Monday, March 27, 2017

Chemical Warfare

I try not to use too many harsh chemicals these days (a little late for the remains of my eighties hair, sad to say). Still, sometimes vinegar and hot water or their harmless equivalents aren’t enough. One example is the goo on our water glasses.

You see I have a penchant for lip moisturizers, to the point there are tubes sequestered all around the house – my nightstand, table by the couch, near just about every favorite writing haunt. And the stuff does not want to come off once it gets on glass.

There are two very pretty glasses recently bought that I’m afraid to use, in fact. At least until today.

Fed up with ineffectual and exhaustive techniques, my partner decided to try a product called CLR. It worked! The calcium, lime, and rust remover actually conquered the fearsome power of my lips!

Just be sure you are careful if you use CLR. It’s so toxic that it will eat granite, so be careful of counters as well as your skin.

Do you have any home care tips? I would really appreciate any you care to share.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Road Less Traveled

Growing up, my brothers and I were taken on a lot of Sunday drives. Whether visiting family or friends, Dad would invariably take the long way.

As a result I learned a lot about driving. My father gladly schooled us on everything. I learned how to drive on ice, navigate safely with a flat tire, and how to handle detours.

To this day I consider official construction detours to be for losers and commercial truck drivers. With modern GPS navigation finding another way around has become both simpler and trickier.

In between my suburb and a larger town a major intersection has been blocked with railroad work. Officials want drivers to go miles out of their way on major roads.

To heck with that, I thought.

Immediately I remembered a long ago missed turn showing me a winding path past this closure to my desired route. Finding it again I saved the spot in my navigation system titled ‘Railroad Detour’. But when I left home this morning to head there my car kept telling me to head in a counterintuitive direction.

I ignored her.

Finally driving beyond ‘my’ detour, I once more called up navigation, this time to find again a more pleasant back road to the YMCA. Don’t you know, the darn thing still tried redirecting me to a major business route plagued with stoplights and excess traffic.

So, I bookmarked yet another waypoint until I get accustomed to my course. Dad would be proud. I know the minor rebel in me is happy.

Do you, dear reader, enjoy driving? Do you like bucking convention?


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ever Feel Like You’re Being Watched?

My little Jezebel is really the quintessential cat. She wants attention on her schedule or not at all. It’s amazing how often that happens when I am on a phone call, the more important the better.

The other day, however, she wanted to ‘help’ me with laundry. I ended up getting this shot of her in my sock drawer.

What's With the Flash, Mom?
Do you have beloved furbabies that stalk you? I know for a fact that many of you dear devoted readers are wonderful animal caretakers. ~hugs~ Happy snuggling!


Friday, March 24, 2017

The Gym Suite Part Two: Maximizing My Workouts

I have been working out for a little over two years now. While I could still stand to lose weight my increased strength has made worthwhile the hours spent.

Resistance training has become enjoyable even. It grounds me to the physical, an important thing for someone usually locked in cerebral pursuits.

My least favorite part is cardiovascular exercise. Aside from swimming, which feels almost like flying, the process is painfully dull.

Not even music or books make the ordeal easy. I would rather be at home writing.

Then I found a fitness guru online who recommended circuit training without breaks between sets. He touted the increased heart rate to be every bit as good as jogging. And trust me when I say that I never run on treadmills. I walk.

If you want to attempt this I highly recommend talking to your doctor first. It can be pretty taxing.

I am good at listening to my body. At first I could only manage nonstop training with lower body workouts (alternating between split body routines allows me to go more often).

Now I’m able to handle nonstop workouts with every session. Not only do I feel the intensity, the time saved means more writing before and/or after. It’s been great.

Sometimes the intensity earns me notice from other members. I don’t mind. It’s kind of flattering to this aging lady.

How about you? Do you have an exercise regimen to recommend?


Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Gym Suite Part One: Social Anxiety and Other Triggers

I lead a charmed life, I truly do, or maybe it leads me. ~grin~ Yet I do face occasional stress. Social anxiety is perhaps the most common and very much a trigger for me. It’s an effort to mingle with strangers at the gym until I get into the physical groove and zone out.

Sudden noises, not even necessarily loud, are another problem.

Our home is very quiet, free of barking dogs and noisy people. My pets are two elderly cats and tropical fish, all very Zen companions.

At my neighborhood YMCA families troop through nearly nonstop. That’s especially true in the locker room, which naturally provides natatorium access. I cannot count how many times I have finished a relaxing swim or been grounded by resistance training only to have my calm shattered by slammed locker doors and screaming toddlers.

A few weeks ago I faced yet another swim meet. Besides self absorbed sports enthusiasts bowling me over at every turn, the announcements were broadcast in the locker room at deafening levels.

While in the fitness room I debated whether or not to bother showering there. I considered asking at the front desk if the sound could be lowered in the locker room. It seemed unlikely.

If only I had cotton with me, I thought. Then I remembered my cotton tipped ear swabs. Unfortunately that idea failed because the swabs were too narrow and could too easily injure my eardrums.

Ultimately I ended up using pieces of a torn up facial tissue. It worked, giving me an idea.

I went home, bagged up some cotton balls, and put them in my backpack. Now I block my ears upon every visit to that locker room. It has made a huge difference. I just wish the idea would have come to me sooner.

How about you? Do you suffer anxiety? Can you offer any suggestions on how to cope short of hiding in your house (which I have been known to do)?


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Luddite Chronicles

Anyone the least bit familiar with me probably knows that technology and I don’t get along terribly well. Lately I’m even having trouble with chip reading credit card machines.

At my doctor’s office the receptionist finally had to put my Visa through for me. Then at the grocery store weeks later I suffered the same indignity trying to charge a purchase to my credit union chipped debit card.

“You cancelled the transaction,” the frustrated clerk kept saying.

“No. I followed the instructions and then the machine just blanked out.”

“Here. Let me see.”

At least the keypad accepted my numeric password. I was starting to wonder.

It’s insane. I can’t help recalling how digital watches never lasted long on my wrist either. They always kept slow time or stopped altogether.

A longstanding joke in my home is that if something happens to my tech savvy partner all is lost. Every gadget in the house will gradually seize up and moss will grow over everything. The cats and I will go feral.

What do you think? Could I perhaps have a wonky electric field emanating from my body?


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

April A to Z Blog Challenge Topic Reveal

I was technically supposed to do this yesterday but the Hanover Pennsylvania eaglet hatching caused me to post twice as it was, an unprecedented occurrence. So, today it is.

And my challenge topic? Music. Music. Music.

Compared to some, my topic is probably pretty staid, especially considering I featured music last year. This time, however, I first heard these acts on a local college radio station.

My commercial “alternative” radio station has become just about anything but. WNKU, however, broadcast from the University of Northern Kentucky, fits the bill beautifully.

Often, the disc jockeys play blocks of similar sounding tunes, too, which makes for some pretty fun listening. Still not a big fan of most country or folk music, I’m finding some acts really swaying me. Mostly they are of the latter persuasion. Still…

In addition I will again manufacture a band or performer for each letter of the alphabet. Those silly blurbs give me another creative outlet.

How about you? Do you plan on joining the April challenge?