had a problem with weight. When I was in high school, I could eat my lunch, all my friends’ leftovers, go home and eat Steak-umm sandwiches and Twinkies washed down with cherry Kool-Aid and still only weigh ninety-eight pounds soaking wet.

Well, it seems those days are gone.

I can no longer eat Twinkies — it turns out there isn’t a food group for chemicals anyway.

Why can’t I eat them? You know, aside from the fact that they are made of ingredients that are virtually unpronounceable, and umm, soap?

Because now they just take a detour to sit on my stomach, upper arms, and anywhere else they are not welcome.

Practically everyone I know is on Weight Watchers. I have always avoided the big WW or any other kind of weight loss program. I’ve always been in the camp of “just eat right and exercise” and you will be able to lose weight.

944552_596992317012877_739575606_n

Smack in the middle of my running days

Just over four years ago I did just that. I lost thirty pounds. I took up running and I journaled every single morsel of anything I put in my mouth.

A chocolate kiss? Twenty-two calories. A single potato chip? Fourteen.

I ran. The one thing I declared that I would never, ever do. Yet, I fell for it. Hard. I loved it. But it didn’t love me back. After a short few months into my new hobby, my meniscus tore in two places.

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Look ma, no Spanx!

After my surgery, I would cry tears of frustration whenever I would pass a runner. Aside from step class in the late eighties, running is the only exercise I actually enjoyed.

Anyway, I was in the best shape of my life. It took me a year to take off the weight, and a mere months to put it all back on, plus an extra five pounds for good measure.

Do you know how hard it is to lose weight once you hit fifty? Also, something happens to your middle. It grows and well, sags. It gets in the way of doing simple daily tasks. You all know what I’m talking about.

I don't know what this is, but be assured I ate it.

I don’t know what this is, but rest assured I ate it.

So, I kind of joined Weight Watchers. No, I do not go to meetings. Meetings have never been my thing. I have the app on my iPhone and I have been following it for almost a month now. They actually have pretty good recipes. DH is also on Weight Watchers, he just doesn’t know it.

And I’m down four pounds.

If I'm at a restaurant and I don't finish it, I always have to take it home. "One doggy bag to go." Except it wasn't for my dog.

Waste not, want not. And I wanted it.

The point of my blog post here is to say that I ate. I ate a lot. I always ate way more than DH does. The way I piled food on my plate, you’d think it was my last meal. Or that food was going to go out of fashion. Or a shortage was coming. Or an apocalyptic event.

I love bread

My love affair with bread.

I’m not talking vegetables and boiled chicken either. If I had a hankering for a plate of nachos, I would make some. I would stop into a McDonald’s on a whim. Not smart for someone who has struggled with genetically high cholesterol since 1986. Don’t lecture me. I know. My doctor is none too thrilled either.

When I started WW four weeks ago, I would bet I cut down my intake of

This was Buffalo Chicken dip. I made it on a whim and ate the entire thing. In one sitting. With tortilla chips.

This was Buffalo Chicken dip. I made it on a whim and ate the entire thing. In one sitting. With tortilla chips. .

food by a pound or two a day. Seriously. If I had a scale and actually weighed what I ate, I would be able to prove it to you.

For now, you’ll have to settle with eye-witnesses who can corroborate my story. And there are a lot of them so take your pick.

Again, my point is this…if I went from eating like a sumo wrestler to eating like a rabbit, why is it I only lost four pounds?

Oh, and I also cut back on my wine intake. Like, A LOT. You’d think I would have lost a ton of weight in the first week just based on the sheer volume of wine I no longer throw back.

I eat so many vegetables now, my nose is starting to twitch. And I haven’t even had so much as

All kinds of fish -- even shellfish -- are zero points. That's right, ZERO!

All kinds of fish — even shellfish — are zero points. That’s right, ZERO!

one ounce of red meat in thirty days.

I’m not saying losing a pound a week is bad. It’s a good and healthy way of losing weight. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’m just saying, well, you know, I’m just surprised given what I’ve stopped ingesting.

Since I can’t run, I am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of exercising. Because, let’s be honest here. Exercising kind of sucks. I can always find other things that I’d rather be doing with my time.

You know, like swim with piranhas. And I can’t even swim.

The excuses I have for not going to the gym (which is FREE and three floors down from my desk at WORK), would impress even the Generation Z set.

So, I’m going to start up at the gym again. Also, I downloaded an app where they guarantee you will lose weight if you do what they tell you to do for seven minutes a day. So far, I haven’t opened it. Part of me is afraid of what will be required of me. You know, like moving. If apps could collect dust, I fear it most likely would start to resemble the elliptical in the spare room in no time.

So here I am, about day thirty. I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully, you won’t find me binge eating at the local McDonald’s. If you do, look the other way.

 

Boujee is As Boujee Does…Or Not

“Boujee” according to Urban Dictionary:

“An abbreviation of the French “bourgeois.” A critical term used to describe people, things, and places that are definitively high-class. Something that is affected, inauthentic, gentrified, exclusive, and/or otherwise sheltered from the dirt and grime of the real world.”

The Kid and I recently visited a dear friend of mine (DFOM) and her step-daughter (Say-Say) who have a vacation home in Palm Beach, Florida.

We almost didn’t make it as there was a major snow storm (affectionately known as the “Bomb Cyclone”) heading our way the day of our departure. By the hair of our chinny-chin-chins, we were able to get on the last plane out of dodge a day earlier.

I still have anxiety over it.

I can’t say that Florida was much better in the temperature department. I mean, Iguanas falling out of trees because of the cold can’t be a good thing, right?IMG_9372

I’m just glad I’m not an iguana. I’m also glad I didn’t get hit by one.

My DFOM owns a beautiful home amongst the mucky-mucks. Something I am not quite accustomed to. The mucky mucks, I mean.

Well, the beautiful home, too.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a simple girl with a big mouth and a loud sense of humor who can belch with the best of them, and laughs when someone passes gas.

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Told you so.

I mean, come on! My favorite Christmas gift this year was the Potty Squatty. Need I say more?

In other words, I am not refined. I’m basically a twelve year old boy stuck in a middle aged body.

Irregardless, I took my fake Louise Vuitton bag and Dress Barn clothes and faked it for all it was worth.

And I stood out like a sore thumb.

Nothing against sore thumbs, but somehow these people can spot one a mile away. My Dress Barn special and unrefined attitude just don’t make the cut.

Go figure.

Anyway, enough about me and my uncultured ways. Let’s get on with the fun stuff. So, what did we do for six luxurious days?

IMG_9405

It looks like I ate a sour lemon, which was the look really. Remember Mrs. Howell?

Read it and weep because I made more offenses than if I farted to the tune of “Homage for Satan” in church.

Wednesday: Got into the airport after midnight. Saw DFOM and Say-Say and ran to their car while it was still moving. Was told I didn’t have any common sense by the nice police officer. Offense #1 by internal 12 year old boy even though external middle-aged body knew better.

Thursday: Turned on the news. Laughed at all the northerners who had hell freezing over on them. Made a drink in an adult sippy cup, bundled up in a long sleeved t-shirt, put on head gear so as not to receive brain trauma from falling iguanas, and hung out at the beach. Forgot to “slough” my heels which was Offense #2. Let’s just say, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “well-heeled.”

You can get "dry" lemonade, but no wine, at High Tea

You can get “dry” lemonade, but no wine, at High Tea

Friday: Flagler Museum and High Tea. Offense #3: they don’t have wine at High Teas, so don’t ask. Especially when it is clear there is no bar.

Drove down the East coast version of Rodeo Drive called Worth Avenue. Laughed and laughed at all the ladies who spend way too much on face lifts and nail polish.

Oh, went to the Breakers, too. One of The Kid’s bucket list items was visiting the original Lilly Pulitzer store there. She’s boujee. Not sure where she came from.

IMG_9451

There goes my Mrs. Howell face again. I need to work on that. Notice the palm trees in the reflection of my glasses…nice, right? Yes, it was.

Saturday: Took a ride along the coastline in the convertible Bentley with the top down. Drove past all the richy-rich houses with Zillow turned on so we could faint with every price tag. 911 really should have been called.

Sat by the pool/beach (pool to the left of me, beach to the right) at one of the many country clubs DFOM belongs to. Got served by a really cute cabana boy who did pretty much anything we asked.

Tried to get Say-Say to ask him out, but she wouldn’t. Youth is wasted on the young. Offense # 4: Snorting while laughing is not looked upon kindly even though it’s a gift of mine.

Sunday: Spent the day on DFOM’s boat. IMG_9493Got driven around by a captain. Offense #5: saying “OMG YOU HAVE A CAPTAIN???!!!” out loud is not proper.

Monday: We slummed it by shopping at the little outlet center near DFOM’s home. Offense #6: there were no offenses made this day. I was in my element. “Slumming” it is what I do best. That, and snorting while I laugh.

Tuesday (day of departure): DFOM and Say-Say took us for brunch at one of their other country clubs, even though we didn’t bring a fancy hat. Offense #7, but really #6: Do not pile plates on top of each other when you are done eating. Also, do not push your plate to the side. Apparently, the rules here are different than at The Red Lobster.

Random photo of how The Kid's shoes match the comforter at the outlet center.

Random photo of how The Kid’s shoes match the comforter at the outlet center.

It seems I have much to learn.

Although, you know the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” In dog years, I am 350 years old. I should be dead, so I get a pass.

To sum things up, we basically spent six days on a Hollywood set, except this was real. Honestly, I kept looking for Alan Funt to tell me to look into the camera.

All in all, it was a great get-away with good friends and a much needed respite. This life may not be for me, but it is fun to visit. I’m not gonna lie.

If we receive an invitation to return next year, I’ll be sure to be more prepared. TJMaxx sells Ralph Lauren.

Is Ralph acceptable in Palm Beach? Asking for a friend.

 

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 5

Fa la la la la and welcome to Our Family Christmas Letter #5.

The year of 2017 was the year of discovery.

I discovered that I can’t sleep past 6:00am and that I can no longer sit criss-cross apple sauce. If I do, I feel like my hips are going to crack out of their sockets. Also, I’m pretty sure there is nothing left of my knees. How do I know? It could be the fact that I cannot so much as walk to the end of my driveway without feeling like someone took a baseball bat to my kneecaps. Call it a hunch.

Why is all this happening? I don’t really know but I’m blaming the number 50 because it all went downhill starting on the magical day of April 6. Yes, I am officially middle-aged and it ain’t pretty.

I’ve also discovered that my pits have decided to sweat a river a day. I spent the better part of the second half of 2017 looking for the perfect deodorant. Just so you know, it doesn’t exist. Not even on the men’s shelf at Stop and Shop so don’t bother. Those dress shield things — otherwise known as maxi pads for your armpits — work well enough until one of them pops out of the top of your shirt. That’s a nice look. I highly recommend it.

I had my first colonoscopy which was a real joy. Everyone told me it was nothing. That the prep was the worst. I discovered that was not true and that my friends are all liars.

The worst part of it was vomiting upon waking from my procedure. Anyone who knows me knows I would rather give a speech about quantum physics with centipedes crawling all over me to a room of 12,000 people, than vomit.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration…let’s make it spiders.

Also, I still haven’t figured out how it was possible to throw-up when I hadn’t eaten in nearly 20 hours. One of the many mysteries of the world, I guess. Maybe I’ll discover why in 2018, as that discovery just was not to be so in 2017.

(Note: three polyps were found, so please don’t let the fact that I threw up deter you from having a colonoscopy. It could very well save your life.)

Work for me is going great. It took a few months, but the cobwebs are finally clearing out of my brain. I seem to have grown out of all my old work pants though, so I’ve been wearing the same four pairs.

I plan on fitting back into those too-tight pants this year, but my New Year’s resolution track record is not a good one; therefore, I wouldn’t count on it. I apologize to all my co-workers but I promise I’ll try to wash them as much as possible.

Our dishwasher died this year. So, in addition to not being able to prevent the occurrence of the River Nile from developing in my underarm region, I have become a literal prairie woman by washing my own dishes. My new nickname is Caroline Ingalls. You can call me Carol for short.

Our washer and dryer also kicked the bucket this year, as well as our microwave. There is nothing like having to warm up your leftovers on an open flame. “Carol” seems to be more fitting with every appliance breakdown, don’t you think? And no, I did not hand wash our clothes. I have to draw the line somewhere. Attention co-workers: I just lied to you back there.

As for the other members of the family, they are doing just fine.

Our college age dear daughter has decided when she comes home she is a guest; therefore, expects us to pull out all the stops. I put my foot down at putting out a pitcher of Perrier on her nightstand, though. Poland Springs will have to do.

Other than that, she is doing great. The college debt is building up just like it should be. The best part is spending an evening applying for FAFSA when we don’t get a dime. I find it entertaining to be declined. It makes me feel rich even if for just a moment when in actuality l’m pretty sure if you have at least a house made of cardboard, you are too wealthy for a government handout.

DH is doing well. Nothing much has changed with him. He still likes to park the motorcycle in the living room during the winter season. Even though I tried to explain to him that we are prairie people now and prairie people don’t do those things. He never listens.

He still has his job he loves. Last week, I caught him trying to poke his good eye out with a fork. I’m so glad I stopped him. It’s hard to do the job he loves with only half an eye. If you recall, he lost part of his eyesight last year.

He’s still slim as ever. To all you ladies out there who don’t want a fat husband, cook really bad food. Twenty five years and counting so I am living proof this method works.

Then what’s MY excuse? I love bad food. I’m selfless like that.

I almost forgot to tell you, we finally went on a real vacation! After months of planning, the three of us flew to Turks and Caicos. It rained five days out of six and I contracted something close to Dengue Fever and basically got our money’s worth in toilet paper but it was fun overall.

I’m pretty sure we’re the only people on the planet who come back from the Caribbean without a tan but that’s just how we roll. (Toilet paper + roll = pun — see what I did there?)

That’s it in a nutshell. I would write a recap, but I need to go help pick up the Christmas Tree that just fell in our living room.

Discovery #9: If it seems like the old plastic Christmas tree stand that is leaking, leans to one side, and that you’ve had since the beginning of time is not going to hold a hundred pound tree, it probably won’t.

Why is there a live tree in the living room anyway? Yet another discovery hopefully to come in 2018.

See you all in the New Year…be safe and prosper.

No Hold Barres Ever Again

A few weeks ago I took a Barre class with a good friend of mine. This Barre class really was of no interest to me.

Why not?

Because I’m embarrassed to say that the most exercise I’ve had in the last couple years has been random walks around the block with the dog, and twenty (really fifteen) minutes on the elliptical at the gym during my “I’m going to get healthy” phase that lasted all of two weeks.

So, how did I get roped into this Barre class thing, you ask?

The Kid and I were spending the weekend with a friend and her step-daughter. Every Saturday morning they take a Barre class. Who were we to stand between these ladies and their routine?

Besides, I soon found out that pretty much death is the only thing that could come between my friend and her Barre class.

So we scheduled a class for the next morning. Bright and early.

On a weekend. When I was supposed to be sleeping late, drinking cocktails, catching up with my friend and doing nothing. Let me repeat…doing NOTHING (all caps, bolded and italicized in case you didn’t quite get the gist).

Anyway, when the two young’uns woke up with liquid coming out of both ends due to eating a bowl of bad Acai berries, I thought we would be off the hook. In fact, I was pretty sure we were. You know, off the hook.

Remember I said only death would come between my friend and her Barre class?

It wasn’t a lie.

I supposed if two food poisoned-stricken young ladies could muster up the energy to sit (sit really isn’t the correct word here) through a fifty minute Barre class, then so could I.

I was wrong.

Upon our arrival, I warned the cute little class instructor that I was going to look like a complete jackass to which she replied, “oh, you’ll be fine.”

She soon discovered the joke was on her.

If you have never been to a Barre class (Is this even a proper noun? Is it really deserving of capitalization?), the room looks like a long and narrow torture chamber. With mirrors lining one entire wall so that you can watch yourself looking like the complete jackass you claimed you are (I certainly didn’t want to disappoint anyone).

Oh, and there are bars. Or Barres. Running up and down two walls. The kind of bars you would find in a ballet studio.

Except this was no ballet class. Not that I’m saying ballet is any easier. But I was in a room with ballet bars. I mean, why?

The instructor had us do some stretches. I think. I’ve blocked some of it out. I’m sure my brain went into protection mode.

You may think I’m being a tad dramatic, but I’m not. It was bad. And it hurt. It hurt in places that I didn’t even know existed.

During the first three minutes, I discovered that I could no longer touch my toes. The last time I couldn’t touch my toes, I was nine months pregnant. That should tell you something.

Apparently, the purpose of Barre class (there goes that capitalization again) is, and I quote, “to perform multi-directional dynamic movements to target different muscle groups simultaneously.”

Well, let me assure you that there were muscle groups in my body that were in a deep hibernating state since 2014 and they were none too happy with me.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “…a long winter’s nap,” don’t ‘cha think?

After correcting me seventeen times in the first twenty minutes, the instructor shrugged her shoulders and gave up.

There was not one move I could accomplish. I stood/sat/died there for most of the class, with my eyes averted. Looking on the ground pretending an earring dropped out of my ear.

And I don’t wear earrings.

I kept peeking around the room to see if I had a partner in crime. Someone I could be in cahoots with. Someone who was struggling like I was because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company,” and that expression could not have been more true during this fifty minutes of hell.

But nope, I was the only jackass in class. Everyone looked like they knew what they were doing and doing it well.

Even the food-poisoned young ladies.

IMG_8375After sweating through class, with my heart pounding so hard I was concerned the paramedics were going to be called, I realized one thing:

I am out of shape.

And not just out of shape. My body is completely deplete of any shape at all.

I am a fifty-year old woman whose body is that of a seventy-year old (I apologize to all you seventy-year old women right now, because you probably still look and feel better than I do but if I put the number any higher, I will most likely drop dead of a stroke from the thought of it).

When I get out of bed in the morning, it takes a good five minutes to warm up. My back hurts, every bone pops, and forget about my knees. Those babies are shot and are in dire need of a repair.

I can no longer sit on the floor. If I do, I resemble one of those baby elephants trying to get a feel for standing except the baby elephant has a higher success rate.

After I prayed hard for the class to end, it finally did. I glared at my friend and pretty much threatened her life. “NEVER AGAIN,” I proclaimed for the entire class to hear.

The instructor actually breathed a big sigh of relief.

There was one benefit to this class. And that is I realized how badly I need to make some changes.

If I don’t start moving my ass, I am not going to be in good shape by the end of the decade. I mean, even worse than I am now. And that scares the hell out of me.

Four years ago...FOUR lousy years ago! It took me over a year to lose 30 pounds, and mere months to put them back on. WHY????

Four years ago…FOUR lousy years ago! It took me over a year to lose 30 pounds, and mere months to put them back on. WHY????

How in the world did I let myself go? Four years ago I was running five miles three to four times a week. I could run circles around most of the young people I knew. I was thirty pounds lighter, fit, tone, and best of all I felt amazing.

Now?

I’m just a fifty-year old woman stuck in a seventy-year old body who can’t do Barre class without looking like a walrus trying to scratch his own back.

I don’t really know what that means, but believe me it can’t be pretty.

Cheers to healthier days. Maybe next time you see me, I will look less like zoo animals, and more like a woman in the prime of her life.

Endocolonoscopy Part II

You all know I had a colonoscopy a couple weeks ago. If you didn’t know, read this.

Everyone from the Pope to the girl at work said the worst part was the prep.

Don’t believe everything you hear. That advice right there is something we were given at a very young age, yet I went against it.

There are maybe two benefits to a colonoscopy:

1) Rapid weight loss within a 24 hour period. I don’t recommend it though because having your insides empty into a toilet bowl at the velocity of a 747 doing a nose dive is probably not so good for you; and 2) A colonoscopy can save your life.

There is something very awkward about meeting the man who will be shoving a 6′ hose where the sun really does not ever shine,\

for the first time on the actual day of said shoving.

Besides the fact that he said he had a hangover, I think it went well. He was joking by the way.

I think.

Not only will he be doing an unmentionable to you, he will be giving you a mind blowing and vomit inducing drug.

I’m pretty sure if this were a blind date, there would not be a second. This guy is everything your mother warned you about. Plus some.

The Pope and the girl at work were right about how you feel like you took a thirty second nap because before I knew it I was lying on a gurney in the recovery room with about a dozen other victims. I mean, people. Also recovering from whatever their procedure of the day was.

They sat me almost immediately in a chair, of which I did not feel ready for. Because I didn’t feel well. I didn’t feel well at all. The room was spinning and before I knew it I was yelling, “I’M GONNA THROW UP!!!”

It sure is amazing how quickly the nursing staff moves when they hear that because within 1.2 seconds I had one of those kidney shaped plastic bowl things shoved under my chin. With a nurse on one side of me and my husband on the other, I vomited who knows what exactly because there literally was nothing in my stomach.

But before that moment I have to tell you, I had a rather large bit of flatulence escape from my underside.

Did I saw large? Yes I did, and I meant it. I looked at DH in surprise and disgust. “Did that just come out of ME??? Please tell me it was the guy next door.”

So, not only did I pass gas in front of a dozen strangers but I vomited as well.

This day is not going as planned. All I had to do was burp and I would have covered all of the unpleasant bodily functions in record  time. In front of strangers. Just so you know, this was NOT on my bucket list.

So, with my head spinning and my breath smelling of vomit, my doctor came in to tell me what he claims he already told me which is weird because I don’t remember at all.

Here’s a question for you — why, if you know there is a pretty high chance that your patient is going to be, well, high, would you try to talk to them so soon?

Anyway, I had a little inflammation in my esophagus, as well as the removal of a Z-Formation. I don’t really know what that is, but he didn’t seem concerned.

During my colonoscopy, he found three polyps. They were benign but polyps can turn into cancer if left to their own devices.

Would I do it again? Of course I would. And I will. In three years. Because they found those polyps, and I not only care about my colon health, but my life.

So, the moral of the story? Go get a colonoscopy. It’s really important, and at the end of the day it wasn’t so bad. Just pretend you didn’t hear that part about the vomit.