Monday Musings

Wow.  Is it Monday again? Time for another edition of Monday Musings and what not in my life.


Ever notice how funny that is? It’s a commodity we all have and are all given the same amount of each day. Sometimes it seems to crawl by, like when you’re stuck in some god awful boring meeting. A few months ago I was in such a one and I felt myself settling into that “to comfortable zone” as in, if I didn’t start moving around or do some active deep breathing I was going to take an unscheduled nap.  I glanced at my watch and scrolled to my heart rate.


My heart was getting just as comfy and relaxed as the rest of my body haha

But then there are occasions when time seems to fly like when you’re with people you really like or are doing something fun. Time then moves all to swiftly.

Deadlines make time seem to move faster.

Being stuck behind a driver who doesn’t know where the gas pedal is makes time crawl by.  😛

I think, as we get older we are much more mindful of it than when we lived careless days as children.

Speaking of time, it makes me think of seasons. This in turn makes me hopeful that spring is in the near distant future. It’s been a whole lotta grey, misty, dreary, foggy and overall gross days here in the happy land of south Texas this winter season.

I’ve tried not to think that last February I was running in shorts a lot and by March was rocking a decent enough tan that people thought I was using a tanning booth.

That. Will never happen.

I assured a lady my golden skin was a by product of spending time outdoors on bike or foot, not a tanning bed.

All that to say the other day I actually got to hit the road in shorts and I forgot the pure freedom of running with less stuff hanging off me. It was glorious and reminded me that sun and daily sweat sessions will be here before I know it.

Hello sunshine! What a wonderful treat

I’m not whining. Oh no, I’d never be a whiner, but it will be nice to really start logging some miles again and not have to worry about safety issues ’cause of fog and sloppy roads.

If I complain when the humidity cranks up again and its nothing but sun and I’m sweating out the weight of a small child on a run, you may nicely remind me I asked for it.

In the context of time management

When I hit the floor in the morning my mind is already spinning for what I’m doing in the day ahead. I sometimes worry if I have ADD as I can be wanting to do ALL of my projects, errands, and necessary house requirements at the same time.

What I have started doing is writing down all the things I want to do and picking one or two in my day alongside everything else to get it done. I try and get the necessary, not usually my most fun things done, ( like cleaning) out of the way then I can work on my fun projects.

Like my furniture shenanigans.

Last week took me into the big city to this seedy little dive in pursuit of a 1930’s china cabinet I had spotted online.

Yep, that’s my big game in the back 😉



Here it is in all it’s glorious disarray…waiting to be transformed.

Oh, so when I’m at this little hole in the wall shop which, really, was a time warp of treasures from decades, and decades gone by ( I am planning a field trip back  there) the only person working was this short little older lady wheezing and huffing telling me she should probably be in the hospital ’cause she might have pneumonia.


Of course I’m thinking, “she’s the only one here who is supposed to help me get this out and loaded??” She mentions having a dolly, I ask her to get it, thanking God at times like this I’m strong and capable and I wheel it out making jokes I should get more of a discount since I’ve gotta load it too. I did get them to drop it 35.00 😉

Anyway, she was able at least to help lift the other side with me into my vehicle.

Yesterday I spent more time prepping it for it’s transformation. Sanding, cleaning, dusting, digging (leaves??) out from under the drawer, doing a little repair work ( the decorative wood in door needs replaced. Once upon a time it had glass but I’m not putting glass back in it) removing the hardware etc. it’s so close to starting the fun part.

But before we leave this topic… I also got the cutest little cupboard… I tried to leave it behind I just couldn’t. I managed to get it for half of what it was marked 😉

It looked like this…..seriously though… how CUTE is it??

20180213_134905 (1)
How sad IS it? The obvious before pic.


It didn’t take long for me to catch a vision for it. I finished it today. I am totally, completely in love with it.

What do you think about it’s make over?

The ugly duckling transformed


I will share some more adventures on this topic in upcoming weeks 😉 I have a couple pieces in the works.


In some final musings…

Have  you ever wondered why foods you thought were so good when you were a  kid, don’t really taste good at all when you grow up?

My youngest son had brought home a half gallon of premade chocolate milk one day.  I never drink chocolate milk unless I’ve come off a long hard workout then it’s a delicious instant recovery drink. But I always make it, you know with milk and chocolate syrup… yeah I’m bad.

Anyway, I opened the fridge and there it sat… and I thought …heck yeah.. I’m just gonna have some.

The first chug it was like…. ACK! It tasted like and reminded me of, the way the school cafeteria had smelled.

Which was not good, I might add.

Weird, I know. That chug was all I got in.

Then there’s things like fish sticks. boxed macaroni and cheese, most cheap sugary cereals, and bad thin crust boxed pizza.

Ok true and well, I’ve grown up, but I think I really enjoyed that as a kid. Thank goodness my tastes have changed.

My kids are adults… they complain since I “got healthy” I don’t buy fun foods anymore. This translates to ” crappy, walk in pantry or go to freezer and grab pre made foods and snacks with zero nutritional value”.

They can go buy their own minced, diced, chopped, prebaked fish sticks and what not..

Is it just me? What about you? Have you left foods behind that aren’t seemingly as tasty as they once were?

In the way of food… this week coming up we will be looking at healthy cheap meals, and of course a few spotlights on various fruits and veggies (’cause ya’ll seem to dig those posts), fitness, and as always a little sassy, cheeky attitude to go along with it.

You’ll just need to check back in here and see what’s up 😉

Now tell me…

What are some favorite foods that hang on from childhood? Do you have any new healthy foods you’ve tried this week?


Monday Musings

Hello world! Time for another edition of Monday Musings, a general collection of my random thoughts, observations, and other life stuff that’s going down.

So what about that Super Bowl last weekend? Between hubby and three sons I’ve had to get on the football wagon in these past years or get left behind.

That being said, I weirdly miss it once the “big” game happens and then there’s nothing active or current going on with it. I actually got excited last fall when someone said it was almost football season.

What happened to me???

That being said… of course I was watching last weeks events unfold with the Patriots “we’re just here to scoop up another ring” and the Eagles “we’ve never won and have no rings but are ready to bring our A game”  to the big field.

Ok… so I’m always a sucker for the underdog. I can’t help it. Damn that compassionate spirit and what not. I wanted to see them have the win. The other guys, they’ve got enough bragging rights and rings, they can try next year.

And what a game it was. The Eagles came out and played like they wanted to take the win, the ring, and the Disneyland trip home with them. Not that Patriots didn’t try and deliver, they just didn’t deliver, enough.


So although I was only like, one of two, cheering for the Eagles win it didn’t matter. It was a cool experience watching men overcome with emotion to achieve that. As an athlete ( on a much smaller scale!) I understand emotions that come from the accomplishments of doing something you haven’t done before.

It’s worth the tears.

Speaking of athletic shenanigans

This last week I’ve spent a little more time doing indoor strength training. When I say that I don’t mean solely weights, although I do. But, like using your body and that alone, is the way to build some strength. No matter what you may or may not have, you have a body and can do exercises to build strength with it.

Squats of all varieties, lunges, jump squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push ups, ( sweet heavens how I hate them) Russian twists, planks, side planks, V up’s the list goes on.

So I incorporate a lot of that, I use real weights too ’cause you know…girl muscles… and I kinda like out flexing most guys haha but seriously, I just like being strong for life, ya know?

Girl muscles



Oh yeah, and some cardio ’cause you need to do that stuff. Your heart and lungs honestly will thank you. If you missed my post on heart health and why your heart wants you to do cardio find it here…

It’s great to build muscles, but if you can’t walk a block or run a flight of stairs, um, you need to rethink cardio.

So before strength training I usually knock out either 10 minutes on the rowing machine which gives me around 1.3 miles or so, I sometimes do a 20 minute round of boxing or a quick run. Of course other days in my week are nothing but cardio….enter running and cycling 😉

Speaking of strength ….

the winter Olympics are upon us. Although I haven’t seen much yet, can I say all the snowboarding athletes. Holy cow Batman!

And Americans have been scooping up some gold goodies too.

The Olympics are the cream of the lot when it comes to athletes. I wanna be one when I grow up.

Complete, total machines.

I’m fascinated at all they have had to do, and continue to do to maintain the level the operate at.

Well. Wait. Do they have like… a senior Olympics? I might be able to do that! haha

Do you have a favorite Olympic sport or event you enjoy watching?

In fun projects I’ve been up to this week….

So I may have mentioned when I’m not preaching athletic stuff or learning about nutrition one of my other “hobbies” has become old, antique furniture. There’s a certain thrill of “the hunt” and if I’m successful I get “the prize”.  I want the odd, unique, different things I don’t see floating around. It’s so exciting when I get the prize AND for the price I want.

There’s something therapeutic about transforming a piece and giving it new life.

Like this ugly little night stand…. I’m so in love with how it turned out….

I wanted a project piece to experiment with pink. I love pink. I just wanted something to practice that look on. This night stand was headed to the dumpster when I snatched it from my son thinking I’d clean it up and donate it. One day while working out as I was pondering my desire to do something pink, I realized this was just sitting there, staring at me waiting to be transformed….

the obvious before photo…. isn’t it ugly??
Isn’t it beautiful now???

Since I really had nothing to lose it was fun to let go with it. The piece had been speaking to me and I had a vision for what to do with it. Now I really want to practice this on a bigger real piece of furniture. Like an old school vanity….


I also got this super cool, unique, interesting piece this week, I’ve never seen anything like it….


My newest score this week on the antique furniture hunt


Thankfully, I came across a man who is very knowledgeable in this work of knowing furniture. I shamelessly pick his brain on various things regarding a couple pieces I got recently. So of course, when I could turn up nothing on this ( for the love of old things I don’t even know WHAT to call it to search it up) I shot him a pic asking if he had a clue.

Oh lucky me. He knows his stuff… and this is what I learned….

A dresser like this is called a cheval dresser. He went on to say based on the hardware ( which I’m in love with and can’t believe it’s all still on it… with a real key hole) he thinks it’s English made and made of quartersawn oak and get this… circa 1900! AH!

One interesting factoid you probably don’t know…. As I’ve acquired a few pieces recently I of course, want to know how old it is. Evidently at the turn of the century (20th) they stamped the mirror on the back before putting the wood cover over it. This would reveal the month and year it was made. You can understand how tempting it is for me to want to pull the back off of a vanity mirror to know it’s age.. but then there are all of the neat brass tacks holding it in place and that checks me from doing it.

For now….

Anyway, he went on to tell me if I can look behind mirror, if the back of mirror is red or gold it was made in England. If it’s silver, it’s American. Regardless, it’s still circa 1900 wherever it was crafted.

So ok, yeah I’m a wee bit excited at this online find. Oh, did I mention I paid only 80.00 for it?

Eighty bucks.

Obviously my remodel thoughts on it now are quite a bit different as I will be sanding it back to it’s original beautiful wood tone… it will be so worth it.

I love a good challenge.

The wood around mirror top has some broken pieces so that’s where I’m setting my hand to first. Then, on to the next thing.

My other acquisition this week was a 1920’s ladies writing desk….

sligh desk
1920 Sligh ladies writing desk


So it’s been a busy kinda week, but a fun, good kinda busy. I love doing so many creative things. Writing is definitely a wonderful outlet, exercise is always a creative time, but transforming things let’s more of my creativity come out. Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for updates on their transformation.

Tell me, what do you enjoy doing? What’s your passion or something you have a love for that makes your heart sing?

Benefits Of Elderberries



One of the things I enjoy about writing is the freedom to write not only on health and fitness, but also on a wide variety of topics as well. I talk a lot about healthy foods and what they can do for your body but today I wanna talk about a supplement.

I know, I know. A supplement. It’s not my usual style for sure but this one I think bears examining a little.

Here in the states, the flu right now is extremely serious. You can’t see the news without more awful stories coming out about  people dying, many are children.

This supplement kept coming to me in a variety of ways so I figured I needed to investigate it further. I will always encourage real, whole food sources over supplements, but I believe this supplement is most likely easier for people to get their hands on, thus receiving the benefits.

I’ve been reading about  elderberries, and how they can actually help slow the virus or cut the duration shorter.

What are elderberries?

Elderberries are the fruit of the flowering plant known as Sambucus, more commonly referred to as elder or elderflower.

You will mainly find elderberries in the Northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America, although some southern species are grown in Australia. The berries are black or very dark blue and have a sharp, sweet flavor that makes them highly preferred for desserts, syrups, jams, jellies, spreads, and as the base for various cocktails and drinks.

Since most of the berries in the genus Sambucus are toxic, caution is suggested and cooking the elderberries before consuming is always a wise choice. The branches, leaves, and twigs of all species contain trace elements of cyanide, which can build up in your body and eventually kill you, so be careful! ( how’s that for a fun and random fact??) if you decide to buy elderberries make sure you get them in a licensed reputable store. Don’t pick and eat wild berries as not all are safe to eat.

However, despite the implicit risks of elderberries, they are packed with beneficial nutrients, so they have been a part of  traditional medicine for hundreds of years and some health benefits have become more commonly acknowledged. We’ll look at some of those below.

  Elderberry actually has a very long history of medicinal use. Most historians typically trace it’s healing power back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the father of medicine  and who described the plant as his “medicine chest” due to the wide array of health concerns it seemed to cure.

Used for its antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.

Do I have your attention now? It certainly grabbed mine when I started reading about it.

Health benefits of the elder plant

It naturally improves colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, allergies, chronic fatigue, and constipation.

Get this… studies have shown when used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on average 4 days sooner.

During the ’95 flu epidemic the government actually employed the use of elderberry to fight the flu.

Elderberry has been the subject of numerous studies that shows it can actually decrease the duration and symptoms of the influenza virus. The high levels of antioxidants present in the extract are able to interfere with the activity of the virus itself.

Wait.. there’s more….

when it comes to antioxidants power, elderberry is higher in flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries!

Elderberries are an excellent general immune system booster. Elderberry extract has been shown to be a safe, efficient and cost effective treatment for colds and flu.

With elderberries anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it naturally helps clear and heal sinus issues.

Other ways it has been used and has benefits include:

It can help lower blood sugar, it’s a natural diuretic and laxative, and with it’s antioxidants and flavonoids as well as its high Vitamin A content, it makes it excellent for skin health.

The high levels of essential minerals help promote bone strength and development of new bone tissue.

Where do I get this super power food/supplement ?

As mentioned above, if you buy the berries, make sure they are from a reliable source. They offer many health benefits, including a high dose of daily fiber.

However, you can buy supplements that come in the forms of syrups, lozenges, and capsules. Dosing varies for each so it’s important you follow the directions on the package. These products can be found at local health and wellness stores or purchased online. These supplements as mentioned when taken accordingly can help with colds and flu.

Of course, if you feel like doing it, you can always make your own syrups from the berries.

Are there any side effects?

As with any herbal remedy it’s important to be aware of anything unusual you may experience. Signs of reactions could be a rash or difficulty breathing. Both should have immediate medical care. As mentioned it’s a diuretic so if you have kidney problems you may need to stay away from it.

In summary

This post is not meant as medical treatment or to suggest not using all available healthcare to keep you and your family well. It was intended to inform and educate to help alongside your health care choices. There is enough research to support elderberry helping with colds and flu that I thought it was relevant enough in this time to share with you.

Share with me. Have you tried this? If so, what has been your experience?



Goals And Challenges

Goals. Dreams. New adventures. New challenges.

2017 culminated for me with all of those things coming together at once as I finished the year with my first multi sport event, a duathlon. If you don’t know that is a run/bike/run event. Find my recap on it here…..

It was certainly something I never saw myself doing a couple years ago, much less placing first in my age group, that’s for sure. I’ve found in the pursuit of these  sports I love, I’ve had to lay a foundation and then just start building on it.

Yeah I’m smiling a little. All that hard work paid off.


Running takes some serious base miles before you start extending distance.  Even in distance running, there are days where I do interval runs to push myself faster. Short runs. Long runs. Speed. Or just easy miles.

Cycling in similar ways takes some base building although I found it fairly easy to transition to cycling. I guess all that running built some powerful legs that work on the bike too 😛

Of course, I can’t forget the strength training. Lifting weights, core work, and simple body moves all contribute to building a body for activities I love.


Who says muscles and cycling don’t go together


Starting into this year, without a scheduled event at this point, I still practice a variety of activities during the week, just not as intense right now. Well.. mostly… haha

One of my training sessions is always a bit tough and it should be because it’s all about building strength.

What you may be wondering, do I speak of ?


If you want to build your legs and butt, do hills. If you want to turn your cardiovascular system into an efficient machine, do hills.

And when I say do them, I mean frequently. Start walking them, eventually you can run a part, and then finally, you will scale up them like nothing.

Hills singlehandedly make me feel like a beast, whether I’m on foot or bike.

That being said, 5 miles on foot this morning, with plenty of hill repeats. As I turned around and headed back, I saw the hill in front of me, the one in this photo.

big hill
it’s way more fun running down this 😉



As I approached it I started thinking about what it felt like on the bike. I felt the familiar… I’m not sure what is the best word here… fear? it’s more like a healthy respect of something that is bigger than me. No matter how many times I do it, when I see it in the distance, I feel that anticipation and adrenaline rush.

Immediately the thought came to mind… “what are you afraid of?” I already knew the answer before it came.

“Failing”. My inner dialogue continued.. “and have you ever failed? Have you ever failed to do what’s in front of you?”

The answer was “No”. Not even in my beginning cycling days when I’d be in the wrong gear and have to muscle it up did I ever NOT ride all the way up.

I was reminded (again)  that if I dont do something that puts a healthy fear in me, it’s not a challenge, I might as well go home.

I just can’t do that.

It just feels so powerful when I accomplish something that challenged not just my body, but my mind. I’ve found tremendous growth occurs when I let that “healthy, fearful respect” of something challenge me. And when I’m challenged in that way, I’m changed.

It helps me see and understand I don’t have to be limited in what I do. The important part is being available and going after it.

I was having a tire fixed on my bike today. I thought it was “just” a flat. It turns out it was the tube and tire… gone… shot.

When I do it, I do it up right haha

Anyway, the guy who owns the place and sold me my little Cannondale has encouraged my cycling endeavors and made sure the bike was in top condition before my duathlon. He asks me today… ” soooo is a triathlon in your future?”

Why yes, yes I did laugh.

He looks at me… “you don’t swim?”

My response, “Oh I can ok enough, but I’m certainly not a competitive swimmer.”

He gives me that level look and says, “of course you know you can do it. Just get out there”

Here’s a little not known secret about me… I just don’t like having my face in the water. It really just weirds me out. And I will seriously need to move past that if I’m to consider a tri in some distant future.

Am I capable? I know I am. I never saw myself as a long distance runner or now a duathlete, yet here I am.

I guess you could say there’s a bit of healthy fear when I look a triathlon fully in the face. I’ve felt it each time I’ve considered a bigger athletic goal.

I either look it in the eye, stomp down those feelings and tackle it… or… I turn and run and never know what I’m fully capable of achieving.

What about you? Can you relate to any of this? Have you felt a healthy fear of pursuing something that seemed way bigger than you thought possible?

If something scares you… maybe you just need to go ahead and do it. You’ll never know how it will grow you until you let it stretch you outta your comfort zone.

It’s outside of our comfort zone we discover what we’re really made of.




This Is Me

“I am who I’m meant to be, this is me, look out ’cause here I come and I’m marching on to the beat I drum, I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me…..”

So I finally got to see “The Greatest Showman” this weekend when hubby and I took off for a date night. I’d read the reviews and seen my friends posts and assessments of it, but really, you won’t get it till you go see it.

greatest showman


The movie is a musical so if that’s not your gig than you might go see Star Wars or a current documentary or something 😉

One of the songs called “This Is Me” resonated with me, and I know probably many others. I have a few songs in my arsenal on my ipod that are what I think of as my “fight songs”.

No. I don’t go beat people up.

I mean they are the songs that stir my blood, stir my passion, make me think deeper into myself, make me consider all I’m made of. These songs push me and challenge me in the depths of a hard workout or when I need to remember who I am and all I’m capable of doing.

In an interesting way this ties together quite well for my Monday Musings, a safe place for my otherwise random thoughts to come bouncing out all in one place. This is a rather new thing so if you’ve missed previous weeks, it’s short reading for you but you can find them here…..   or here….

So today’s musings.. this might be a rant….fyi……

I  recently saw (again) another article that was titled something like “ Make up tips for women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.”  There are other similarly stated articles I’ve seen, just change it up to “fashion” “exercise” or whatever.

All for women in those decades.

Mind you, not that if I did read it I would do what it says #rebel but I’ve just always laughed ’cause it’s like if your out of the 40’s,  older than that well, you’re just a lost cause. We’ve got nothing to offer you, sorry.

I find it vaguely amusing.

Oh. I should make a disclaimer here to all my guy readers. This post might be more “girly” than what I usually dial up… so if you wanna leave…well I understand.  Do they have similar things for men?  Tips, fashion ideas etc for your age group?  Please tell me if they do cause I’m like…curious. I’m pretty sure guys don’t deal with all that stuff, nor do they mostly care.

Some others that amuse me most circulate through Facebook and it’s all about posting photos of yourself to proclaim your beauty and tagging other beautiful women so they can say the same thing.

Recently there’s been one ( undoubtedly started by an older woman) basically acknowledging all of the glorious beauty of being a 20 something woman, but pointing out being older means we’ve earned wrinkles, given birth, raised kids, had years of no sleep and caffeine deprivation and grey hair and all that crap… meaning like, ya know,  we’ve lived life. Then you post a photo and put your age.

It’s like in a backhanded way of apologizing for not being young. Like really.

I guess because I’m not a follower and “march to the beat I drum” I have no interest in participating in a copy and paste status  someone else started to justify my age, or worse yet, apologize because I’m not a younger age?

Maybe it’s because if I do a creative photo or one that seems rather striking or fun, I simply share it because it pleases me, If others like it, well that’s cool too. I do it when the mood strikes me. I enjoy being creative, clever and fun.

Maybe because of the age I am, I just feel less and less like I need to apologize for having lived life or that I’m doing life,

No, I’m not 20, 30, or 40 something. I’ve lived all those and done it fairly well. Those years were all good, would I go there again ?

Probably not.

Those years have brought me to where I am today… who have made me who I am. To have lived those years has allowed me to own myself more, to be more confident in who I am, to express myself freely ( in whatever form I choose to) to worry less about others opinions, to live freely and boldly, unapologetically.

I know I will be to strong, to outspoken or bold for some. I will be to energetic and to athletic for others. Some might think I don’t say or do the right thing.  I do not follow middle aged rules and that really can trouble some. I will not and have not stayed in “the box” for getting older, and gosh some don’t like it when you don’t play by those rules. I’m far to edgy for others. I don’t have to fit in molds of other women.  I can be deep and reflective as easily as I can be cheeky and sassy,  those who choose to really know me, will know that.

And really, it’s all ok… “I make no apologies, this is me..”

I don’t have to be less.  I don’t have to shrink away or be quiet.  I don’t have to be “younger” to prove my worth or value or anything else. I don’t have to act like anyone else.  I don’t have to do a copy and paste status to justify my age, having laugh lines, or being beautiful.

I don’t need news stories or society telling me if I’m over a certain age I can’t do something, wear certain clothes or act in certain ways.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by now at my… advanced age ha… I can do whatever floats my boat.

So that’s where my random musings have been this week. Pondering why there is the ever present need society places on women to justify who we are or where we are in life, or worse yet, apologize because we aren’t younger. prettier, smaller, taller, more educated, more talented, or anything else you wanna add to this list.

If we’re fortunate and blessed we will see many decades and we will become stronger, more confident and powerful in knowing exactly who we are and what we’re about.

My only wish is to age gracefully, to love passionately, to continue to have fun and be energetic, to see the unique beauty of others around me, to embrace all of life, to not be afraid of speaking boldly, and to be unapolegetically myself, laugh lines and all.

My hope is that you too will embrace who you are, where you are right now at this point in time and live freely in it, man or woman, no apologies.

“I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me…..”




For The Love Of Coffee

As a writer/blogger/lover of words I spend time reading in a variety of formats. I love getting lost in a good book when I can but often I’m on the go so my phone offers opportunities to access many interesting things to read.

As in… I started reading an article one day by a local girl who has a blog. She was writing about local coffee shops.

Coffee. Well she had my attention. Tell me more.

love coffee


As she opened up her post about the local shops she then backhandedly said she left out Starbucks ’cause we all know what that’s about. ( big chain coffee shop, no explanation needed, I guess)

I’m not unfamiliar with all the small local places. In fact last year when our Starbucks ( you are welcome for all the free advertisement here 😉 ) was under renovation I did my own independent coffee shop field trips.

Some standard. Some cool. Some eclectic. Some had great coffee, others not so impressive.

Her article addressed not just the coffee but the people in the shops and the staff who worked there.

I thought the article interesting as she listed various places and shared about the coffee and food she had tried.

I guess I understand how she might have not viewed Starbucks ( large mega coffee chain) as interesting, fun, or engaging as a local quaint spot. I have friends who frequently dismiss Starbucks as unworthy of patronage or attention.

I think she missed out not learning about our Starbucks. I think many local people miss the point too when they mock “big corporation coffee”.

Sometimes, it’s just not about the coffee.

Oh don’t misunderstand me here. I do love the coffee. Hot or cold I’ll take it.

Starbucks is mainly, convenient for me. But in the years I’ve been hanging out there the coffee is sometimes just an added bonus to the relationships that I’ve built with those who are there whether they are the baristas or the customers.

In a previous post I wrote for National Coffee Day  I talk about some of the people I’ve met and the encounters I’ve had.

Coffee and meeting people, engaging with other lives. It’s a rewarding experience.

The baristas I come to really care for and I hate it when they leave. I’m fortunate to keep up with so many of them after they head off to new adventures. I get to see them get married or start families, finish school or follow along with their life. Sometimes, my heart hurts for pain, struggles and loss they go through.

Then there are the familiar faces, the regulars, who are there. Ones you come to expect at certain times and who are there for various reasons. In the mornings it can be like a big family meeting with everyone hanging out for morning coffee.

Of course there are the random strangers that I get to have one time conversations with and that’s ok too. I often learn a lot about someone in a short time.. just a glimpse into another life.

One man that I wrote about in my last coffee post, an older man, who was old enough to be my dad, was one of the regulars I probably knew the longest there. He often asked me about my athletic shenanigans admiring me for what I did, challenging me when I needed challenged and wanting to see my medals after I had finished a race. He was one of the few people at the time who knew I was considering running a 50K.

I remember telling him ” it’s just such a long race. It scares me to think of doing it”  he simply told me ” you can do it. Think of all you’ve done. Now you just need to get signed up. I want you to tell me you did the next time I see you.”

And the next time I saw him, I had registered.

He would ask about me and my family and I would tease him about not chasing wild women to which he’d laugh. I’d ask him if he was sure he didn’t want to go for a ride in my Charger and see how many seconds it took to get it from 0-60 mph… for some reason he always passed on that offer haha

Over the past few years he’s been up and down with health issues and we’ve all celebrated when he’d be back in for coffee in “his” chair having his iced coffee and bagel with cream cheese.

He was like the Patriarch of the place.

I was leaving one Sunday the week before Christmas when one of the men who took turns bringing him stopped me in the parking lot and delivered the news to me.

He had passed away that morning in his home.

I was heart broken. I had just seen him the day before. The tears freely fell as I thought of him and the fact he would never be in his place there anymore. I cried at the loss of another older person I cared for now being gone.

I still see him sitting there in my mind when I go in for my coffee and feel that sharp pain in my chest. I guess in time, that will go away.  I will always cherish his sweet spirit and loving attitude to not just me, but everyone he encountered there.

So maybe that’s what I would say to not only the girl writing about coffee shops but to those who dismiss it as big corporate coffee.

It’s not “just” the coffee. It’s about the people who come there to drink it, whose lives begin to engage with yours who somehow make it richer in different ways and add to it from your ordinary world. People you might not have otherwise known who offer wisdom, friendship, encouragement, laughter, and most recently for many of us, grieving together over the loss of our friend.

The coffee is great, but the gift of relationships and a richer life is often, far more satisfying.


Where I enjoy writing and having a cup ( or two!) of coffee at my home away from home 😉

Your Body. Rest Or Rust.


I’ve seen this quote before and it always resonates with me. Of course it refers to working hard and the value of perseverance but I see it in a different way too.

Do you ever think of your body and how you use it ( or don’t use it) in terms of “getting rusty”?  If you’re like me when you hear the word “rust” you get images of weathered worn pipes or an old car that’s been left to sit for years, the paint long faded and gone and the metal rusting through.

For anything to not become rusty requires some work and care to keep it in good condition and working order. Without proper care (that item) will not function in the way it was intended to function.

Now let’s apply that concept to our bodies.

Without proper work and care they can become less functional as we age. They can get achy. We can lose muscle mass and strength. We lose the ability to bend well and move in ways that are free. We get out of breath doing easy tasks or walking short distances. Walking a flight of stairs can make us winded and the idea of bending to touch our toes or place our hands flat on the floor could make us laugh.

Our bodies are designed for daily, vigorous movement. To bend, stretch, lift, walk, run, jump and play.

Personally, I’m soooo ready for hard work again!

Doing the duathlon at the end of November and coming off a year of hard work and training I let myself do some easier work in the weeks after. Mentally it can be hard for me to “rest” but intellectually I know it’s good for my body to have a little down time too.

But then… it was December and life just happened in ways that slowed me down. Then hubby was off  2 weeks for vacation and as awesome as that was hanging out, doing stuff together, sleeping in some,  going out for breakfast and some days just being a little lazy, it shot my “normal” schedule. I loved every moment of having some relaxing weeks with him and having a mental break from my usual routine is good… but….I have been reminded of this more than ever…

I feel way more energetic and my muscles feel less tight when I’m working out, than when I’m not.  My body has now been trained for that work and needs it as much as it needs food.

I don’t see this as a “bad” thing, but it does show me it’s a most necessary thing. Purposeful, daily movement is essential for our well being.

It’s essential for MY well being.

With that being said… I’m more than ready to get back at it.

What about you? Have you had some time off or done less in the past few weeks? Perhaps you’re inspired by the start of a new year. Maybe exercise has only crossed through your mind but you have the thought you’d like to get started doing…something…

Depending on where you are and what you do or have done will determine the level of what you get out and do.

For me, as you’re reading this and maybe drinking your morning coffee, I’ll be out getting some miles under me on the bike. I will most likely do yoga on Tues and some strength training a couple times this week as well.  I won’t push myself hard but will ease back into it letting my muscles get used to the activity again. I know my body will quickly adjust to the routine and I will be pushing myself harder next week.

But what if you’ve not done anything since you were like… 12… on the school play ground playing tag with your friends? What if you haven’t done anything physical in so long you wonder if you can but you are willing to get out there and give it a try?

Good for you! There’s no better time to get moving and long before you might see results outwardly, mentally, you will always feel great doing something positive for yourself.

Ok.. I’m motivated. Give me some tips.

I always tell people I talk to, find something that you can be excited about doing or want to go do. It will ensure you are proactive about doing it each day.

If you are unsure, start with walking! All doctors will support walking as a healthy way to help with weight loss and to get fit. You can walk at your own speed and increase as you get stronger. All you really need are some good shoes and you’re set to go.

Start small. Don’t try and walk 5 miles your first day or anything like that. It might just be a couple laps around the block and maybe it’s what you do for a week or two until you are comfortable to increase distance.

Don’t like to do it alone? recruit a friend or family member to workout with you.

Write it down! Scheduling a time in your day should be just as important as anything else you do.

In the beginning  you might need to start with every other day to help you get going and to protect from doing to much to soon.

If you have health issues or concerns, always consult with your doctor first.

Imagine yourself getting stronger at the activity you choose. The massive hills I ride don’t necessarily get easier,more like I get stronger for the task of doing them. Think of being able to walk faster, for longer periods of time, or maybe even eventually running.

Look locally for free or trial classes to experiment with a new activity before you make a commitment to it.  Local gyms will often offer free trial classes before you commit.

Be willing to grow and learn new things and to challenge yourself in new ways.

Finally, celebrate as you get stronger and have more energy for living your life. Embrace the changes of your hard work and most of all, have fun with it!


On the road… my happy place….running, walking or cycling… this is my gym.



Do you have a favorite activity you enjoy doing ? Is there something you’ve learned to do that you previously didn’t know how to do?