Random Thoughts Monday v17.0

This past week has been spent getting to know the ins and outs of neck pain. I did not start this research project randomly, no, I woke early last week with terrible pain in my neck. Apparently I’m getting old. A good friend, who did have good advice, told me that when we are younger our muscles have an easier time at bouncing back. Well I’m still in my 30s, I’m NOT old 🙂 but apparently my neck thinks otherwise 😀

  • Neck Info
    • I’m not a doctor!! This is just things that I have learned and have worked for me.  Take the following with a grain of salt and if you have neck problems for several days you should probably seek advice from a doctor.
    • Our neck should have a natural arch, like a backward c shape, arching forward from our spine and then back to our head. When you force your neck flat you CAN strain those muscles. When you squish that c shape in half you CAN strain those muscles.
    • When muscles are swollen enough they will pinch and put strain on your tendons. Not only do I need to heal my muscles but I also need to heal the tendons too, lovely, because they can take a long time to heal.
    • When muscles are swollen you should not do heat therapy.  Simply ice on and off all day until the day comes that the swelling is down.
    • Once swelling is down you can start to heat the muscles up, do some stretches and then cool them back down with some ice, then repeat over and over
    • You should change out your bed pillow frequently, hmm, really? You should consider changing the shape of your pillow, what? They make different shaped pillows like this and this. It is the memory touch pillow that has finally given me some good nights of sleep and the healing is well on its way!! Yeah!!
    • Don’t neglect your neck, treat it well, you use it more than you know!!!
  • Is there one part of your day that is a pain in your– hmm tempted to say neck but I can’t tempt the neck god again, ok so I’ll say pain in your- butt, because you are disorganized? Maybe it’s the junk drawer, maybe it’s your car or your desk? For me it’s the place in my kitchen where new mail, bills, deposits, cameras, iPods, iPad, phones collect. I’ve made improvements to this area over the years.  We now have a charging station here, all the cords are tucked behind this cute- but expensive, because it was from pottery barn- wood bin and there is a little drawer underneath that is put to good use.  Right in front of this pretty piece is everything else that we frequently need. My Kitchen is not large so there is not a lot of options, but I’ve found one that I am trying out this week, basically it is just a linen pouch that I can hang on the wall behind the docking station. Oh man if this works I’m going to be so happy!! Is there something in your life that could be made a little easier if you changed one little thing?
  • Nia
    • Sanjana (the routine I’m currently learning): I made absolutely no progress this past week.  I could have worked on my bars (learning the patterns in the music), but my neck hurt so much for most of the week my heart just was not in it at all.  Today I’m just getting back into working out.  This week I hope to begin practice teaching the first 5 songs and begin the bars for the 6th song and 7th songs.  There are 8 songs in the routine.
    • 52 Moves in 52 Weeks: There are 52 moves in the Nia dictionary and what a great way to better know your craft than to spend 1 week with each move!!
      • Open Stance. Standing tall with my feet hip width apart, my toes pointing directly forward, my knees are flexible and spring-loaded.  I imagine standing on two railroad tracks.  My left and right sides are balanced.  I sense my feet from underneath as they give me support and provide me with foundation.
    • Reality TV is interesting to say the least, some of it is a train wreck, others are educational and some you can’t look away from. I enjoy some reality tv, I try to stay away from the shows where the people are just so outrageous it is a bit ridiculous. While Hulu was trying to provide me with something I might like, something I’d like to say I only checked out because I was feeling so sad about my neck, I got sucked into a “reality show.” In my defense I thought it might be interesting to see how young folks lived in Essex, England and I could work on understanding their accents. The show is called The only way is Essex and it is The Hills (I know this because, yes I’ll admit, I watched The Hills) but Essex style. It is a total train wreck and I can not stop watching, somebody help me!! 😀
    • My Lions played their wild card game on Saturday night. Well we lost and our season is over. I just have to say that my boys played some really magical football on Saturday night!! Our Quarterback,  Matthew Stafford (who is only 23-yrs-old!!! He threw 380 yards, including 3 touchdowns in Saturday’s game) and our Wide Receiver, Calvin Johnson (had 211 receiving yards and 12 receptions in Saturday’s game) are really something to see!! I can not wait to see them play again next Fall!!!

I hope our week is filled with proper neck alignment, some new organization, our feet providing us with a comfortable foundation, no train wrechs, some magic and that I find a way to continue to enjoy the football playoffs.

~Do you want to start or re-start your health journey? I’ve created a list of things that worked for me, see the link or the last page listed at the very top of this page and Create Your Own Healthy Journey today!

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Random Thoughts Monday v6.0

When it feels like 39 degrees on a Monday morning it’s hard not to go right back to bed!  I however am feeling pretty energized today.  I know pretty surprising, amazing what the right amount of sleep and a fun weekend can do to energize you for the week ahead.  Hope your Monday is off on the right foot, even if it’s going to be a crazy busy week.

  • If no one is in the forest does the tree still make a sound when it falls, I believe that it does.  When you zone out on your workout do you still work your body well?  I’m not so sure about this one.  Sometimes it can be hard to keep my mind on my workout.  When I come back around I am usually still moving right with my videos, but I have to admit my heart rate has usually slowed.  Does this ever happen to you?  Does it only happen to those of us who workout at home to the same videos/DVDs or does it happen to those of you at gyms as well.  I do think it could happen to me anywhere, I’m just juggling so much these days, but I’m certainly going to change things up, I need a challenge.  I’m going to be thinking about my next challenge, hopefully I’ll have more for you on Wednesday.
  • It may be mid October but two new shows are starting in the next week Grimm (Friday, NBC 9/8c) and Once Upon a Time (Sunday, ABC, 8/7c).  Luckily I’ve made significant cuts in the shows I’m still watching so I have room for these two new shows. I’m pretty excited about both.
  • It was bound to happy sooner or later, my Tigers lost and my Lions lost this weekend, BOO!!! Even WMU and UofM lost, but alas MSU won (thank goodness they were playing a Michigan team, so we could have at least one football win this week) and the Red Wings won too.  Big thanks to the Tigers, what a great year, hold your heads high men and look to next year, I for one can not wait!!!  As for the Lions, 5-1 is the start of a great year, don’t let your momentum slow.  Maybe San Fran gave you your first challenge, maybe it was just an off week, regardless, watch those tapes and get right back at it next Sunday.  I’ll be watching.

My in-laws should arrive within the next hour, time to put the finishing touches on the house.  Have a great week everyone.  Remember to push through each challenge and get ready to face the next, they tend to come quickly even if you are not looking.

Random Thoughts Monday v2.0

Happy Monday everyone, hope you’re feeling rested and ready for another week.  My weekend was full of family and friends which was wonderful, except nothing got done on my to do list.  It’s going to be a busy week!!

  • The Detroit Lions: can you believe it, we are 2-0!!  They didn’t just kind of win yesterday, their 48-3 win was a trouncing.  In additional Michigan happy football news, my alma mater Western Michigan University ended a five-year drought over our biggest rival Central Michigan University with a 44-14 win.  WMU’s record is now 3-1 and that one loss was to U of M (who is also having a great year, so far, knock on wood!!) which had a final score of 34-10, not bad for little WMU against a big 10 school.
  • DVR, OnDemand, Netflix, Red Box, Hulu, Video stores, Blu-ray, DVD, VHS: goodness so much has changed.  I remember not to long ago when I would have to program my VCR to record a program.  I remember when I used to have to leave home to rent a movie.  Things just keep changing, thankfully they usually get easier in this area, but they keep changing
  • Emmy’s shmemmys: I remember when I was little and I’d sit in front of the tv with popcorn and my mom and watch dutifully every second of every award show and pageant.  Now a days, I just check on-line in the am, find a list of winners and read a little about what happened.  What was once several hours now takes just a few minutes.
  • Winter time at the Zoo: here in Michigan not all animals stay at the Zoo all winter.  Yesterday we were at a birthday party in Grand Rapids at the Zoo, so much fun!!!  I got a chance to ask the zoo folks what happens in the winter time.  Apparently some animals (who have indoor habitats) do stay all winter, others go to other zoos or they go home for the winter.  Their biggest croc is going to Florida for the winter, his owner is coming next month to pick him up and take him home.  So interesting.  We also saw the zoo kitchen, where it became apparent that most zoo animals eat better than I do.  The kitchen was full of veggies.  But it was also full of frozen mice and frozen blood.  They actually make popsicles out of blood and mice, gross!!  They also make paper mache to hold treats that the animals can rip apart.  See here for the true story of how this zoo build a meat filled paper mache zebra and placed it in the lion pen last month.

Well that’s all for this week.  Have a good one and don’t forget to fill your grocery basket with fruits and veggies, zoo animals will have nothing on me this week 🙂

Fall TV 2011

Oh boy, tv is coming back in a big way.  The schedule is packed full of so much fun, mystery, paranormal, action and some laughs too.  Below I’ve listed the shows I’m most excited to see along with a ton of links.  If you haven’t already, this weekend is your last chance to clean up your DVR and get all the new shows set to record.  Of course there will be some stragglers that wont start until October and there are some really good-looking mid-season replacements to keep an eye on.

I’m afraid my list of shows to watch is really too long.  I’m going to have to make some cuts, I only hope the shows I love stay on the air.  And the comedies, there are so many, I’m not sure where to start, I have a list below for those too.  Ok, lets dive in.

Sundays

  • Once Upon a time: ABC 8pm (October 23rd)
    • A fairytale with some twists, how awesomely cool, but why do we have to wait until the end of October!!
    • Premise: And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town
  • Pan Am: ABC 10pm (September 25th)
    • We have another week to wait for this one, but it looks worth it
    • Premise: Welcome to 1963: a time when only a lucky few could take flight,   experience a global adventure or gain a front-row seat to history. Those   lucky few flew Pan Am, the largest, most prestigious airline in the   world. More than Coca-Cola, Elvis Presley or the transistor, Pan Am   exported American culture to the world abroad and brought that world   back to American shores

Mondays

  • Castle: ABC 10pm (September 19th)
  • Hawaii Five-O: CBS 10pm (September 19th)
  • Playboy Club: NBC 10pm (September 19th)
    • I’m surprised too that I want to check this show out.  I’m not a fan of Eddie Cibrian, but I watched the preview and it looked kind of good.  I’ll watch at least the pilot.
    • Premise: In Chicago in the early 1960s, a young woman seeking adventure as a Bunny in the glamorous world of the Playboy Club quickly finds herself in over her head.
  • Terra Nova: Fox 8pm (September 26th)
    • We’ve got another week to wait for this one, but goodness I can’t wait. Not only is Steven Spielberg one of the executive producers, but it stars Jason O’Mara!!!
    • Premise: an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making.  TERRA NOVA follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past

Tuesdays

  • New Girl: Fox 9pm (September 20th)
    • Watch the pilot on Hulu now!! I did and it was funny
  • Body of Proof: ABC 10pm (September 20th)
  • Unforgettable: CBS 10pm (September 20th)
    • I know CBS didn’t need another cop show, but they do them so well and I really like the premise on this one!!  The previews look pretty cool.
    • Premise: Carrie Wells remembers every day, every hour, every second of her entire life… except for the day her sister was murdered.
  • Ringer: CW 9pm (started September 13th)
    • Sarah Michelle Gellar is back, yahoo!!  Almost enough said 🙂 I hear there is a lot going on in the pilot, almost like they could have taken several weeks or months to tell us what they packed into the pilot.
    • Although this show already premiered, I have yet to see it since my cable doesn’t air the CW.  I watch the CW exclusively on-line, which usually occurs by the 3rd night, so hopefully tonight it will happen.
    • Premise: Sarah stars as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister – only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind.

Wednesdays

  • Persons of Interest: CBS 9pm (September 21st)
    • This is the show I am most excited about, it’s from Executive Producers J.J. Abrams, that’s really enough said!!  If you haven’t yet seen a preview for this show you’ve got to, right now!!!
    • Premise: Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent, Reese, who teams up with a mysterious billionaire, Finch, to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice.

Thursdays

  • Charlies Angels: ABC 8pm (September 22nd)
    • I’m actually the least excited about this show, but have to check it out.  Don’t think you need me to give you the premise, the name says it all by now.
  • Prime Suspect: NBC 10pm (September 22nd)
    • Maria Bello stars, love her!!
    • Premise:  it takes a look inside a New York City homicide department. Maria stars as a tough-as-nails NYPD homicide Detective Jane Timoney, an outsider who has just transferred to a new squad where her new colleagues already dislike her. Jane is confident and focused – and also rude, abrupt and occasionally reckless. She has her vices, and rumors of a questionable past follow her everywhere – but at the end of the day, she’s an instinctively brilliant cop who can’t be distracted from the only important thing: the prime suspect.
  • Vampire Diaries: CW 8pm (started September 15th)
  • The Secret Circle: CW 9pm (September 16th)
    • I shouldn’t be surprised, but yes I am, I’m going to at least watch the pilot and then we’ll see.  It stars Britt Robertson from “Life Unexpected,” gosh she’s cute!!  The premise doesn’t really clue you in, but I will, this show is about young pretty witches.
    • Premise: Cassie Blake is a normal, happy teenager, leading an everyday life with her devoted single mom, Amelia. But when her mother dies in what Cassie thinks is a tragic, accidental fire, her world is turned upside down. Cassie moves in with her warm and loving grandmother Jane in the beautiful small town of Chance Harbor, Washington – where the residents seem to know more about her than she knows about herself.

Fridays

  • A Gifted Man: CBS 8pm (September 23rd)
    • Not only does this show star Patrick Wilson, but it also stars Jennifer Ehle (from BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth, swoon!!)
    • Premise: When a well-known surgeon begins seeing his dead ex-wife he starts questioning the meaning of life and his place in the world
  • Blue Bloods: CBS 10pm (September 23rd)
  • Chuck: NBC 8pm (October 21st)
    • For the past couple years I’ve tried to stop watching Chuck, but it keeps pulling me back in.  This year the show doesn’t start back up until late October.  It will be interesting to see how satisfied I am with all the shows I will already have been watching for several weeks.  I wonder if I’ll watch this year???
  • Grimm: NBC 9pm (October 21st)
    • Along with “Persons of Interest”, I’m really looking forward to this new show!!!
    • Premise:  inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Portland homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, “Turn The Beat Around”) discovers he is descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.
  • Fringe: Fox 9pm (September 23rd)

For even more shows and mid-season show previews check out the fall preview pages:

ABC : I’m contemplating giving “Last Man Standing,” “Man Up,” and Suburgatory” a chance, we’ll see…midseason highlights: Apartment 23, GCB, Missing and Scandal

NBC : midseason highlights: include Alive, The Firm and Smash

CBS

Fox

And don’t forget about SNL and the Daily Show and and … am I ever going to get anything done again.  My goal with tv, is to enjoy and escape, it shouldn’t feel like a 2nd job or keep you from the more important things in life, i.e. a good book (there are so many!!), family and your life.  Wish me luck on cutting my list down.  Happy hunting to you too.

August 1, 2011

three topics today: gardening, tv and an update on my weight loss journey

Today is the first day of August.  Tomatoes are maturing daily, zucchini and cucumbers are going crazy, don’t forget to get the last of your peas and green beans, yummmmm.  In Michigan it’s corn time, wow, local corn is so good this time of year, including the cherries and blueberries.  What’s booming in your area? Find out and go get you some!!!  Don’t forget about your annuals and perennials.  Your flowers need food all summer long.  If you can’t remember the last time you fertilized get out there today and get it done.  Your flowers will thank you by getting fuller and brighter, lovely!!  Also don’t forget about your in-door plants, they need food too.

Have you noticed that most tv shows these days are written with the same format, which is the 5-minute fix?  Most shows I watch take up the first 50 minutes building the story to its climax.  With 10 minutes left they go to commercial and when the show comes back they have 5 minutes.  5 minutes to fix the problem and wrap up everything, including the side line stories.  I’m always amazed at what they can take care of in 5 minutes, simply amazing.  It doesn’t feel rushed and everything is taken care of, I’m hardly ever left thinking: but they didn’t address this or that.  Since most shows follow this format, we the audience must like it, right?  What do we like the most, the character building, the impossible situation or is it the quick fix?  Oh boy, I’m opening a can of worms here.  I’ve often belittled the american society as liking things easy.  Although I do think the belittling can be justified, I think the bigger answer is a little more interesting.  We like the journey, seeing how we got in the mess, feeling like things are impossible and then rejoicing when we’ve over come the obstacle.  If I truly allow myself to enjoy my shows I am usually left with a can do attitude, which is really what I want out of my tv shows, not to mention escapism, excitement and some good entertainment.  Do they shows you watch use the 5-minute fix?

I’m past another summer weekend and another family party.  The bad news, no one has yet to notice my weight loss.  I’m only 5 pounds down, so I guess it’s reasonable that they wouldn’t notice yet, but gosh I can’t wait for that first comment!!!  The good news is that I kept to my calorie limit.  My kids make it easy to stay distracted and away from the food tables.  I did stay away from the snack table, had a reasonable plate of food and the smallest bowl of home-made ice cream, not bad really.  I’m also happy to say it’s been 11 days since I missed a workout.  Although I have not made my morning workout each of those 11 days, I was able to get in an afternoon workout the 3 days that I didn’t get up.  I actually only missed 4 days of workouts in July, not bad, but when my goal was to workout everyday I guess not so good, well three of those misses were in a row early in the month.   I’m renewing my efforts for the month of August.  I need to get up on time and ensure I don’t miss my workouts!!!  I’m doing well with the water intake.  Although I’ve done pretty good with my calorie limit, I think I could make better food choices.  Getting up on time and food choices are my August themes.  I’m hoping all the local produce will help me out.

Happy August everyone!!

July 1, 2011

There are times that dance is more than movement, more than extension, more than expression, it’s simply magical.  Last night on SYTYCD they had a performance from the Axis Dance Company that was beyond words.  Part of the mission for this company is to create and perform contemporary dance that is developed through the collaboration of dancers with and without disabilities.  I encourage you to take a moment and visit their site and watch the beauty of this company.  I’ll be thinking of this performance for some time to come.

June 24, 2011

Two quick things.

I finally broke down and bought a new workout outfit (bra, tank and capris).  I wanted to wait until I was truly down a size, but I just didn’t have enough to wear during the week for my workouts.  I’m so glad I did, love the clothes that can wick the wet away and dry quickly!!  As an added plus the tank is not tight but just loose enough that I can easily tell when I don’t have my core pulled in, which made this mornings workout tougher and better.

I love So You Think You Can Dance!!!  This season is going to be amazing, all the dancers are amazing!!!  In years past it has been easy to tell who will go home first, until you get down to the truly talented few.  Well this year is going to be difficult, it’s going to be really really hard to pick!!  I do have a fav though her name is Melanie Moore