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Antiquing during a stroll

Published March 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
mirror found 3-23-16

Mirror in “as found” condition. Before gluing the joints.

There’s a lot of stuff I’ve come across quite often on my walks. I have found money anywhere between $4, $10, and $20. I have even found a full book of postage stamps another time. And I’m always grateful to find anything while on my strolls. So, it pays to look on the ground. Take the time to scour parking lots, alleys, sidewalks, curbs when you take a walk because you never know what you might find.

It was a strong windy day. Hold on to your hat. Well, my beloved straw cowgirl hat was battered in no time. And the gusts would blow sand and dirt. Good thing I wore my shades. But the sand and dirt stung my legs something fierce.

 

How could there be any remote chance of snow later on? I thought as I merrily enjoyed the day getting my natural dose of Vitamin D from the sunlight. I didn’t think very favorable of the cyclone-like day we were having. But I didn’t despair and kept trudging right along getting blown off course (literally) and into a grassy stretch of an empty lot. I was originally going to take the over pass sidewalk just to avoid waiting on non-stop trains that love to just slow down and stop at every intersection. Then the trains will back up, creating a long line of cars backed up for miles. There should be a law against the trains doing that. It’s not only a frustration for motorists, but also to people on foot that have to wait for an incredibly long time.

 

I believe I wasn’t even half way when the gusts decided it for me: my stroll was going to be short-lived. Sure, I’d get to where I intended to go, maybe just not right when I wanted to. Trying to walk into the wind was challenging, and painful when the sand hit my body. Then I look toward the train tracks. They were clear, and instead of me hoofing it clear out of my way, I headed several blocks (hoping there wouldn’t be another train to block the intersections). And as luck would have it, I made it across safely and there were no signs of any trains. Strange, because I kept hearing the blaring noise of the train track signals every few minutes it seemed like today.

 

But my eyes spied a green bean seed packet. Could it be? Aw, drats! Empty. Well, if you’re a serious green thumb, a newbie to gardening/ herb container grower or live on a farm, then the urge to inspect any discarded garden seed packet for potential overlooked beans or seeds is always worth a look. Never know where you might find free food. I say that because green beans are easy to grow. I don’t recall the particular brand of the green bean packet other than it caught my attention on my walk.

 

So I mosey on, keeping a firm hand on my hat or what’s left of it. Ahead of my sights are more shuttered businesses that ceased. It’s not surprising considering the area of town isn’t part of a tourist trap. In fact, it could so use some revitalization if city planners and tax payer money would go to good use to re-hab some of the most forlorn eyesore properties, but I can safely bet, nothing will ever happen. The buildings will continue to decay. The ‘for rent’ and ‘for sale’ signs will remain indefinitely. And it looks straight out of an episode of The Walking Dead. But it’s an area of town that’s for lack of a better word, ‘antique’. I mean the buildings have their roots some dating back to the early 1930s, and maybe a little before the Depression era. But that’s not particularly what drew me to stroll down this area of town. I see a junk yard of cars enclosed by a long span of chain link. Between the links are white broken plastic (think in terms of mini-blinds), and behind that is a mini-salvage yard for vehicles. It really doesn’t impress me, but junk yards, in general, are nearly all gone nowadays. I cross the street and see a business that doesn’t have any customers. It’s a very old antique-looking brick building.

 

Very old by out-ward appearances. Interior-wise, looks like a 1970s slapped together in one day look and vibe about it. I feel as though I’ve transcended into the past. I suppose it was the overcast day and everything was hazy even the sun. And right in front of me was an antique mirror with an attached Art Deco light fixture. The mirror is leaning against the old building. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mercury coated beveled glass staring back at me.

 

Lord knows I’ve been praying to happen across by chance an antique mirror. The light fixture and antique incandescent light bulb were a plus. Instead of giving it much thought, I carry on my way and then… back-track. I do a double take. The mirror is in tact, but the frame has seen better days. In fact, I surmise it was originally yanked out of a bathroom due to its added on light fixture and partial two screws holding two broken pieces of plastic in the lower corner. Could have been a tooth brush holder, maybe a soap dispenser.

 

I try to talk myself out of even inquiring about said mirror. But something about the mirror appearing discarded and forgotten latched onto me. Maybe it was that white chipped paint, weather-beaten wood underneath. Good grief, I think to myself, I’ll never get it home on foot, and definitely not in this cyclone of a day. But wait—the light shade is milk glass. The shade itself practically screams “I am Art Deco!” and so loudly that it would make the nearby resident want to chuck rocks at it. Maybe that’s how the shade got broke in the first place.

broken fixture shade before cleaning

On the ground I discover three fragments of milk glass in the parking lot. I study myself in the large mirror. The mirror I would have to guess was manufactured even before the late Twenties when Art Deco became in vogue. Oh, and the light fixture retains an antique incandescent light bulb.

1458769540467

Perhaps an original Thomas Edison light bulb? In 2016? I crook the brim of my hat to get a better look. Yeah, right. It would have to be a Chinese knock off “Edison” bulb found at Lowe’s. But no. It pre-dates the Chinese knock-offs and its about as authentic as the day it was produced eons ago.

 

The filament and connecting wires are very different than any past or current incandescent light bulb I’ve seen. I know Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and this light bulb looked like a familiar design of his. I also own Edison phonographs, and researched him extensively for my phonograph restoration and that has nothing to do whether the light bulb still works or not.

 

before cleaning of the wall mount light fixture

There’s dirt and grime and I wouldn’t trust testing out that light socket plug. In the old days bare wires were covered with a piece of inset cardboard between the prongs of the plug to prevent two bare wires from crossing. Yikes!

Despite the broken milk glass lamp shade, the porcelain wall mount bolted to the mirror is in excellent shape for its age. It screams 1920’s. I know this because all throughout my years growing up I lived in many Victorian homes split into apartments where the electricity (and the light fixtures) were never updated, replaced, or even new, and most were straight from the Twenties in those homes. They were very antique, all white porcelain, and something clicked in my brain trudging up a memory from long ago.

 

Studying that very light fixture mounted on the antique mirror took me back to a happier and much less different time in my [then] extremely young childhood. It reminded me of a special place in time, one that can never be replaced. It was a feeling I received that I hadn’t felt in many, many long years. Why this antique mirror struck me with that overwhelming emotion of familiarity I have no idea.

 

“Antiquing” has always ran in both sides of my family. It goes way, way back and I’m no different. But I still try to convince myself “This mirror will likely shatter if I inquire about it,” and “It’s not out here for looks.”

 

I must have passed by the building three times debating whether or not I should inquire about the antique mirror. And by the time I made it to the end of the third block, something was practically nagging at me not to pass it up. It might be a good deal and it was something I had in mind rather than buying a new mirror that would be straight from China and an overpriced piece of junk.

 

I had that old Victor 78 song stuck in my head, “Don’t Wait Too Long”. I forget who the artist is that sings this particular fox trot. All I know is that my late great grandma and I have similar tastes in music. Don’t Wait Too Long was one such song in our record collections. We must have been on the same wave length, or perhaps it was a nudge from her in spirit when I began my fascinating antique phonograph hobby when I was 26 years old and wound up with that new old stock song on a Victor 78.

 

After much thinking about the mirror and seeing my stroll was going to be cut short due to the gusts, I turned on one heel and started back for the abandoned-looking business. The lights were on inside but the door was locked. I was smack dab in a crime-ridden area of town, on foot, fighting against the massive strong gusts that pummeled me with dirt, grime and sand.

 

I didn’t see the Keystone cops running after the likes of Charlie Chaplin or that of the great stone face, Buster Keaton, so I figured crime had taken the day off. For some weird reason I could envision meeting up with the like of Charlie Chaplin on this particular day in this area of town (don’t ask me why). I suppose it was the almost sepia overcast sky that made me think of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton (two out of three of my favorite silent film comics along with Harold Lloyd in no particular order).

 

I was almost worried about knocking on this business’s door since you never know who might answer. I could see into the business through a large window. But for what business this was, I have no idea. And I have no idea how an antique mirror wound up leaning against their establishment.  I hesitated at the door thinking of a million excuses not to inquire. Maybe the business was remodeling. Maybe they weren’t intending to toss out this beautiful antique mirror. Maybe it was placed outside just for looks. (I was thinking in terms of tacky lawn decorations). But no, I didn’t get that impression. I swore I distinctly heard my late great grandmother (who lived in a museum, *ahem*, a house), encouraging me “…never know until you try.” It sounded so clear as a bell that I turned and looked to my right, then my left. And if it had been her instead of me coming across this mirror, she would have had no problem knocking, and in her own sweet outgoing way, could charm the pants off the person who answered with just her smile.

 

So, I knocked and didn’t have to wait long. A young man answered. I kept my inquiry brief and pointed to the side of the building where the mirror was. He told me the mirror was free and I could have it. I thanked him, and went to the side of the building and tried to lift the mirror. The frame was rickety and I noticed a silver fish (a small insect) running for its dear life to hide under one wooden shim nailed to the frame. I replaced the mirror just as it was, resting against the brick building. This calls for the vehicle. I was hoping between the time I left and returned, the mirror wouldn’t be the unfortunate victim of the cyclone gust’s fury. And I worried to that someone else might happen upon this mirror and snatch it out from under me. Surprisingly, it was still there when I returned and in one piece. I loaded it myself, then returned to pick up every piece of broken milk glass and plucked one wood shim that had detached from the mirror and headed to town.

 

I was still debating just returning home and tilling more garden space by hand, but on this particular day, I’m sure the wind would have planted my seeds in various places in my backyard instead. I still need to make more seed tape (this is so the crops will grow in evenly spaced rows and made using toilet paper and a mix of flour/water paste to glue the tiny seeds in place. Allow it to dry over night and you’ll be ready to plant them the following day or whenever the danger of frost has passed). But instead of going home and playing farmer Brown, I decided to see what the thrift store had to offer. Not much so I then stopped by the store on my way home and bought a pineapple. They’re on sale, can’t beat that. 🙂

 

I didn’t take the mirror inside. I left it in the vehicle and worked on removing the light fixture in there. I will assume that the gaudy layer of white paint contains lead (as most paints pre-1970’s contained lead) and it was flaking so bad I didn’t want it everywhere in my house. I managed to get the light fixture removed safely including the light bulb, then disassembled it and washed the shade, porcelain wall mount and plan to get the rust off the screws. I assumed after much “Righty tighty, lefty Lucy” elbow grease using nothing more than a pair of Ford Model T pillars and a Chinese brand pair of needle nose pillars and hands like a brain surgeon, the bolt and three little rusty screws released their firm death grip on the porcelain wall mount and milk glass shade.

 

cleaned mirror glass 3-24-16

I scraped away some of the flaking old paint. Underneath the white paint was somewhat of a salmon-pink hue in areas. The paint still flakes off very easily when touched and the mirror requires a lot of TLC when handled which I do with work gloves on. The wood shims holding the glass are the consistency of match sticks and very brittle. It’s still in rough condition.

And I did it all without breaking anything or causing myself seven years of bad luck. I was suspecting at any given moment the mirror would break, but it didn’t although the wood frame was coming undone at all four corners. I’m still not even sure how I managed this feat. I’ve worked on antique phonographs, but never an antique mirror until now. I’ll worry about repairing the glass shade another time. I was more fixated on finding a solution to glue the frame back together with the glass still inset. The logical approach would be to gently remove all the wood shims holding the glass and remove the mirror, but working in cramped confines of the van would make this step impossible.

 

And when in doubt, think like MacGuyver and that’s what I did. I returned inside with each light fixture piece, disassembled the scary outdated chord and light socket, set those aside, and placed the shade and porcelain wall mount inside a dish pan of sudsy/ Clorox bleach warm water. Not too hot, and definitely not too cold. Porcelain should never be subjected to extremely hot water or else it will break and crack. I resumed my task and let that soak in the meantime and brought out the Gorilla glue, some elastic snagged from my sewing box and a stick I found in the yard.

In order to get the joints aligned to the best of what I had at my disposal, I devised a very weird  clamp/ jig method using the elastic and stick and twisted it around the stick and mirror frame until I could see the gaps in the joints of the wood getting smaller. I knew that too much tension could spell disaster. I wound it with enough tension and called it good enough. I placed the stick under a tool kit and jumper cables to hold it taut so the glue could dry in the joints overnight. I then used a bungee chord to create tension to the other end of the mirror and hope and pray that it holds, which it did. I closed the door and put the tools back in the house. It was a cloudy evening. I overheard my neighbor exclaim they wouldn’t be surprised if we got a tornado and earthquake in the same night. The neighbor was talking to somebody else, not me. I gazed at the sky. The temperature was steadily dropping. It wasn’t extremely hot out today, but it was just right for shorts and short-sleeved shirt weather. And by evening it was very cold.

I washed up and ate a late supper of leftover Smoked Herring/ Flax seed meal and Chia seed patties combined with boiled Cactus leaves (a very good source of vitamins), some Cauliflower, and Broccoli mashed potatoes. I also had an apple and some brown bagged micro-waved plain popcorn.

 

Tomorrow I shall see what became of my improvised restoration efforts. Before I even begin to think about taking this antique mirror into my house it will require a new coat of either paint on the wood frame or I may strip it down and go over it with a clear coat varnish and call it good and let the weather beaten look shine through.

 

I detest the ‘shabby chic’ job that ruins antique furniture, dressers, and mirrors even though this mirror wasn’t given that look. The paint suffered from a severe case of weather-element damage and who knows what wall it had been bolted to for so many years.

 

And yes, I inspected mirror prior for any sign of black mold and/ or rotting damage to the wood frame. I didn’t see anything wrong and used my scrub brush to dust off the cobwebs and leaves before loading it up, so that tells me this mirror’s been sitting outside for a week or more. And perhaps this antique mirror was rescued in the nick of time since tonight it’s raining. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, commenting, tweeting and sharing. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

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Ah, it’s almost summer and that means…

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s almost time to break out the shorts, open-toed sandals, a comfortable top or tank, and sunshine in a bottle.

What? Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie, that is. I recently came across a recipe for it and it looks delicious. For this you will need the following:

Glass Mason jars (any size).

Glass straws such as these or others found here as well. I know they’re pricey, but when you’re trying to ween yourself off of plastic entirely and are concerned about unhealthy chemicals being leeched into your drinks and food, then glass straws might be a very healthy lifestyle investment. Sure glass straws can be a pain to clean (some come with a straw brush) and the other draw back is they can shatter and get broken, but making any lifestyle changes come with extra work.

You will also need a juicer or regular kitchen blender. If you opt for a blender, then you might want to strain this through a cheese cloth. I’ve tried the wire mesh strainers and they end up becoming rusty after one use. And if you have a juicer that gets rid of the pulp, then great. 🙂

If you’re going the blender route, be sure to add in enough water to cover the blades first and foremost to reduce wear and tear.

Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie:

Take one lemon rinse, peel off the rind and slice it into chunks. You may want to remove the seeds before tossing it into the blender. Depending on what juicer you have, the more expensive models I’ve heard and read about anyway should eliminate the seeds and pulp. Also, about the seeds, some can have small toxic properties, and although its considered a very minuscule amount when ingested by eating certain kinds of fruit like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, if the seeds do get ground up, then in turn could cause small sharp particles that can then tear the intestines. Believe me, that doesn’t sound like fun. Therefore, I take the extra time to remove the seeds, especially when in doubt.

Next you will need some Fuji and/ or about three red apples. Wash, rinse and slice them into chunks. Discard the core and seeds in the trash. Add the apple slices in with your lemon.

You will also need some oranges, peeled, rinsed, and seeds removed if you want to go to the extra effort. About two Cara Cara oranges or pretty much any type of orange should work. And you need about three. I used one bag of small Halo Cutie oranges, and prepared these in a juicer and frozen them in ice cube trays.

One pineapple. Rind removed and discarded. Next, you’ll want to cut up the pineapple. Its all a personal preference if you discard the core or use it when juicing. I’ve heard both pros and cons of eating the core of a pineapple. The pros is it contains a high concentration of natural vitamin C and other healthy benefits. The cons of the pineapple core is that it can cause fiber balls to build up in the digestive system that can be difficult for your body to break down. Also, some seeds in fruit aren’t meant to be ingested because they can contain cyanide.  So, for myself personally until I can do more research on eating the whole pineapple I would toss out the core. Yeah, I might be depleting the vitamin properties and not getting the full ‘juicing’ experience, but rather be safe than sorry.

Two Kale leaves washed/rinsed off. I would say optional on this if you don’t like mixing veggies with fruits.

Okay now that you’ve washed, sliced, diced, peeled, chopped and cored your fruit you’re ready to add it into the blender and/ or juicer and whip these ingredients together. Last night I tried making this smoothie with most of the ingredients but lacked the most vital one; the pineapple.

So my “half” sunshine in a bottle smoothie is sitting in the fridge. Today I was determined to  walk to town to get  said fruit. And did the usual errands. I also stopped in a local upscale women’s clothing boutique that sells boho (Bohemian/ Hippie-ish) inspired clothing, jewelry, Vera Bradley hand bags, wallets, small back packs, makeup bags, Hanky Panky thong underwear, and even more Chinese-produced, massively over-priced jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, earrings… eh, I’ll just blog about all that in another post.

Tonight I plan to finish my fruit smoothie, crank out at least two other blog posts on here, do my Yoga for the night, etc. Then tomorrow I plan to get the garden cleared  and get it ready for summer. I already have most of my seeds bought and saved back as many as I could from all the fresh produce I bought at the store (roughly a year’s worth of “almost” free food if it grows and produces, that is).

Oh, and if you tried making this sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie or anything similar, I’d be interested in knowing how it turned out. And should I find the video again of this smoothie I seen on youtube, I will post it in this blog. It looks great, but if you try to make it without the pineapple you’ll have a strong lemon smoothie instead.

Stay tuned for more. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

My three-step deodorant (how-to-make):

Published January 31, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

This was pretty much trial and error when I began my mission to quit putting unnecessary chemicals into my body over three years ago. I researched, scoured, and tried many ‘all-natural’ health food store deodorants with less than impressive results. And it was only after the fact when I would arrive home and read all the ingredients of said deodorants.

How much money did I end up wasting? About $30 per month!!! For that price I could have very easily made my own deodorant and still have money left over.

So, I kicked all those mineral salt deodorants and Tom’s of Maine to the curb. I pitched out all cheap store-bought deodorant brands too, especially the kind that contain aluminum, which by the way, from what I’ve read extensively about, the body doesn’t NEED aluminum. Aluminum could be a cause of bone disorders, kidney problems, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer. Therefore, to eliminate these risks I looked through all of my daily beauty products. I was quite shocked to find Ivory soap “the soap that floats” does contain that sneaky beauty industry word, “fragrance”. This means Ivory isn’t 100 pure. Also, whether or not it really does as advertised to kill 99.9 % of germs leaves a lot to the imagination. If it’s a bar of Ivory it will collect bacteria like a Petrie dish.

Throughout the summer of 2015 I experimented using nothing more than a lemon slice daily. And believe me if you have sensitive skin this will burn like a three alarm fire! Lemon slices were out as far as home made deodorant alternatives were concerned in my case. I looked into using just baking soda, but found I had to re-apply it quite often and it sweated off in less than five minutes. Also, some generic and well-known brands of baking soda can contain aluminum which could account for me breaking out into rashes and having it make my teeth hurt when I used to brush with it in place of store-bought toothpaste.

Well, gosh darn it! So I did further research and came across some home made deodorants using Arrowroot Powder, but the stuff’s expensive. For the meantime, I just wanted a ‘go-to’ home made deodorant. While I was reading up on the benefits of raw organic coconut oil (like oiling pulling where you swoosh a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth the very first thing 20 minutes upon getting up and on an empty stomach). Not only is this anceint techinque suppose to help draw out toxins, it’s also supposed to help your oral health and whiten teeth as well. I also read about coconut oil’s deodorant properties too. I then discovered there’s many more uses for hydrogen peroxide other than just using it to treat cuts and scrapes. Hydrogen peroxide also has deodorant qualities. I tried this and almost got it to where it worked for me, but it wouldn’t stick. Hmmm…

For the final test version I dusted off with Rumford aluminum-free baking powder. The results? Excellent!

Here’s my three step process I’d like to share with the readers. If you like, you’re more than welcome to pass this along. I don’t know how well this will work for every individual since everyone is different, but here it goes:

Wash, shave (if you need to), and pat dry your underarms. I do this exclusively as part of my morning routine. I haven’t even begun to master tweezing and don’t ever foresee myself getting the hang of that. Shaving is still very quick for me and less of a hassle.

After your underarms are dry, smear some raw organic coconut oil on your fingers and apply this to the underarms making sure to get a generous amount rubbed into the skin.

Next, soak a piece of toilet paper with Hydrogen peroxide and dab this to the under arm area. Since I haven’t found an easier solution to apply hydrogen peroxide without a piece of toilet paper, this will have to do for now. I’ve tried using cotton balls to no avail and even tried using a facial scrubbing pad with messy results since the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t absorb into either material. It just dribbles all over the place.

And last, using a big makeup brush (or powder/ blush brush), dip it into the Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder and dust it under the arms. Depending on whether or not you’ve shaved recently this might make sensitive skin hurt and/ or turn red. The redness goes away as long as there’s no razor burn or scrapes. And the sensitivity might lessen. Don’t apply this to broken or irritated skin, nor rub in the coconut oil with sharp fingernails. Believe me, this hurts really bad!

Things you’ll need:

Two makeup blush/ powder brushes. Since I use just one for now I often have to wash it out every other day to prevent bacteria buildup. Having two would come in handy while one is drying.

Hydrogen Peroxide (any brand) although I’ve heard there’s a lot of difference between brands.

Rumford brand aluminum-free baking powder (this can be found in most health food sections of a grocery store and/ or health food vitamin store). The container comes in a red can with a tan-color plastic lid. This baking powder sells between $2-3 dollars depending on location.

Raw Organic Coconut oil. I personally haven’t noticed a difference between cold pressed virgin coconut oil or any other less expensive store bought brand. I use whatever coconut oil I have on hand. I used to buy coconut oil by a brand called Spectrum, however, my store quit carrying it. It was also great for baking too.

And there you have it. I hope this is helpful for everybody. I also did this as to get away from the name brand/ store bought deodorants that have been known to be linked to certain types of cancers. And especially for women since some commercial deodorants have been linked to lumps in the breast tissue and lymph glands under the arms as well. By cutting out the use of deodorants exclusively, it’s my belief that my body is thanking for doing it.

And one other thing before I close: what you eat and put into your body has a lot to do with how your body sweats out the toxins and the odors that it’ll release. For example, if you eat a diet rich in red sweet onions, white onions, garlic, then you’re body will secrete these causing body odor that’s very unpleasant. However, I’ve heard from others who are on raw veggies/ fruit diets say that the body odor is almost eliminated and it all boils down to one’s own chemistry, sweat glands, etc. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

Eating Healthy: My Daily Routine.

Published January 26, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I wanted to share with you a healthy habit to get into. And if you’re already doing so, then great! 🙂

I know– I know, groan all you want. Sigh and roll your eyes. Tell me to my face I can’t possibly know the first thing about eating right since after all, I’m just your average woman out there living on a tight income. I’m not a licensed dietitian. I’m not a physical fitness trainer nor am I a certified life coach. But what I do have to offer is a great way to get started on a path to good health and it might even eliminate some bad habits along the way. And if you chose to stick with it (its a preference, not an order), then you’ll begin to see results.

I don’t believe in pumping my body full of diet pills just to achieve desired results. In fact, I believe those are highly dangerous and some have even caused death (think of that Fin-Fin).

This is like a nutrition ‘meal planner.’ Yep, I pre-plan everything I’m going to eat and prepare it the night before or even set aside time a week before and spend three days preparing my own meals on a budget. Pre-planning can save time, be extremely handy when in a hurry or when arriving home dead tired on your feet after a long day at work.

And eating healthy is just a start. When I get up I put on a pot of water. While its heated I remove my container of oats. I begin my day like anybody else, except I take things slow. I don’t get in a hurry. If I had roses to stop and smell, I do that too. I  don’t distract myself with a blaring TV or radio. The house is silent. The computer is kept off. I shower, then get dressed. I return to my boiling water and fill a coffee cup part water/ part oats. As that cools, I add in some Nature Nate’s Raw Honey and go make my bed and tidy up and get ready to head out.

My stuff like winter gloves, hat and scarf, receipt book, odometer notebook and pens are already packed in my bag so is my music. I snag a hard-boiled egg, peel off the shell and eat it with some salt. I wash it down with either steam-treated distilled water (some times seltzer water), and eat my oatmeal. I shut off the burner and when I’m done eating, brush and floss my teeth.

For lunch I might have a kale and avocado spread sandwich on home made Pretzel bread and a handful of unsalted almonds (high in natural vitamin E) and a cutie (small orange) or similar fresh fruit (never canned or pre-packaged fruit cups).

For supper my one pot meal awaits in the fridge. I either have pea, steamed potato and ham soup, or I thaw a batch of home made chicken broth, add in a piece of chicken and simmer it for two hours on medium heat, then add in some dried peas and whole wheat wide noodles. I check on it and add in water as needed. I clean house, do laundry, and fold and put away clothes. I sweep and vacuum, and when I’m done, the rich aroma of a home made stew fills my cozy house. I bring in my cat and feed her a spoon of Tuna along with her dry cat food. She’s happy as long as I’m the center of her universe. Sometimes she’ll claim the recliner and curl up and sleep for hours. I eat supper, wash up the dishes and wipe down the stove and counter tops.

My meal plan is as follows:

Mornings: Oatmeal and raw honey (in winter), one hard-boiled egg, one banana. In the summer: one hard boiled egg, one banana. I try to eat at least within the first 30 minutes after getting up. This helps to boost metabolism.

Lunch: Sandwich using home made avocado spread and/or soup/ stew or boiled Pollock fish or Salmon (if its on sale) and rice, steamed asparagus, green beans or corn, and a potato (make sure to poke holes in the potato or else it will explode. Do this especially if you plan to have a baked potato).

Supper: This is generally the ‘heaviest’ meal of my day. It can vary depending on what I have on hand. I’ll either have stews, soups, chicken (as the main meat), a veggie, a potato, and for dessert, an apple and peanut butter. Sometimes I forgo the apple and peanut butter and eat a small custard-cup serving of mixed frozen fresh fruit that’s been pre-washed, sorted and bagged. Other times I might make Jack Straw Tuna Casserole and bake it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 mins 20 mins.

How to make Jack Straw Tuna Casserole:

One can of Tuna (drained) and dumped into baking dish. Or, if you prefer, you can always use one can of Salmon or canned chicken with the gross stuff drained off and rinsed in distilled water. The thing about Tuna is that it contains mercury, so you may want to eat this once-in-a-while. And this same heavy metal is also found in most fish as well.

One potato washed, peeled, and cut into shoe-string length. Add those in with the tuna and add in some water. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Sometimes I’ll make this using hot dogs and sauerkraut, and shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Tuna is optional and so are the hot dogs. It’s very rare I do eat hot dogs on a regular basis simply because they are so full of chemicals and they are very unhealthy. The more chemicals you can keep out of your body, the better you’ll feel.

Put some tin foil on the baking dish, set the timer for about 15-20 mins. and place the casserole in the oven to bake. Make sure to use a half cup of water so it doesn’t burn. For a variation Feta cheese is also good as a topping as well in this recipe.

During the summer I rarely heat up the house using the oven and prefer to either steam the heck out of my veggies and chicken dishes, or just boil them in water. I never use any cooking oil and don’t make or consume fried, greasy foods either. It may sound like a plain boring diet, but its what helped me lose a lot of weight and keep it off.

I don’t own a juicer yet. Rather I do blend my fresh produce like kale, fruit, strawberries, bananas, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and add in a small amount of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I also like to use half a cup of steam-treated distilled water and/ or Hiland Drinking water (bought at Dollar General). I blend all of the ingredients using grind, whip and puree on my blender, and when its too my liking (thickness-wise like a fruit Smoothie), I pour it into freezer bags, label them and store them in the freezer for future use. The shelf life of this in the freezer is about one month or until the bananas begin to brown then you know its time to toss it.

The avocado spread is made much the similar way using just enough water not to make it soupy but keep it like a thick sauce texture, some lemon juice (spices optional: rosemary, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Kosher salt, onion powder or fresh sliced white onion about two strips) and freeze it if its not going to be eaten right away. Shelf life of avocado spread in the freezer is 3-5 months. Thereafter it must be pitched out if not consumed by then. I always like to thaw the avocado spread in the fridge overnight so it’s ready for me when I get up.

The home made pretzel bread I make has to be either frozen or refrigerated. Other times I’ll make Welsh Rarebit for a snack. I did happen across Welsh Rarebit when skimming through my 1890s cookbook and wanted to share it:

Welsh Rarebit:
16 (1/3-inch-thick) diagonal bread slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup porter or ale
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large egg yolk

I usually omit the butter, and all-purpose flour and use whole wheat flour instead. I would assume the bread slices are put on a plate and then the Welsh Rarebit is served over it kind of like an open face sandwich. Also, I skip the port and ale and leave out the milk. This is just my personal preference. With the other ingredients in the Welsh Rarebit, you’ll want to mix these and bring them to a low simmer over medium heat stirring constantly so it won’t stick or burn. Once thickened, remove from burner and serve over the bread. Goes great with a little bit of Feta cheese on top and a side of green beans.

I also have a recipe for my no yeast Pretzel bread:

• 3 cups whole wheat flour (preferably stone ground)
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1⁄2 cups rice milk (works with any liquid) or 1 1⁄2 cups water (works with any liquid)
• 1⁄4 cup liquid fat (i.e. melted milk free margarine, vegetable oil, olive oil)
Directions
1. Mix dry ingredients.
2. Do not sift the flour!
3. Mix liquids and add to dry.
4. Stir until there is no more dry flour.
5. Depending on the humidity of the air where you live you may need a little bit more or less liquid.
6. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
7. It may take a few minutes for the flour to fully absorb the liquid, so don’t rush to add liquid or flour to it.
8. Score lightly the surface in a diamond or X shape to prevent splitting of the crust.
9. This is a country style bread that should be sliced thick.
10. It is important not to overwork the dough.
11. Shape into a ball or an oval, with oiled hands.
12. Place on clean baking sheet.
13. Bake for 40 minutes at 400°F.

Remove bread when done, and brush on a mixture of water and baking powder. Sprinkle with Pretzel salt and return to heated oven for about 5 mins. Take out and let cool on a wire cookie rack. Sometimes the loaf will stick to the bread pan so make sure to oil it with Coconut oil or similar if you’re using cooking oil. This bread comes out hard and crusty on the top, moist and spongy on the inside. Cut into slices (this is hard to do without a bread knife, but can be done), then put into bread sacks or zip lock bags and place it the freezer or fridge. If you place this bread in the fridge be sure to consume it within less than a week. Since there are no additives, this bread doesn’t contain all the chemicals that store bought bread does to keep it from getting moldly. This home made bread also sets better and is more dense (not light as air like all commercial store-bought breads are) and you won’t get hungry afterwards since it won’t contain any MSG Mono Sodium Glutamate = ‘natural flavors’ or artificial “your guess is as good as mine” ingredients.

It might take awhile to notice any results when breaking free from chemically processed foods and switching over to an all natural, raw fruits, veggies and home made meals diet since everybody is different. If you can cut out the sugar (sugary drinks, bagged sugars, candy, and sweetners) you’ll soon discover a HUGE, (I mean massive) increase in energy and libido. Your body will thank you and your spiritual, mental, and emotional well being will love you for it. Not only will you feel great, but you’ll see it physically.

Another helpful tip: start by keeping a weight diary. (This helps, trust me). Weigh yourself each morning after you get up first thing. And don’t eat or drink anything. If you do, that’s okay too. Usually you weigh less in the morning than you would at night. I generally like to take my weight twice (once without a stitch of clothes on), and one weight reading with clothes on including shoes for better accuracy. I always jot down my weight nowadays and the date.

When I began my raw veggies/ fresh fruit about three years back, I didn’t keep a weight diary. And I really should have. I weighed 132 pounds back in 2014, and for a woman of such a small size, I would consider that morbidly obese and I’m not even a medical doctor. Surprisingly throughout my past regular and even yearly exams nobody ever brought up my weight to me. I didn’t gain that weight until I was in my late twenties (27-28) and it just stuck with me since my ex would cook in grease. Everything was grease and he’d swear by it was the only way to cook. I used to drink soda like a fish back then, ate very unhealthy processed foods and by the time I was in my early 30s I hated how I looked and felt. I know what did it for me was when I undergone my emergency gallbladder surgery at 35 and that was my wake up call. And had I not heeded that handsome surgeon’s advice about having the emergency surgery, I wouldn’t be here blogging.

I began to see results almost one week after I cut out soda completely. But mind you I began to do this slowly over time once I healed from my gallbladder surgery completely. Then I stopped baking with sugar. And then I really saw results! I slowly, but surely I eliminated all boxed dinners, processed foods, junk foods, candy, gum, and at the last even tea. I will eat sunflower seeds and chew on toothpicks.

Nowadays I make my own steeped tea boiling water and adding in two fresh frozen cranberries. Other times I will raid my Hosier cabinet for my dried Peppermint leaves and put those in my tea strainer. They won’t change the water to green as I’ve seen from the bagged “Bigalow” Peppermint tea does. There’s hardly any ‘mint’ taste from my dried peppermint leaves, but they complement the cranberries I think. I’ve also tried a little bit of my dried lavender flowers too and didn’t notice much difference (taste-wise). Lavender does help to aid digestion.

Cranberries are an extremely good source of antioxidants and natural vitamin C and if you can buy them fresh in the bag (Oceanspray brand) found in the fresh fruit/strawberry, blueberry, and mulberry cooler, then its worth it. Yep, you can freeze fresh cranberries (at least I do), and you can freeze fresh strawberries, blueberries, and mulberries. 🙂

If I can think of anything else, I will be adding to this blog as time goes on. Please, keep checking back. Thank you for liking, commenting, sharing, re-blogging, and tweeting. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live and learn; why joining may not be such a great idea after all.

Published June 19, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

But was it worth it going through all the stress of joining my local Y? Actually I’m still very undecided on that.
I’m trying to find ways to pinch every penny and joining any place to be a member comes with balancing one’s budget to see if its feasible. However, this was my first time joining a health center of any kind. And after I presented them the money, I began to have second thoughts shortly after I paid.
I get indecisive at times and I suppose this was one of those moments. But on the bright side I wasn’t required to give out any personal account information. Regardless what the person claimed with all sincerity that, “You’re information is very safe,” sounded like a familiar line I’ve heard many times before, usually from pre-approved credit card scammers.

I’m not saying that the health center is a rip-off because there’s plenty to do there and that would be a wrong assumption to make right off the bat. What I didn’t like was their high-pressure approach, “We’ll get you set up with a personal trainer, but only if you want to.”

No thank you.

Not that I don’t trust them I thought the Y would be a place where anybody could exercise at their leisure on their own terms without a personal fitness trainer planning your exercise routine based on your height/ weight (I used those as examples) or forcing you to take on more than you know you can physically handle.
And the only other two things I disagreed with was having my picture taken. I know this is for (______) fill in the blank. I’ve heard everything from preventing identity theft to making sure its truly ‘you’ coming in to exercise. I knew I couldn’t evade that, but I absolutely didn’t agree to be filmed, photographed or uploaded to the internet and I pointed this out since I firmly believe everyone should have some right to privacy. They agreed to waive that part of the sign-up agreement for me. But until I signed my name on the line, they admitted nobody ever had a concern over that before. Here again, my little voice of reason is telling me, this might not be such a good idea after all. Some folks don’t want to be publicly shared, viewed or “tagged” by the world wide web. To me that’s beyond intrusive and rude. And it did prove to me that there’s no such thing being private… maybe it was like that some twenty or thirty years prior, but not in today’s times where everything is expected to be out in the open and accessible to everybody.

With a heavy heart, I trekked back to my vehicle and contemplated if I really wanted to work out in the gym or simply return home and do something more productive. But why did I have the nagging pressing feeling that I made a three month commitment mistake? “Well, it’s just three months,” I tell myself and then it expires. Whether I choose to renew or let the membership lapse is up to me.

I forced myself to go in and try out the exercise equipment. Most of the men I saw at the Y were very much into body building and muscles and very little else. Another man was totally absorbed in a touch-screen flat phone giving off a “don’t bother me” vibe. Another man scowled in my direction the entire time he was weight-lifting.
Technology… we are lulled by it so much that we can’t seem to exist a single minute without it or we drive ourselves bonkers.
And me? I zoned out everyone else and tried the stair master, ab roller, exercise bike and that was it.

No swimming for me since after my last go around really made my hair look like a limp, thin, stringy nutrient-deprived mess. That and being restricted to the shallow end when the water slide is in use in the family pool (lap lanes weren’t open, yet) was kind of irritating on me the last time I went as a guest.
I look at it like this… one, they were paid in cash and I got a receipt even though I realize membership fees are non-refundable. Secondly, they didn’t get a whopping amount out of me, either. Call me extremely tight-fisted when it comes to such things like this, but every little bit could be saved for a rainy day if ever needed.

Sure, nothing beats exercise. And I know there will come days when I won’t feel like socializing just to get in some time on a stair master or exercise bike.
I just get a sinking feeling in the pit of stomach, the kind a person gets when they have ‘buyer’s remorse’. I guess in my case it was ‘membership fee remorse’. I also didn’t agree that they’d watch your beverage bottle for you if you wanted to go work out in the gym.

As a good rule of thumb, if I ever set down a drink, then I don’t consume it afterwards. And I can’t afford to keep replacing water bottles right and left and don’t trust that the only vending machine they will allow is just purified water. It could be fluoride city water from some other city.

I won’t guzzle just any brand of bottled water anymore since I’ve switched to distilled. I make tea from distilled water and pack distilled water on my person wherever I go. I know….

Rules, rules—we all must abide by them. I realize this.

But I don’t agree with the front desk babysitting my water bottle of distilled tea just so I can work out for an hour or so and then the ice is all melted and the tea tastes like stump water. So, it was back home after about an hour. I seem to have either lost my enthusiasm or perhaps its just my sense kicking in, letting me know there’s free forms of exercise I just have to find.

Thanks for reading, commenting, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

Hidden sugars in other foods: crackers, breads, etc.

Published June 16, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

And just when I thought I had kicked that darned sugar habit, I uncover more hidden ingredients in common everyday foods. What’s sickening about it? Sugar is more addictive than cocaine so I’ve been told. So what else does sugar lurk in?

Crackers. Yep, there was a reason why these tasted less salty and more sugary. I very quickly did some fridge cleaning tonight.

Breads- store bought. Since I was really trying to quit consuming bread simply because it contains hidden sugar and dough conditioners to give it it’s elasticity, I’ve been bread-free for well over two years now. I simply won’t consume it or purchase anything made with commercial bread. When I do make bread at home, I use honey instead of sugar. I also love to make my own pretzel bread with a dusting of course salt on top. It tastes a lot like a big round pretzel, but dense (not spongy and puny like most store bought bread is).

Cereal is a huge one for raking in all the hidden sugars and I don’t ever consume them. Same with the flavored oatmeal packages which I believe depending on what flavor can pack 19 to 29 grams of sugar per serving alone.

Yogurt is another one loaded with sugars. Again, it might seem healthy since yogurt contains probiotics which is healthy bacteria your gut makes naturally too. However, if its flavored yogurt it will contain more than just sugar, but those nasty Blue Lake, Yellow Lake and Red Lake food colorings that are best avoided whenever possible.

Tortillas—I don’t know just how many hidden sugars are lurking in a package of tortillas, but they do have an usual shiny-like coating on them that to me, seems very gross. I suppose this is the dough conditioner used to make the tortilla pliable. However, after I found out how to make home made tortillas the other night, I am never wasting my money on store-bought tortillas again. And making tortillas from scratch is so easy! I won’t say that the clean up afterwards is a breeze because its not. But the hard work is well worth it. Just keep in mind home made tortillas must be refrigerated and/ or frozen.
I am sure there are many more foods, especially potato chips that likely contain hidden sugars just as they contain ‘flavor enhancers’ which is a gentle name for MSG (mono-sodium-glutamate). MSG has been my long time enemy that gives me migraines. Therefore, I have to be extremely vigilant on what kinds of food it might be lurking in. In fact, I believe there’s a condiment called “Ac’cent” and its nothing more than MSG. On a side note, ever feel hungry after you consume a pre-box dinner, TV dinner or anything else pre-processed? Scary thing is MSG not makes you crave more food, it can also make a person gain weight.

Thanks for reading, liking, commenting, sharing, re-blogging as always. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂 Stay tuned and I’ll put up my recipe for home made tortillas and it will be a huge money saver in the long run.

Young Men’s Christian Association and other bygone terms:

Published June 9, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

I learn something new everyday in this politically correct society I live in. I ruffle some feathers without meaning to I do admit using outdated terms and slang. However, I find it’s nearly impossible for me to remember every little detail. It’s partly due to how and when I was raised. I am a repeat offender of not knowing what the correct terms are for what and what’s long since gone by the wayside. I’ll start with spinners. “Well, they—Uhm, look like exercise bikes to me,” I said appearing to be as casual about my observation. “They’re spinners.” the fitness trainer corrected me rather brisk in tone.

Okay, they’re spinners… I thought and it brought to the forefront of my mind a ridiculous toy back in the 80’s called “Sit and Spin” where a kid would sit down and turn the crank of this massive-looking plastic circular device and make themselves dizzy for hours at a time. I had a sit and spin when I was growing up, made myself sick from it and eventually wore it out.

But exercise bi—ah, right… gotacha…”spinners”.  :/ What are they if they’re not exercise “bikes”? They are essentially an exercise bike, but with toe clips to keep toes strapped in the peddle. Only an avid cyclist would know what I refer to. And yes, I have tried toe clips in the past thanks to my ex-boyfriend who did get me into cycling more as a fitness thing and less about competing. Think of “Tour de France” kind of bike racing, for example.

My ex-boyfriend won a few stage races in his home state (nothing huge or famous as the Tour de France) back in the 80s. And he even designed a course for the following year after he won. Well, the exercise—alright, fine—‘spinner’ contraption I was staring at remind me of when a ten speed is mounted on a trainer so the rider can practice riding indoors during the winter. I had a trainer for my beloved Peugeot (yes, the kind that won the Tour de France) and found that I didn’t like having to keep my body stationary or risk doing damage to the frame.

I remember my first experience on a trainer and how bruised my ribcage felt afterwards because I couldn’t go through all the regular motions like what I’d normally do if I were cycling on an open road. So, here they were, the spinners with toe clips and handle bars—everything screams ‘exercise bike’ in my eyes.

But as not to offend the fitness trainer, I didn’t breathe another word about it and showed vague interest. I do this quite often whenever I feel I rubbed the other person the wrong way. Call it whatever you like, maybe I was being too courteous, who knows. And that pretty much summed up my incredibly fast two minute tour through my local Y yesterday.

They no longer like to refer to it as the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A (Young Women’s Christian Association) is a thing of the past. They call it “the Y”.  I suspect this was due because it would be viewed as “sexist” in today’s society to keep the Y.W.C.A. Everything is co-ed except the locker rooms, thank goodness! Not that I mind sharing exercise equipment or swimming with men, especially if they’re handsome and single.

And this co-ed existence (for lack of a better word) is completely new to me still now as an adult. Not that I mind. Heck, show me Erik Estrada thirty years younger (famous for the 70s TV show, C.H.I.P.’s) for those who may not know who I’m talking about, or find a handsome, respectable down-to-earth man, and yeah, the Y might be well worth my membership “grief” to find somebody. And it never hurts to hope and pray.

So, am I ready to tell the Y all about myself and what made me decide to join? Other than saying I like to keep physically fit and swim, I really didn’t feel like divulging every aspect of my private life to them.

And if I had said, “Sure, to meet some hot men,” that might have been taken the wrong way.

The Y is family friendly. When the fitness trainer asked me if I had any children I politely said “no”. And they sort of frowned my way like I had just said the four letter “F” word and it rang through the pool area.

The burning question lingers: Did I meet any handsome men on my first visit to the Y today? Nope. I was too busy trying to figure out why the treadmill wasn’t moving faster than a turtle. I increased the speed and that didn’t help much. And secondly, I came to observe and just watch how everyone interacts. There were a lot of families there today and sparse teenagers roaming around.

I wish I had lived in areas that had a Y.M.C.A. growing up in my teens, but I see the rules posted for them are quite strict, so I don’t know if I would have like it as much back then, if even at all. Not that I was rule breaker as a teen or horsed around, or was loud, I did like to do things without so much restriction whenever possible and it gave me a taste of independence.

Basically, yeah– the men were alright that I saw at the Y. I didn’t see any drop dead gorgeous men as of yet, but that mean I won’t. I tired of the treadmill after giving up barely shuffling along at a turtle pace and found it rather a time-waster and boring. I can see why people turn loose of treadmills. Either the tread mill burns out and other times the novelty of them wears off.

I decided to try out another exercise bike looking contraption with handle bars. Some of the handle bars moved, others were stationary. Then I tried out a stair master machine, both of those I liked much better. You’ll notice I refer to the exercise equipment as “contraptions”. Doesn’t mean I’m inept by any stretch of the imagination, I just don’t know the specific ‘name’ of the exercise machine and it all looks alike in my eyes.

At the very last moment I tried out an “Ab-roller coaster”, I believe it was. It’s an exercise machine where you place your knees on this padded seat-like device, grab the handlebars and pull using your body’s motion to strengthen your inner core. Since it was my first time using this machine I went slow knowing that the starting and stopping would take some getting used to. I liked that machine a lot better than trying to do the inner core ab exercises at home that contort your body like a pretzel.

What I dislike most about the Y: How difficult it is to become a member. I did proceed on with producing the extra paperwork required, but I have a sneaking suspicion the IRS is going to be my major hold up for quite some time since their online e-form isn’t working. And the snail mail route I had to take (or think I had to)… nobody at the Y made this exactly clear to me since I spoke with two different people. Eventually I will figure it all out.

Oh, and no diving boards. At least the tiny ones I noticed barely jutting out over the water in the deep end of the lap lane pool resembled something no bigger or wider in width to a peel and stick tile. Long gone are the days of the high and low diving boards… bummer. :/

The deep end of the lap lane pool (it went 12 feet down) was creepy looking at first for me. It took me some getting used to probably because I never swam in water indoors that deep before. And once I did it was no big deal. I think seeing those black painted lap lanes and crosses at either end were kind of eerie (don’t ask me why). Maybe it’s all those supposedly haunted ‘abandoned’ swimming pool stories and urban exploration pictures I always seen on occasion… eh, oh well. I do love swimming. I also feel it’s another great form of exercise and easy for everybody of all ages.

And I am so thankful for my former training in the water going way back to my days spent in daycare growing up as a kid. The daycare teachers took all of us kids to our very first course in learning how to swim at the public swimming pool. I believe I still have my card listing each swim course I passed. I learned the back stroke, dead man’s float, the breast stroke, using a boogey board, (that’s where you hang onto a floater device and kick with your feet)…and every kid gets introduced to the ‘doggy paddle’ early on.

Let’s see what else did I learn way back when? I also learned how to use the diving boards, swim to the ladder, and how to hold your breath when under water, too. And I do credit my dad, who for a while when he operated his own white water rafting company, I learned how to float down a river if I were to ever be thrown out of the boat (thankfully I never had to rely on this life-saving swimming maneuver, yet). I had to learn proper ‘rafting’ safety… and mind you, I was learning in this at around the age of 10 or 11 and it was done in the icy rivers of Colorado… so yeah, all that previous experience still serves me well.

And if you ever wonder why somebody falls out of a raft and suffers an instant heart attack and doesn’t live sadly (reports of this happening all the time during the summer months in Colorado were more than I care to recall), this is because the water temperature forces the body to go into sudden shock, and it can happen even to a healthy person even fairly young as well.

I did inquire at the Y about updating my swimming techniques to see if I learned anything new I could add with my swim card from years ago, but all the Y offers is teaching kids how to swim, but I was told there is no ‘refresher’ swim course or anything like that being taught for adults. Oh, well, it never hurts to ask. The closest thing they do offer is lifeguard training. Now, I won’t say I’m an expert when swimming or even an Olympic gold medalist because I would be lying.

I do enjoy swimming immensely and always have from the first day they throw you into the freezing cold water at the public swimming pool at 7 in the morning before the summer heat warms the pavement. And it would always take me five minutes for my body adjust to the temperature. If you’re not awake on the ride to the swimming pool, the lifeguards and swim instructors make sure you are bright-eyed and bushy tailed when they give you a hand and yank you into the pool with them.

Oh, and I wasted twenty minutes trying to lock my personal belongings in the locker at the Y. Sounds crazy, but it was a nightmare! I arrived for the open swim with forty-five minutes to spare with my lock that was too big for their gym-like lockers… arg! I got more of a work out just running back and forth to my vehicle to put away this, take out that, change out flip flops and shoes, put on dry socks, etc… I snagged my wallet and returned to the front desk to purchase (and return five minutes later) a combination lock that impeded my locker possibility. The staff gladly refunded me and graciously apologized about the inconvenience their combination lock caused me. I wasn’t terribly stressed over that. Me and combination locks have never gotten along.

So next time I go I will come with a regular lock and key. I just have to figure out how to attach my key to my person when I swim so it won’t get in the way and/ or potentially lose it, either. I have one of those stretchy key rings which worked okay, but it still got in the way of my swimming. It’s never wise to swim with dangling keys or jewelry of any kind because this could get snarled in the pool drain if you like to swim in the bottom, that is. I heard countless horror stories where people have drowned when wearing necklaces, bracelets, ankle bracelets that became tangled in a pool drain. I know what I did wasn’t smart today, but the staff will warn you they aren’t held personally responsible for theft that might occur.

Oh, and some better advice: DON’T wear flip flops in a slippery women’s wet locker room or men’s, if you’re a man. I nearly did the banana splits without trying. Flip flops are so dangerous over wet floors and/ or buffed floors as well. I know I’ve taken near spills in my own home over peel and stick tiles. Here again, find water shoes or something with traction. At the Y (in my local area anyway), they won’t allow street shoes to be worn in the pool area. And yes, even without foot wear, the tile floors are slippery in the pool area. All in all, it was a good busy day. I think I might return once this hectic week slows down and everything can get back to semi-normal. For some reason everybody and their brother will drive like a crazy person just to make it to the water park which is in the same area (ugh!) Maybe it’s the summer heat in combination with that, who knows. Thanks for reading, liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting… etc.  🙂