Category Archives: Fitness

I Now Do Plumbing But Please Don’t Call


Saturday, I gave myself a big pat on the back. I fixed a clogged sink and my garbage disposer. Yes, I did.

For me, owning a home is like owning a car, and I probably shouldn’t.  I don’t like fixing things, spending time learning how to fix things, and I hate reading instruction manuals.  Changing a light bulb is about all I want to do.  You see, I grew up in a home with a dad who had his own business and when he was home, he did not want to fix things.  He called the plumber, the electrician, the snow removal guy, carpenter, landscaper, etc.  And when I lived in an apartment in DC for twenty years and there was a problem, I called Raul, the supervisor.  He fixed things, and I tipped him.

My husband is kind of like my dad, he calls people to fix things.

It all happened on Saturday when my friend Ginny Nadler was visiting from Cleveland to promote her Structural Re-Alignment workshop in Asheville.  She brought her Vitamix with her because she makes a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.  We were cutting up fruit and tons of green veggies and put too many stringy stems down the disposer and clogged the sink (I don’t garden so I don’t compost).

“Call the plumber,” Len yelled.  Have you ever tried calling a plumber on Saturday?  They don’t answer the phone.  But, Roto Rooter makes house calls 24/7 for a fee of $165.  I gasped over the phone, and the plumber must have sensed my disbelief so he suggested I go to the Roto Rooter website and read the instructions to fix it myself.

I admit, I was very skeptical about undertaking this task.  My husband was advising against it while Ginny encouraged me to try.  After a little debate, my husband had no choice but to bring up the wrenches (which I had never used before).  So, with the laptop on the kitchen counter, the bucket under the sink, and Ginny reading the instructions very slowly (at least 3 times) I did it!  I fixed the garbage disposal and the sink is working again.

Thank you, Roto Rooter.

Under the Kitchen Sink

“You Only Live Once, But If You Do it Right, Once Is Enough.” Mae West


I need a new job.  Sitting at a desk and being indoors on most days is hazardous to your health, and my body knows it.  I have days where I sit in front of clients listening to them talk about their business and then after they leave, I have to type up my notes and enter them in a database.  Sitting too long gives me a royal pain in the butt, so much that I dream of being a mail carrier or a conductor.  I just finished a quarterly report yesterday, so I’ve been sitting at my desk far too long, so now I have a mild case of sciatica.  The pain begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock.   Lucky for me, it’s not traveling down the lower leg because if you’ve ever had a full blown case of sciatica, you know it’s is a killer.

Of course, if I entered the data a little bit every month in a more timely fashion, I wouldn’t have to be computer chair bound, but when clients call, I give in to their needs and put my admin work on hold even though I’ve designated that time for ME.

Too much sitting and not enough movement  is unhealthy.  It’s an occupational hazard for sure, so why can’t I collect worker’s comp and get a massage?  I want a job where I move.  Have you ever seen a slouching, fat mail carrier or conductor?  Did you know they live a long healthy life thanks to all that aerobic activity?

Let me be clear, I’m not just looking for longevity, but healthy longevity.  Many of the world’s famous conductors lived well into their 80’s and 90’s during a time when the average life expectancy was 50 years old.  Evidently, flapping your arms around for hours provides a great cardiovascular workout with a steady stream of blood flowing to the brain – all that, while listening to beautiful music, creating an inner peace.  That’s what I want – a life-enhancing job.  

There is another way.  If I were brilliant, I could expect a long life, say the longevity experts.  Winners of the Nobel Prize live longer than most people.  It seems like the act of winning a Nobel Prize increases longevity and life expectancy by 1.5 years.  They also say Minnesotans live longer than most as well as those who are married.  And who knew that the more money you make, the longer you live?  So, I guess a wealthy married orchestra conductor living in Minnesota who has won a Nobel Prize can expect an uber long AND healthy life.

Mae West

Mae West got it right, and she was 87 when she died.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Thank you, Mae.

Oops50: To Cruise or Not to Cruise

Moi Zip Lining

The idea of a cruise first came to me in a dream while my husband was recuperating from a hip replacement last year.  I dreamed about being waited on hand and foot and not having to wash dishes, do laundry, cook or even think about cooking.  So, after my Dad passed away last April, my sisters and I decided to take a cruise with our husbands as a way of spending time together and not having to work at it.  And since my Dad loved cruises, we settled on a cruise for our journey together.

Norwegian Star

We boarded the Norwegian Star in Tampa Bay (Feb. 5-12th) and sailed to Honduras, Belize, and the beautiful beaches of Costa Maya, and Cozumel in Mexico.  I have to admit, right from the beginning, I was struck by the customer service.  For example, when we first boarded the ship, it seemed like thousands of people were boarding with us and not only was the process quick and organized, the staff smiled all the way through it and were amazingly friendly – nothing like the airport scene where personnel often act like they are doing YOU a favor.  Everyone I came into contact with on the ship seemed to have one priority – to make sure all passengers have a comfortable, relaxing, and fun time.  If the crew was faking it, they did a great job.

What did I like?  I loved sitting on my private balcony listening to the ocean and keeping the door slightly ajar at night so I could hear the sound of the sea while falling asleep.  I loved sitting on the upper deck in the quiet zone reading, uninterruptedly, Deborah Reed’s new novel,  Carry Yourself Back to Me.

And, I loved the excursions on land.  We zip lined in the rain forest in Belize and later with headlamps on, we floated in tubes through the Mayan cave system.  Other days we relaxed on the gorgeous beaches sipping margaritas and pina coladas.

Coupe Car Cozumel

And when we were at sea, there was the spa with hot tubs, hydrotherapy pools, and cushiony lounge chairs looking out at sea.  Of course there is the dining and endless buffets culminating in the last night’s chocolate buffet.  And, should you get bored, there are endless musical shows that aren’t too bad.

Chocolate Buffet

What didn’t I like?  Just too many darn people – almost everywhere.  I also didn’t like not having enough time once we docked to truly explore any one place.  Basically, you get a sampling of what the country might be like.  It would have been fun to spend the week in just one place but clearly cruises are not designed for that.  All in all, the best part of the cruise was spending time with my two sisters who I don’t get to see enough and of course, not having to cook, clean-up or do anything but visit.

The Brown Girls Cruising

Women over 50: Ten Steps to Weight Maintenance




I’m writing this really as a reminder to myself.  These are things I’ve come to learn, in this year of trying to keep this weight off me.  I share them with our readers, in case it helps!

Ten Things to Help Me Keep Weight Off (or Lessons Learned the Hard Way):

1) Exercise every day, if only for 20-30 minutes.

2) Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you feel like eating something you shouldn’t.  If it actually hurts, it is having a physical effect on your brain—and changing the channel!

3) Try to eat dinner early—and brush your teeth right after eating.

4) Chew sugarless gum any time you get a hunger craving.

Do some Yoga!

5) When you are feeling sorry for yourself and think you “deserve” that chocolate sundae or that bag of Cheetos, pamper yourself some other way.  Take a nice, hot bath.  Read a book.  Listen to soothing music.  Go to a movie (but skip the popcorn). Continue reading Women over 50: Ten Steps to Weight Maintenance

Americans Are Obsessed With Challenges

I'm so challenged

I spent the last two weeks at home with a terrible case of bronchitis.   Too sick and contagious to work, I vegged out on the couch and spent my time watching daytime T.V.  Now that’s an experience, especially for us baby boomers.


I watched the last episodes of the Oprah Winfrey Show, lots of Dr. Oz (both shows are great for women over 50); morning talk shows; afternoon talk shows; The Lifetime Channel; The Classic Movie Channel; and of course all the commercials – and there are many.  All this shows led me to the discovery that our country is obsessed with challenges.  Why? I ask.  Isn’t living life itself challenging enough?  Why do we have to break it down?  Give it a name? The media is so good at seducing us with “challenges” and the products we need to overcome them.  Here are some of the tempting challenges even I contemplated while lying on the couch.

  • The weight loss challenge (by far the most numerous) I was particularly drawn to the Dr. Oz challenge to reboot your body in just two weeks!  He also has the ultimate anti-ageing challenge, and the sleep challenge, too.
  • Jillian Michaels fitness challenge
  • Dr.Phil’s family weight loss challenge
  • Here’s one I like, it’s twofold: anti-ageing and it will give you a new career while going to Botox school:
  • Suze Orman has the ultimate financial challenge, plus  mini ones where you can save $100/mo:
  • The teeth whitening challenge sponsored by Arm and Hammer:

Well, here’s my response to all this.  Really people?  Just take an anti-depressant and get on with it.


Here's a Dare!