Sunday, March 18, 2018

Recipe suggestions please for Easter brunch coffee cake

Does anyone have a great, tasty, not too unhealthy recipe for a delicious coffee cake for an Easter brunch?

The ones that captured the eye of the hostess were a sour cream crumb cake with mega calories and a huge number of servings - we both agree that was out. Another was a banana cake roll up that looked challenging to make.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Five on Friday

I was busy with appointments and meetings this week but we had fun too.

1. Last Friday night we went to a Beatles tribute band concert in our 55+ community. It was quite good but did not fill all the seats like the Beach Boys tribute band did previously. $5 a person and 2 hours of good music = fun.

2. Last minute invite to join FIL, great aunt and a cousin for brunch at his assisted living facility. Despite having eaten late breakfasts due to the time change we both managed to eat a full meal LOL.

3. Pet club meeting on Monday evening was for the cat lovers. Have you heard of cat cafes? There is one nearby. The cats are all from the Camarillo shelter and up for adoption. Not my thing but it is clearly fun for others.

4. Appointments galore: vet for monthly Addison's disease shot, haircut, massage plus last art history class for a while.

5. Went to the local brewery with a cousin and enjoyed pizza and beer plus a good visit.

My attempts to add carefully to my wardrobe resulted in lots of returns this week. A top supposed to be exactly like on that fits well was probably 2 sized smaller, the hunt for new athletic shoes may have produced a pair (white but I don't care at this point!), and a skirt I had hoped might work for the wedding BBQ was really crummy material. Sigh.

Any one else hating the advent of mostly online clothes shopping coupled with an abundance of clothes that no one seems to want or gaps in sizing stock in the traditional stores?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Five on Friday

A nice week overall!

1. Our older son's fiancee stayed overnight to make it easier to get to an early business meeting near us and got to help us try out a recipe from one of my Christmas presents - Smitten Kitchen Everyday. I made pork tenderloin agrodolce with butternut squash instead of acorn squash as that is what I had at home.  It was delicious! This website has the recipe if you don't want to get the book (recipe). I'm definitely going to make more recipes from this cookbook. In fact there is a banana cake roll that just might appear for Easter brunch.

2. We took advantage of being retired and drove to Ventura to walk the boardwalk and have tacos for lunch on the pier. It was very windy with the water very choppy. Always different at the ocean.

3. I had my annual blood test and got all 3 prescriptions refilled. Happily the quite expensive one was less than half of what I paid before we switched insurances.

4. I walked 1.5 to 2.5 miles each day for the last 5 days. That is my baseline for exercise I think.

5. I bought 2 tops and a pair of capris which I happened upon at Macy's and a dress that I had ordered a second time in a smaller size.

I was shopping for a dress for my son's wedding picnic & BBQ in September but this may not be casual enough. Or it may simply be too hot to wear it. There will be a pub crawl the night before and brunch at Santa Anita the next morning so more shopping to round out my wardrobe for my new lifestyle and family events. I do like the versatility of this dress with toppers I already own.

What made you happy this past week?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Exercising fail and other laments

I didn't think the exercise program I laid out for the week was that ambitious but my mind and body thought otherwise so I only accomplished exercising 4 days out of 7. I did make it to a yoga class as I have decided I have to stick with that no matter my desires or not.

I also didn't make the phone calls or send texts to schedule a massage or gym orientation or get the name of a good PT for our files. Nor did I buy new exercise clothing.

I didn't have any problem going out to lunch twice and meeting up for coffee once as well as dinner out with Hubby and some wine and beer drinking. Priorities you know.

Well it is a new week and my more realistic exercise plan for this week is to exercise every other day.

Sunday, Thursday & Saturday - stretch DVD, walk and/or hand weights
Tuesday - yoga class

Better to plan for 4 days and hopefully exceed it than feel guilty about not exercising every day.

On the other hand I did finally have my annual physical and Welcome to Medicare appointment. The doctor was nice but nice isn't enough. Once I extract my prescription renewals from this apparently understaffed and low on technology practice as well as the referral for an abdominal aorta aneurysm screening we are going to see if we can find a larger, more efficient medical practice. BTW, I am having the aneurysm screening because when you start Medicare you can have one for free if you are in a risk category which I am because my Dad had one and had surgery to repair it. Usually it is white males who smoked that are at risk and can get screened.

I also think I need to find a better vet.

After singing the praises of the local OLLI program we both decided we weren't excited enough about any of this coming sessions classes to sign up. Darn.

Enough lamenting. Back to a can do, it will all work out approach.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Books for children

I had absolutely no idea that Dolly Parton's Imagination Library was such a huge program.

Coincidentally my DIL had just last weekend shared with me that our granddaughter was signed up to receive books monthly. She said the most interesting thing so far was how well the books reflected the real life diversity of Americans. That is not something you typically find in children's books.

The other interesting thing to me is that there is no requirement for signing up your child except that your community needs to be in the program and your child between 0 and 5. Local funding is required to support the costs of mailing the books. I just looked and my community doesn't have a program sponsor but Berkeley obviously does.

What a marvelous legacy she has created.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

One year ago

Since yesterday was my FIL's 91st birthday, I know it was a year ago that we were hanging out in Camarillo, CA a year ago to be around while our now retirement home was being inspected.

Earlier that week we had flown from Atlanta to S. California with several missions.

- Buy one of the 5 homes that met our size and price requirements and were on the market in the location we had picked.

- Help hold a 90th birthday party for my FIL and enjoy time with our family.

- Do a bit of scouting in our soon to be home town such as finding a vet, the library, grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters and generally beginning to learn our way around. Plus of course walking by the beach about 15 minutes away.

- Drive to Berkeley to spend time with our then 3 1/2 month old granddaughter. Hubby then flew home to go back to work and take care of our dog while I stayed and provided day care for a while so they could wait until she was 4 months to send her to day care.

During all of this we learned how to use our phones to sign legal documents, send money transfers and generally handle all the details of selling one house and buying another from a distance. It all felt a bit audacious as a plan but it worked out thankfully.

I'm very glad we didn't have to buy a home that needed lots of remodeling or, the more likely scenario if that was the case, decide to rent for a year. That would have required another trip out and more location decisions and well as some different financial planning. I also think it would have been harder for us to build connections in our new location as most non-retirement neighborhoods empty out during week days as everyone heads to work or school.

It is all working out a year later or (as we answer the question of how do  you like it here?) it is all good so far.

I think I need a new huge, audacious project though!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Creating new exercise routines because of life changes

On a short hike we too early last summer
When we lived in Atlanta I had a private Pilates session each week, walked on very hilly streets, went up and down the stairs in our house carrying laundry from the second floor bedroom to the basement, did lots of yard work, and used a stretch DVD occasionally.

It wasn't perfect, but throw in the occasional massage and physical therapy and I was ok with it. The Pilates, stairs, yard work and hill walking seem to have made a big difference.

Now I live in a single level home, do no yard work, walk on an almost level sidewalk and do the stretch DVD or go to a yoga class about once a week. That needs to change although I am quite happy doing no yard work!

There have been other times when I have had to change up my exercise. I spent a year recovering from an illness. When I came home from the hospital I could barely walk through the main floor of our house and the stairs were out of the question. That time I focused on slowly increasing my walking. Another issue was three surgeries in 18 months that left me with problems lifting that still limit the amount I can lift to 20 pounds or less. And of course there were the injuries and joint problems that let to PT with my fabulous Atlanta physical therapist who worked closely with my Pilates instructor.

So it is definitely time to tackle this again to retain my strength, flexibility and endurance not to mention take off some of the inches that have crept on these past 10 months.

To start I went through all the classes and facilities available here in my community plus some in the surrounding town and online to come up with these options.

Strength Training: We have a gym available plus several classes that include strength training along with aerobics and of course there are gyms and Pilates studios in my town and the hand weights I already own plus YouTube.

Right now the gym and hand weights appeal to me although I will be checking out the Pilates studio too.

Aerobic Fitness: Walking, gym treadmill and other equipment, outdoor swimming (S. Cal remember), water aerobics and a number of classes as well as YouTube.

Right now I would pick walking and seeing if the gym has equipment to make up for the lack of hills although if I walk further they are certainly nearby.  When it warms up I promise I will get in the pool to swim laps and try out water aerobics as they seem to have fun.

Flexibility: Morning stretching class, yoga classes, my favorite stretching DVD and YouTube.

Sports as Exercise: For free in my community are golf, racquet sports, water volleyball and probably some others that I can't remember right now.

I do love horseback riding but it is out of the question due to those 3 surgeries. Hiking would be ok though and water volleyball looks like fun. DH has become a Pickleball fanatic after wandering by when they were playing but that is not for me.

Bodywork: Massage, chiropractor, physical therapy if needed.  I have found an orthopedic massage specialist who is fabulous and met someone who says she has a great physical therapist.

So how to start?

I don't seem to keep up with large goals these days so I think I need to plan this out week by week and just put one foot in front of the other both literally and figuratively!

This coming week:

Today I did my stretch DVD and ordered a variety of walking shoes to try on.
Monday - schedule massage and gym orientation, get name and contact of PT for future use, use hand weights and take a long walk
Tuesday - yoga class & shop for some exercise clothing
Wednesday - I have my annual physical scheduled and I can walk to that. Use hand weights.
Thursday - stretch DVD
Friday - walk
Saturday - yoga class

I'll let you know how I did.

I would love to hear how you have put together and keep adjusting your exercise routine.