Who knew I would need to put Fun on my to do list? I am seeing a Health Psychologist and she suggested I find time to do Fun things. I am a homebody. No one ever called me the Fun one. When I was a kid and visiting my Grandparents in Saint Louis, my family would be going out to do something Fun on the last night and I choose to stay home with Pop and Gram and watch TV. I never liked going to my friend’s house for sleepovers. Once, I was invited to a party and I told my friend that I wanted to stay home and pull dandelions.
I am beginning to feel like I need to get out and do more. My tendency is to say no. I guess I need to start saying yes.
“What would Julia do?” I am asking myself this question more and more. Julia is my niece who is living an amazing life. I blogged about her before. She said her secret is to fill her day with Fun things. I am starting out with the goal of doing one Fun thing a week, and see how it goes. Baby steps for me. This week I have been invited to a neighbor’s pool. I met her walking in the neighborhood. I am connecting with someone new. I think there are bonus points in that!
Vicky Perry and I got together for 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. The topic was doing Fun things! We talked about jumping into the ocean, riding bumper cars at the Fair, taking tango lessons from a Russian instructor and Pickle Ball. Maybe, I am becoming the Fun one!
I am so grateful when I have a good night’s sleep. I know it is so important if I want to feel my best and have sustained energy throughout my day. It is frustrating when I don’t sleep well and feels like a waste of time laying in bed at night, not sleeping, and waking up tired. I was talking about sleep at OutdoorFit last week and one of the ladies suggested I take a Benadryl. I knew it wasn’t the answer for me but I had gone too many nights without sleeping well so I decided to take one. I slept better but I woke up groggy and had to rely on a cup of coffee to get myself going. I have been reducing my caffeine consumption so I don’t want to wake up feeling like I need a cup of coffee. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I know alcohol is a sleep disruptor. I am now drinking 5 ounces instead of my usual 8 ounces. I am making small changes which are making a difference. I didn’t give up the wine and coffee completely because that would make me cranky.
I have been trying different routines to help me sleep. Here is the latest one that is working!
A hot cup of Mineral Calm and a scoop of collagen protein.
(Protein is great for immune function and muscle repair. It is good to take it at bedtime. There is regenerative work going on while you are sleeping.)
1 Stress Relief (Ashwagnda)
1 Chewable Calcium Magnesium
1 Pure Rest (Melatonin)
2 doTERRA Serenity
It might seem easier to pop a Benadryl but I don’t wake up groggy with my new bedtime routine.
I love a good decluttering challenge. I have done a few of them, and I always feel better when my house is clean and tidy. It brings me great joy to open the door of the tool shed, and to have it in order. When I am stressed or agitated, cleaning out a drawer or decluttering the office brings me peace. I might not feel better when I am actually doing the project, but I am always grateful when I am done.
When Sophie the golden retriever came to live with us, I decided it would be best to pick up the area rugs. I feel so much better with them gone. She is not chewing on them, I don’t have to worry about her urinating on them, and I don’t need to vacuum them. I can just sweep the floor at the end of the day. There is something very therapeutic about a good broom in your broom closet.
Having the house in order makes me feel better, and messy surroundings make me feel agitated. However, there is a part of me that knows spending my days cleaning is not enough. I have been feeling flat. I need to be creative, but I have been avoiding writing my blog posts or promoting OutdoorFit.
So, here I am sitting at my desk writing. I need to find the right balance between taking care of my family, the house, Sophie the dog and my creative endeavors. Progress!
How are you doing? I hope you are finding happiness in your day. What projects are you working on? Have you started gardening yet? Are you spring cleaning? Are you writing a best selling novel? I would love to hear from you.
It is strange to write the title 2 Grandmas and a Microphone, and know that I am talking about myself. When I think about OutdoorFit, women over 50 are my target market. Most of the women in my group are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s! It is all quite incredible. Not all of them are Grandmas but they are in the age range. My job is to inspire these women to be fit and healthy. I know being strong, healthy and fit energizes your life.
Last week, I had coffee with Vicky Perry who is a very wise Grandmother. We had such an interesting conversation, that Vicky encouraged me to write about it. I opened up about my feelings about voting, the presidential election, and why I couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the last election. I learned a lot about myself from writing the post. I ended the post writing about the power of the Grandmother, which is something I hadn’t thought much about before.
I received so many wonderful emails and comments about the post that I wanted to continue. I decided to ask Vicky to do a video with me to take our conversation even deeper. Vicky brought up the importance of taking the time to know your own values and to think about which candidate best represents those values.
I could have just as easily titled the video The Wisdom of The Grandmothers.
“My Mother told me to be a lady. And for her that meant be your own person, be independent.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I have been working on making homemade mayonnaise without much success. Honestly, I almost gave up. I am so glad that I didn’t. Last week, I mentioned my mayo problem at OutdoorFit. Andrea said she found a great easy recipe on The Movement Menu, that comes out every time.
I was out of mayonnaise this morning. I wanted to make a cucumber basil avocado salad for lunch. I tried The Movement Menu’s recipe. It is a winner!
1cup organic avocado oil
1/2teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2teaspoon sea salt
1/2lemonjuiced, or I used 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.
In a glass jar or a 1 cup glass Pyrex cup, (the container matters. It should be narrow so the blender fits snugly) pour in the avocado oil. Add the egg to the oil and let the ingredients settle for 1 minute. I then added the rest of the ingredients to the cup.
Take an immersion blender and let it touch the bottom of the container, piercing the egg yolk completely.
Turn the immersion blender on and leave it on the bottom for about 20-30 seconds, until the whole bottom has turned white in color.
VERY SLOWLY lift it up to continue emulsifying. This process should take anywhere between 30 seconds to 1 minute. Continue blending until the mixture has thickened to your desired amount.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Cucumber Basil Avocado salad with homemade mayonnaise.
I love when I make something new and the first bite makes me stop and say; “Oh my God this is so delicious!” This does not happen to me enough. Last Sunday morning, I made Alice Waters’ Oat Pancakes. I stewed fresh organic blueberries along with a few strawberries to go on top. Of course, first I smeared the pancakes with grass fed butter. It was SO Delicious!
Here is the recipe which is in Alice’s book My Pantry.
Oat Pancakes (makes 8-3″ pancakes)
1 cup rolled oats. (I have been substituting buckwheat flour instead of oats. So good.)
3/4 cup milk or almond milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or butter (or a combination), melted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Put the oats in a blender and blend 20 to 30 seconds until it is a fine powder. You will have 3/4 cups of oat flour.
Beat the milk and egg together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted oils. (I used a combination of butter and coconut oil.) Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken. ( I didn’t do that and they came out fine. Who can wait that long for pancakes?)
Heat the griddle over medium high heat. Grease lightly with oil or butter and spoon on the batter about 1/4 cup. Cook the pancakes.
I use only organic ingredients. I buy my eggs from a local farmer. I don’t eat many grains, but these were worth it, and a better substitute than white flour. Alice Waters’ oat pancakes were the perfect Sunday breakfast.
“Homemade Ingredients that Make Simple Meals Your Own.”
Simplicity is my favorite word. There are many wonderful words but, if you were to ask me my favorite I would answer simplicity.
When my stress level is high, and life feels uncertain, I start physical projects. In January, I began painting our house shades of white . I have continued on during the pandemic. I finished the kitchen, mudroom, den, hallway, bathroom and even the basement stairwell. My husband Dan polished all of the brass door knobs. It feels so much better. I have decluttered along the way. I am working on keeping what is functional and what I love.
I am now working out in the garden. I planted lettuce, arugula, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and wildflowers. Today, I am heading out to plant potatoes. I don’t get a lot of sun in the back yard, so I ordered fabric grow bags. I have a walkway alongside the garage that gets all day sun. It is my new garden. So exciting!
I watched a Master Class with gangsta gardener Ron Finley. He plants sweet potatoes in coffee bean bags. I called Booskerdoo in Asbury Park and picked up a few jute coffee bean bags for myself and two of my gardening friends. I am waiting for my sweet potatoes to grow slips so I can plant them. I will keep you posted! Today, I planted potatoes in the coffee bean bags. I couldn’t wait for the sweet potato slips. I will find another place for them.
I also bought Alice Waters My Pantry after watching her Master Class. I loved her class. She inspires you to cook fresh whole organic in season food from your local farmer, or just grow your own. Plant potatoes into a coffee bean bag and wait for the magic to happen.
“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”
I have been feeling antsy lately. Is what I am doing important? Is this how I want to spend my time, or should I be doing something else? Sometimes I feel like I want more for myself. When I stop and really think about it, I realize I do want more. I want to create more space in my life. I want more quiet time. I have decided that following my joy is the answer. I love to stay home. I enjoy doing my own work. Painting the kitchen different shades of white makes me happy. It feels like a work of art to me. This week, I washed and ironed our linen bedroom curtains, composted, and made roasted pepper and tomato soup. I also taught 3 OutdoorFit classes. I have a great group of ladies, all over 50, who show up in crazy weather to workout. A cold and windy OutdoorFit workout brings me joy and happiness. I love the touch of craziness.
Earlier this week, I went to my friend Diane’s house to pick up 2 bags of composted leaves. Does that sound like an odd way to spend your time? Diane sold her beautiful home. She is moving to an 11 acre lot to build a passive home and grow organic vegetables. She didn’t think the new owners would appreciate her large composted leaf pile. She sent me a text, inviting me to stop by and help myself. I was so excited.
I went back the next day, and picked up 2 galvanized tubs full of compost. Why does this make me happy?
I love the connection with my friend.
I love the touch of craziness about it.
I love that the composted leaves will attract earthworms to my gardens. They are an indicator and creator of healthy soil.
I love the efficiency of using leaves to make compost for your gardens.
Gardening season is coming soon, but I really would love a good snow storm first.
Embrace your joy, step aside and watch what happens! It is contagious. What do you love to do? How do you like to spend your day? Would you like to connect with amazing women who love a touch of craziness? Come try an OutdoorFit workout! There is a fun class Saturday morning at 7:30.
My pitchfork is over 70 years old. It belonged to Dan’s Grandfather. A treasure!
I have never been much of a planner. When Dan and I were thinking about getting married, my Mom asked me for a month’s notice. So that is what we did and my Mom pulled it off. She is an amazing person. She made my dress and planned a lasagna dinner at the house for our reception. It all worked out fine.
I avoid planning trips. It makes me nervous to schedule a trip 6 months from now. If it wasn’t for Dan I wouldn’t have gone skiing in Switzerland or Colorado. I would have chosen to stay home and bought a new dishwasher. I want to see Mount Rushmore, but it is not going to happen if I don’t make a plan.
I am working on changing. I now feel the need to be more focused. I joined Origin last summer. Origin is Kate Northrup’s membership group, which stresses doing less by getting very focused on what you want to accomplish. She also teaches us the importance of listening to your body and paying attention to your cycle or the cycle of the moon. I no longer have a cycle, so it has been very interesting to plan my month around the cycle of the moon. I write down my intentions on the New Moon and create a weekly, daily, and monthly plan to achieve it. I bought Kate’s do-less planner to organize things. Every morning, I write down the cycle of the moon, what is going on astrologically, and what I need to focus on that day. It has been a very helpful practice.
For example, if I write down paint kitchen ceiling, I paint the kitchen ceiling that day. I have also learned you can accomplish things in a short period of time. I do a little bit every day and then by the end of the week my kitchen is painted! I learned that from my Mom too. There were 8 kids in my family and my Mom had a very busy day. She decided to wallpaper the dining room and she would hang one piece a day. I thought she was a bit crazy at the time. Now, I understand.
I wrote down create blog post, do 8 rounds of 8 point planks and paint the kitchen trim today in my planner. I am off to paint the trim Chantilly Lace!
I hope this was helpful to you. Are you a planner? Do you plan your meals for the week? How about when you are going to go grocery shopping? I would love to hear you how you plan your day.
Friday on the New Moon, I began my 28 Day Fit and Fabulous Program. I was excited to start on the New Moon. It is a great time to set your intentions, consider what you want in your life, and what you need to let go of.
The first 7 days of the program, you have to let go of alcohol, sugar and grains. You can have dairy, but very little. I thought it would be perfect to start on a Friday. You are always more motivated in the beginning of a program, and the weekends can be a challenge. The biggest issue for me is to give up my nightly glass of wine.
By Friday afternoon, I could feel the stress and agitation building because I knew I wasn’t having a glass of wine that evening. It is amazing how much power one glass of wine has over me. I was painting the trim in the mudroom, while listening to a podcast called Sober Curious, to motivate me. Saturday and Sunday were easier. I took a nap Saturday and meditated on Sunday. I also took late afternoon walks on both days. All of these things are great stress reducers. Now, we are on Day 4, and… BIG NEWS! I noticed that my hands aren’t achy. My diet is usually very clean. Making a few small changes like giving up my nightly glass of wine and crumb cake at coffee hour on Sunday have reduced the inflammation in my body and my hands feel just fine.
I was at a New Moon dinner Friday evening. It is always a big deal to get myself to go out at night, but I went. There was a woman complaining about her aches and pains. I felt like telling her to put down the wine and quit eating grains and sugar. Statements like that don’t go over to well at a party. Maybe she will read this blog post.
What you put in your mouth really does matter. Everything, I eat or drink for the next 7 days will nourish me. I am grateful for that!